Re: Common Human Errors

From: Brent Allsop (
Date: Sat Apr 28 2001 - 15:45:34 MDT

"J. R. Molloy" <>,

        OK, I think we're talking about different things here.
One thing you seem to be talking about, I would call false
or unjustifiable hope, as in:

> "Hope tries to explain to the ignorant the nature of the
> unknowable." --A. Bierce

        I would agree that "hope" in some God, for example, is fallacy
or "common error".

> "Hope is merely disappointment deferred." --W. B. Baldry

        The assumption here is obviously that the hope is in something
that is not true. But if someone invests in the stock market, with
the hope that it will go higher, this is quite justified and therefore
something completely different. On average, people that invest in the
stock market are not "disappointed". Given the last 15 years of my
investments, I'm certainly not disappointed.

        Another, I'd call passive or inactive hope. This would be a
kind of a lazy hope. For example, hoping that some god will
eventually come down and give us immortality, rather than doing the
effort ourselves to try to achieve immortality. As you said:

> Hope is for children. Determination marks the adult.

        The child hopes the parent will do it for him. But the parent
is determined to do what is required, in hopes that such efforts will
bring what is hoped for.

        I agree, having those kinds of hopes are a common human error
which has no redeeming value. But, when a person makes the effort to
be crynically preserved, when someone donates money to the American
Cancer Society, in the hope that it will accomplish some good, that
kind of hope, even though some of it occasionally doesn't always turn
out to be what we'd "hoped" for, such is the driving force that has
given us everything humanity has ever accomplished right?

        Are we in agreement?

                Brent Allsop

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