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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.

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  1. #1
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    Default is false hope better than no hope?

    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?
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  2. #2
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    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?
    I think that probably depends on the person. While someone could argue that false hope in the case of the little girl could lead to a few days of peace, someone else could argue that she may not spend those last few days saying goodbye to the people that she loves or doing the last few things she hoped to do before dying. I think there are benefits and disadvantages to false hope. I personally would rather know the truth and be able to plan accordingly so for me false hope would not be ideal.

  3. #3
    Yeah, I can fly. Aleksei's Avatar
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    People always fare better with a beautiful lie than the ugly truth. That's why religion is hardwired to our brains.
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  4. #4
    morose bourgeoisie
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    It depends. the thing you described is placebo, which can have real effects (see link below), but, say, telling a child that they're great at something when they aren't is simple cruelty.

    It's Not All In Your Head: Descending Neural Mechanisms Of Placebo-induced Pain Control

  5. #5
    Was E.laur Laurie's Avatar
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    I knew someone who was dying of cancer who had a couple people try to convince her that if she prayed more she would be cured. So instead of focusing on what she had she was determined to "do" something to fix her terminal cancer. It was sad.

    In certain situations false hope isn't a bad thing, but in serious situations like that people can get lost in the hope.

  6. #6
    Habitual Fi LineStepper JocktheMotie's Avatar
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    Those who give false hope are doing it for themselves: they either selfishly get off seeing someone else happy, even if it's a lie, or they want to protect themselves by not seeing someone in pain.

    However, I don't think it's "wrong" per se. But that's just my amorality talking.



  7. #7
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    With false hope there's a high price to pay when the reality sets in. If there was a way to maintain false hope at will for very long periods, then yes, that would be better than having no hope at all. However, I don't think something like that happens in reality. Without mental illness or with the help of drugs, that is.
    For a "healthy" person it's stagnation, if you get too caught up with it, there is no possibility of progress with illusions. But I guess for some people it can be beneficial to have false hope by maybe creating this kind of vacuum where things can develop or at least stand still long enough for the things that are causing trouble to stabilize. Sometimes there's very little a person can do to help themselves and instead of going crazy with no hope they can at least have that "peace of mind". Most of the time, though, having false hope is just a waste of time when you could go out and do someting significant. There should be hope but you'd still have to keep things real and running without getting caught in illusions that have no chance of becoming true.

  8. #8

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    I dont know if placebos work if they are known to be placebos.

  9. #9
    Reason vs Being ragashree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleksei View Post
    People always fare better with a beautiful lie than the ugly truth. That's why religion is hardwired to our brains.
    It is?

    In which neuroanatomical substructure does the religious principle reside again?
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  10. #10
    What is, is. Arthur Schopenhauer's Avatar
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    All hope is false hope.

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    But it will at least be poetic, I suppose...

    Hmm... But what if it does end well?
    Then I suppose it will be a different sort of poetry, a preferable sort...
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