General Question

talljasperman's avatar

When does hope become delusional?

Asked by talljasperman (21739points) April 24th, 2014

From waiting for a miracle to planning to win the lottery as a retirement plan.

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15 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

When it interferes with the activities of daily living, hope is delusional.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Hope is never ever delusional. It is simply hope. People might get delusional.

But we should define your term:

“A delusion is a belief held with strong conviction despite superior evidence to the contrary.

As a pathology, it is distinct from a belief based on false or incomplete information, confabulation, dogma, illusion, or other effects of perception.”

I think most hope falls into the latter category as opposed to the delusional category.

jca's avatar

In your question, “Planning to win the lottery as a retirement plan” I think that’s delusional because you can’t plan to win the lottery. You can hope to win it, but you can’t count on it.

GloPro's avatar

Hmmm. Coming from an old maid, my dad believes hope became delusion when I hit 34.

kess's avatar

When one loses it.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Hope becomes delusional when, and only when, delusions become hopeful.

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ninjacolin's avatar

Consider wiki’s definition of Delusion: “A delusion is a belief held with strong conviction despite superior evidence to the contrary. ”

Hope is delusional when the thing hoped for is evidently futile. If there isn’t sufficient evidence of said futility, then hope is probably okay. :) That said, it may be the case that you simply aren’t aware of said futilicious evidence. Actually, I think that is mainly what delusion implies: that the delusional person is ignorant of the existing, superior evidence to the contrary.

So, to the person who is deluded they can’t tell because they don’t see or aren’t aware of the evidence.

I guess, then, hope is delusional the moment you’re wrong about something you’re hoping for and necessarily before you’re aware of being wrong about it.

Winter_Pariah's avatar

Hope isn’t delusional.

It’s just asking for despair, disappointment and misery.

Paradox25's avatar

Friedrich Nietzsche once stated that “Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.” I have not had the chance to read Nietzsche’s material yet, but I’ve read material from other pessimistic philosophers who had used it to support their case for anti-natalism. I also try to keep a famous quote from Albert Einstein in mind combining it with the concept of hope and Nietzsche’s statement above “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

I do indeed find that hope can lead to delusional behavior when you combine the points of both of the quotes I had mentioned above. I’m not as pessimistic as Nietzsche or Jim Crawford, and hope can be a good thing at times, even in cases where it may very well be delusional in my opinion. I do have a drawing line though, namely when your hope becomes the main culprit of your own or others suffering because you refuse to either think or do things differently when this is called for. Sometimes hope can get in the way of logic and progression.

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