Vorinism, a predominant religion on Roshar, holds that seeing the future is a form of Voidbinding, and thus evil. We know that Voidbinding, which is of Odium, can indeed grant knowledge of the future, so it makes sense that Vorinism would teach this. However, it’s not only Vorin theology where we hear this. There are some outsiders with a similar perspective, particularly in Oathbringer.
- Vivenna says to be suspicious of visions, since even the gods of her land (the Returned) only see brief glimpses of the future.
- Preservation says to be wary of the essence of Ati, e.g. Ruin, which grants the short-term prescience of atium.
- Hoid tells Shallan not to trust anyone who claims to be able to see the future (with the implication that this includes him). Hoid in particular has a perspective that few others do on the nature of the cosmere, so it’s particularly interesting that he thinks this way.
It’s also true that predictive powers have been granted to humans by mainly by “evil” shards in the books (with that word in quotation marks, because the end goals of nearly any Shard, given enough time to overwhelm the consciousness holding it, would be inimical to thinking beings). That is, Ruin, Odium, and Dominion.
On the other hand, there doesn’t appear to be anything terribly evil or suspect about seeing the future. According to Brandon, it’s often associated with the pure essence of a Shard, and as such not only Odium and Ruin, but also Preservation, Honor, and especially Cultivation can all avail themselves of it. Indeed, Cultivation, a non-antagonistic Shard, seems to be more proficient at it than the antagonist ones.
Is there any Cosmere-wide significance to these various prohibitions against seeing the future? Or is it something more mundane, e.g. visions can often be incorrect and misinterpreted?