The main features of the apocalyptic fantasy genre are: visions, images and symbols. Obviously, the visions are visual experiences that the author claims to have received, often, directly from Jesus and therefore, seeks to faithfully convey.
Revelation 1:1,3. “Revelation of Jesus Christ which god gave him to make known to his servants the things which must soon take place, and which he manifested by sending his angel to his servant John. The latter attests to the word of god and the testimony of Jesus Christ, reporting what he saw. Blessed are those who read and blessed are those who hear the words of this prophecy and put into practice the things written therein. For the time is at hand.”
Believers have been carrying on this nonsense for two thousand years. The Revelation of John for example, is the workhorse of the Jehovah’s Witnesses (Jehovah’s Witnesses), who have been using it to announce the end of the world since 1870 now. How is it that such an important prophecy or revelation has been a failure now for two thousand years? On the contrary, it should be proof that Jesus Christ really revealed himself to his servant John.
There has always been a debate about the signs that announce the end of the world. Is the sky destined to fall? And if so, when? Even if they are baseless nonsense, news about the proliferation of nuclear weapons, wars in the Middle East, pandemics, the warming of the Earth or other terrible environmental catastrophes continually fuel some sense of unease. To many believers, such news reminds them of apocalyptic scenarios and stimulates a lot of rambling talk about the Apocalypse, the Four Horsemen, Gog and Magog, Armageddon, the Antichrist, the return of the Hidden Imam, and you name it. Some even interpret these events as heralding signs of the “Rapture,” when Jesus will take the faithful directly to heaven and leave nonbelievers looking up as mere spectators of the divine grand ball.
Believers recognize that prophecies have dark, ambiguous, questionable sides, so they must be “interpreted.” But the interpretation of a prophecy is simply a mental fantasy that serves to avoid accepting the evidence of the facts, that prophecy, is just quackery.
It is quite strange, however, that a proof, the task of which is to prove the truth of prophecy, in this case also of religion, should itself be interpreted, that is, it is quite strange that light should be shed on a proof, the task of which is precisely to shed light. And then, any interpretation, however accurate and objective, cannot help but be subjective, and therefore debatable, questionable and improvable. And so, the question emerges: when a prophetic utterance is obscure, ambiguous, uncertain, and its interpretation is debatable and questionable, can it still be called a prophecy? More importantly, a proof?
Believers say the prophecies were purposely enunciated in a dark way so that not the wicked but only the righteous would understand them. Astonishing statement! Isn’t it precisely the wicked who need them most? Besides, if one wants to illuminate their minds, why do it in such a way that the light does not reach them? What manner of doing, what fun is this ever? And what strange, what incomprehensible design can it possibly correspond to? What fault do billions of innocent children have with these enigmatic prophecies? Moreover, understanding or not understanding a prophecy is not a matter of evil or virtue: it is only a matter of intelligence.
Does this god want to be believed only by mindless people? Does he want to make his existence so mysterious and improbable as to deceive those who think critically and ask questions? Why on earth give us powerful brains and then kick us out of heaven if we use them? What about the prophecies of other religions? Are those true as well?
Numerous religions over thousands of years have embroidered extensively on the theme of gods fulfilling prophecies. But they are all Reliocies so vague, malleable, or unconfirmed by credible sources that one must be predisposed to believe the fables to find them surprising.
Those who believe these charlatancies should understand that if even one of them were unambiguously confirmed by credible, independent sources, it would instantly convince virtually every person in the world. The fact that no prophecy of any religion has ever succeeded in doing so gives us pause for thought. If a religion boasted even one prophecy for which there was an absolute lack of simpler explanations, people would flock to convert. But that has not happened because no religion has such a prophecy in its repertoire.
All the turmoil around the prophecies of various religions stems from the fact that most people do not think rationally. That is why Nostradamus and other various Quacks continue to have fans in the 21st century.
Try to think about how many individuals throughout history have claimed to have experienced profound mystical ecstasies capable of changing their lives and have formulated prophecies based on their visions. The individuals claim to have been in contact with god or some other form of higher reality-think of the Virgin Mary’s virgin apparitions and her ridiculous messages.
Unfortunately, there are also charlatan braggarts among these individuals who enrich themselves with this nonsense. Under the term “quack trade” is included any activity directed at speculating on the credulity of others, exploiting or feeding the prejudice of others, thus abusing the state of need and psychic deficiency of those who believe. Think how many exploit and abuse the state of need and psychic deficiency of their gullible selves, amid messages from the Virgin Mary, fairy tales, kissing plaster figurines and rotting corpses.
