I am convinced that Nostradamus had psychic ability but I am unconvinced that he was accurate with most of his predictions. Nostradamus was able to name Pasteur by name as well as predict a fire in London in 1666. His most impressive prediction I believe was referring to Franco and Rivera in “Castille” by name – two opposing leaders in the Spanish Revolutionary wars in the 1930s.
If anyone, anywhere was ever able to correctly predict the future then that is a fact of enormous philosophical importance. If anything in the future has been foreseen with true psychic ability, then it seems clear that everything has to be destined from the very beginning. In turn, this means that all our notions of free will, self-determination and the like are largely illusory.
Consider Nostradamus: how many people do you know who are ever going to try to sit down and predict the future hundreds of years from the present? It is not something a normal person is likely to attempt unless they genuinely feel premonitions of the future. I do not see how a person making predictions accurately including specific names can be considered mere luck. But forget Nostradamus and just look at any purported psychic through history, such as Edgar Cayce. If any of them had true psychic ability then that is enormously significant, no matter how often their predictions might have misfired.
Of course, one important question in this whole matter is where the prediction comes from. I think to really analyze psychic powers; we need to also consider what the source of the prediction may be. Here are some possibilities:
The prophet may generate the prophecy on his own or may receive it from another power. The fulfillment of the prophecy may be within the prophet’s ability to control, or that of the higher power, or may exceed both. These alone give us a number of combinations.
What I’m trying to say is that your conclusion only seems to follow from certain types of predictive ability. If the events prophesied are beyond the control of the prophet or of any power that gives him his prophecy, then I would tend to agree with you that somehow the event was destined to happen. If the events prophesied are within the power of the prophet, we don’t even give it a second thought. In fact, we all give these types of prophecy. For instance, I may tell you that I am going to Buffalo for Thanksgiving. If it turns out that I do in fact go to Buffalo next Wednesday, no one will care, because I had reasonable certainty that I could accomplish the prophecy. There are other possibilities in between.
If the prophet receives his message from another power, whether he himself realizes it or not, then we must question whether that higher power is effecting the fulfillment. If so, it may have nothing to do with fate at all.
In my view, Nostradamus predicting in published writings the London fire of 1666 by date and naming Pasteur and the two major players in the Spanish Revolution (Franco and Rivera) by their last names considered with his many other accurate predictions can only be considered “proof” that psychic ability exists.
My further point is that you can’t separate one part of destiny from the rest – if Franco and Rivera were destined to be the major players in the Spanish Revolution before they were born, then so were our destinies set out before our birth – our free will is largely illusory and we are largely being of consciousness rather than choice. All events are interrelated – it’s all part of the whole.
This seems to be one area in which various philosophical notions can be proven or disproves so I can’t understand why more serious attention is not given to this issue.