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Perhaps a weird question but in our reality people believe in the existence of things like prophecies based on some type of belief system (e.g. God and his plan or fate). On what basis does the wizarding world believe in prophecies and why do they believe that they are able to be fulfilled?

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    Standard answer: magic. – The Dark Lord Mar 17 '17 at 11:23
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    Well, there are Time Turners, which (barring The Cursed Child) allow time travel with a fixed timeline. This suggests that the Harry Potter universe has causal determinism, and that extrapolating future events should be possible (through magic, of course). – tobiasvl Mar 17 '17 at 11:29
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Perhaps a weird question

Well, perhaps it's not possible to answer it without conjecture, but I'll give it a shot.

in our reality people believe in the existence of things like prophecies based on some type of belief system (e.g. God and his plan or fate). On what basis does the wizarding world believe in prophecies and why do they believe that they are able to be fulfilled?

Consider Time Turners. If we forget about The Cursed Child for the purposes of this answer, Time Turners allow time travel with a fixed timeline, as seen by us several times throughout Prisoner of Azkaban, and as explained by Dumbledore and Hermione several times.

Everything that happens in that book/movie suggests that the Harry Potter universe has causal determinism. You can't change the future; it's set in stone. Therefore, extrapolating future events from the current state of the universe should in theory be possible.

Of course, "reading" the current relevant state of the universe and calculating future events from that is probably very hard. (In our world, it would take immensely advanced technology, which is indistinguishable from magic.) But I think the fact that Time Turners exist, and how they work, should be sufficient for wizards to believe in prophecies without taking it on pure faith.

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    Well, the Time Turner certainly appears to function that way when travelling back a short time across your own personal timeline, but if time weren't something you could ever change, I doubt "bad things would happen to wizards who meddle with time", since anything they could do, they've technically already done. – DisturbedNeo Mar 17 '17 at 14:43
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    @DisturbedNeo That's true enough, there might be more to it. And The Cursed Child throws a spanner in the whole thing anyway (as it does with many things). – tobiasvl Mar 17 '17 at 14:47

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