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Prophesy, Not History, is the Real Bunk

By       Message Robert S. Becker     Permalink
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Bogus Predictions Scorch Left and Right

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Absurd prophesies from sleazy televangelists are easy to ridicule, especially when failure eggs them on to greater presumption. Batting zero feeds their "confirmation bias," with leaps of faith jumping the cosmic shark. Physics be damned: End of Times only calls for unimaginable shifts in the time-space-matter continuum. But crackpot holy rollers aren't the only wretched seers: how few political, economic, cultural or sports pundits surpass random chance? What truly defines nervy prophesy is how badly non-fulfillment indicts the prophet.

History dispels both secular and sacred divination (the word root here is "inspiration from a god"). In fact, savants aren't better at prophesying than folks unravelling a tricky TV mystery, even what's up for dinner. Divinities aren't so hot at prognostication either, if measured by chronic blunders from those hearing heavenly whispers. Bingo, out of 63,129 unofficial guarantees the world will end, not one matches the accuracy of a five-dollar watch. Even with countless asteroids at large, the earth has survived billions of years (despite one massive strike that spawned the moon).

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Mass extinctions, huge explosions, and global catastrophes, par for the course; but the great fantasy UFO, the Ultimate Final Outburst, not once, not even close. That means the only big truth (aside from eventual solar demise) is that even top futurists spit into the wind, then dodge the results. If the future were knowable, we'd have to give it another name.

Second to ministerial raving, conservative ideologues stumble with endless, sham predictions, full of sound and fury and nonsense. What in their laughable arsenal hasn't boomeranged: trickle-down economics that trickles up, lower taxes that don't stimulate jobs, or how MORE military and spying spending makes us LESS safe? Remember, Iraqi oil would reimburse our "democratic" invasion and 9/11 signaled world conflagration (thus the horrendous Patriot Acts). Dubya, however, made one self-fulfilling (if ironic) prophesy: "fight them over there, or we'll fight them here." Translation: violence overseas will come home to roost.

The Right Does Not Stand Alone

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How about Obamacare knocking America out cold, foreseeing Benghazi as Hillary killer, or envisioning Ebola as a medieval plague? Only the right turns freedom into looming nightmares, whether civil, voting, gay, immigration, women's or workers' rights. Have porous borders not swamped us with swarthy, job-stealing foreigners, let alone Muslim terrorists?

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For a decade, Robert S. Becker's rebel-rousing essays on politics and culture analyze overall trends, messaging and frameworks, now featured author at OpEdNews, Nation of Change and RSN. He appears regularly at Dissident Voice, with credits (more...)
 

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