If a person really did have a supernatural experience that put him or her in communication with god, Our Lady, Thor, a ghost, Santa Claus, in a reality that transcends the material world, then we might reasonably expect that this person might come into possession of some new and profound knowledge about the world that could be found by direct or indirect observation of facts.
Now, it is typical for the person who has had such an experience to return punctually with the usual ridiculous messages, such as:
My children, I love you and bless you know that darkness has now descended upon the earth; dear children I bless you present and all those who have entrusted themselves to your prayers; continue to pray the holy rosary every day by attending holy mass; take all the precautions that Science conveys to you day by day to fight the coronavirus; My children, be ready, this time is a turning point… Or messages urging us to love and care for one another, to respect animals, to protect the environment and not to eat too much red meat, to brush our teeth, to be careful with fire, not to catch cold…
It is always the same messages that serve virtually no purpose. Suppose that instead of these useless and simple homilies, a person who experiences an apparition obtains some new information that he could not have procured by purely physical means.
For example, let us imagine that someone in 2003 had a vision predicting that on December 26, 2004, a tsunami in the Indian Ocean would kill thousands of people. Let’s imagine such a message:
“My children, I love you and bless you know that on December 26, 2004 at 07:58, a very violent earthquake with a magnitude of 9.1 will strike the Indian Ocean off the northwest coast of Sumatra in Indonesia.
It will cause more than 300,000 casualties, both directly and through the ensuing tidal wave that will hit in the form of giant tsunamis vast coastal areas of the Asian area between fifteen minutes and ten hours after the quake.”
Now that is supernatural information! Or, it could give the prophet or seer the knowledge to find the cure for cancer, or, even do something even more sensational, a sign, a true impossible miracle so that everyone can finally believe in the authenticity of the visions, such as eliminating every case of cancer in the world in a single day for example, or regrowing amputated limbs for thousands of people in an instant.
Imagine, for example, if a sacred text dating back more than three thousand years was discovered in the 1990s that contained the following ancient prophecy:
“In a year to be called 1969 by the people of the future, two men named Neil and Buzz will fly to the moon and walk on its surface. A metallic bird named Eagle will be their chariot and they will do an activity called
EVA (EVA, Extra Vehicular Activity), dressed in white. On their heads, they will wear big, hard white hats. Gold screens will protect their eyes. The population of Earth will watch them from afar. When the two men, and a third named Michael, return, many will shout Apollo’s name. The Lord saw a star-spangled symbol suspended in the void of the lunar surface and smiled smugly.”
If any of these things happened, we would take seriously the possibility that some power that transcends the material world really exists. In short, the validity of an otherworldly component to a religious experience is easily verified. If a believer were able to bring a revelation with these kinds of details, Atheists would immediately convert to his religion. Unfortunately, however, such prophecies simply do not exist. What we have are delusional, vague fantasies that can very easily be explained away as events that could have happened without the intervention of any god. There is also fantasy-archaeology, that is, interpretive contrivances, which seek to discredit the scientific world by imposing the dissemination of nonexistent archaeological evidence.
In Conclusion, any prophecy basically amounts to zero and like saying that: in the next few days it will surely rain. All Prophecies are such vague nonsense that one can see in them what one wants: the French Revolution, the advent of Adolf Hitler, the atomic bomb, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, 9/11, pandemics. He who seeks, finds…
It is easy to see that the Prophecies do not give any precise indication of any event, such as date and time, the exact location of the event, nor do they name any character directly, they say extremely vague things, which can be adapted retrospectively to any possible event and any period, present and future, in practice they have the same value and structure as any horoscope, we are all capable of prophesying something without saying a damn thing.
You can find a prophecy about the apocalypse even in a Mickey Mouse magazine. Anyone can prophesy that the end of the world is coming, simply because the world is always about to end. There have already been five major mass extinctions in four billion years: the Ordovician extinction (443 million years ago), the Late Devonian extinction (372 million years ago), the Permian extinction (252 million years ago), the Triassic extinction (201 million years ago) and the Cretaceous extinction (66 million years ago).
God in the previous extinctions, who would he have punished? The Ostracoderms? The Placoderms? The synapsids? The Listrosaurs? And finally, the dinosaurs? What would they have done wrong? Did they not believe in him?