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View Poll Results: False hope or no hope?

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  • False hope

    3 33.33%
  • No Hope

    6 66.67%
  • I don't want to pick.

    0 0%
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Thread: is false hope better than no hope?

  1. #41
    desert pelican Array Owl's Avatar
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    Feb 2008


    Response to the OP: false hope and no hope are equally bad.

    False hope compels one to work toward an end that is worthless. No hope compels one not to work at all, thus creating nothing of value. In each case life is worthless.

  2. #42
    Senior Member Array forzen's Avatar
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    May 2009


    False hope is the greater evil because the fall is higher when you've realized your situation has no way out; it's the worst kind of cruelty one can experience in my opinion. However, "no hope" is almost as bad, but the realization that there's no way out would put you in a mindset that embrace the inevitable.
    This post grammatical errors had been intentionally left uncorrected.

  3. #43
    Senior Member Array eagleseven's Avatar
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    Apr 2010


    False hope has its place, for example:

    In the midst of a battle, a mortar goes off near you. You're mildly injured, but your buddy is in bad shape. You go over to him, and half of his torso was blown off. With only minutes left to live, your buddy looks you in the eyes and asks "Why can't I feel my legs? Am I going to make it?"

    In this situation, giving him false hope, to protect him from the horrifying realization of his situation in his last living moments, is appropriate.

  4. #44
    Senior Member Array Lark's Avatar
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    Jun 2009


    I think it was Seneca who wrote that he didnt give a fig for the human being who false hopes set afire, it remember it from Simone Weil's book on socialism "Liberty and Oppression", its pretty much a reflection on the betrayal in power of all they professed in opposition by the Russian Bolsheviks.

    However, she makes a good point that it was the false hope that they could inspire that got them in the position to do that and peoples willingess to believe and hope when it would appear without much analysis to be false.

  5. #45
    Banned Array
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    Nov 2009


    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post

    I'm just wondering... is false hope in something- be it a placebo, a beleif system or what- better than having no hope at all, or is it better to ignore things that aren't true?
    Hope gives people strength.
    But hope can mislead.

    I consciously try to never say the word hope. Instead I replace it with wonder.

    I hope today is a good day VS I wonder if today will be a good day.

    This shifts the balance of things more onto you and how you choose to deal with and perceive things.
    You remove the emotional attachment you place on things, and instead take a more objective approach.

    It has worked wonders as far as worrying about stuff goes.

  6. #46
    Queen hunter Array Virtual ghost's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    135 so/sp


    Technically there is no difference since the oucome is the same.

  7. #47
    Senior Member Array Feops's Avatar
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    Feb 2009


    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    The issue is not whether it would be easy, but whether its the most utilitarian course of action.
    You'll need to clarify for me what you mean by utilitarian then. Do you mean the most useful? I would still say that false hope is inferior as the foundation of its belief is weak.

  8. #48
    Senior Member Array
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    Aug 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by Feops View Post
    You'll need to clarify for me what you mean by utilitarian then. Do you mean the most useful? I would still say that false hope is inferior as the foundation of its belief is weak.
    Utilitarian as in the greatest amount of personal happiness for the greatest number of people.

  9. #49
    Junior Member Array
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    Dec 2008


    Maybe it’s best to look at the functionality of that hope. What are its advantages vs. disadvantages? What role does it play in the larger story of that person’s life, or how does it cause them to “be” in the world? Because certain situations in life can be difficult to survive (even if just on a psychological/emotional level), then a particular belief or interpretation that spurs a person on through the challenge can be a good thing.

    We’re constantly telling stories and making up interpretations of our world and experiences, so even if the “fall” from that previous hope that comes later (if it is found to be less than true), that would just lead to a reworking of the information and the formation of a better interpretation/story. If that belief did more good than harm, then why not?

    Also, when speaking about hope in terms of spirituality, I wonder about hope itself as a way of “knowing.” Why does intellect get to trump emotion, especially in something like religion or spirituality, where we have no real way of telling what’s going on in the bigger scheme of things? Perhaps hope and emotion point in the direction of some truth, beyond just providing an existential story to pacify our needs and fears.

    Andrew Newberg did some good work with this looking at the biology/neurology of belief. He makes a good point in saying that although we can watch the brain experience spiritual beliefs, and even replicate spiritual experiences on demand through artificial means, that does not disprove an objective existence of these things; perhaps all we are really witnessing is the pathway or means by which this experience takes place.

  10. #50


    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    I was watching an old episode of The Mentalist while folding laundry and it was showing flashbacks to his childhood working at a carnival- his father wants to market a "healing crystal" to a dying girl to make some money. It's false hope, there's no way that it will cure her, but are a few days of peace of mind that might result from it a good thing?

    I'm just wondering... is false hope in something- be it a placebo, a beleif system or what- better than having no hope at all, or is it better to ignore things that aren't true?
    It is always better to believe the truth over believing a lie. In this sense false hope is bad.

    On the other hand if a person with cancer was given a placebo, and their cancer was cured as a result, then did they really have false hope to begin with?
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