In yesterday's post, I introduced an article/video to clarify some of the points. Today I want to focus on the quote, "Hope cannot be false."
It was preceded and followed by:
"At the same time, she can accept she is likely to die from her cancer; she can also nourish hope that she will be the exception," Harpham said.
Hope cannot be false.
"If a patient wants to be cured but currently there are no available treatments, you don't want a doctor saying, 'You'll be cured.'
It's clear from the video that I'm cautioning people against false hope. But I worry some people who just read the article will interpret "Hope cannot be false" to mean I believe there's no such thing as false hope.
I do believe people can nourish so-called false hope, if their hope is based around fantasies or falsehoods. Your hope to pull a Jack of Hearts out of a deck of cards is false hope, if all the Jacks were removed before you were offered the deck. More seriously, a child experiences false hope if waiting for a parent to return home when the parent has died (and has not just "gone on a long trip.")
The "hoper's" experience of false hope may be indistinguishable from that experienced when the desired outcome is, indeed, possible. But false hope keeps people from pursuing paths that may help. And false hope always disappoints in the end.