Is it better to have a false hope than have no hope?

by sinboi 23 Replies latest jw experiences

  • jwundubbed

    Not knowing what to have hope in or not knowing what you have hope for is not the same thing as having no hope at all. Now you are in a great place because your options are wide open and there are so many things to hope for.

    Also, not knowing if there is an afterlife doesn't mean that there definitely isn't one. There is no reason that you can't have hope to meet your friend in an afterlife. The only person who will hold you back from that hope is you.

    I'm sorry for your loss.

  • jookbeard

    sorry to hear of your loss, you are right about the bullshit of resurrection etc.

  • The Fall Guy
    The Fall Guy

    Sinboi, I know the pain you're feeling, and I'm sorry. The death of someone who was special to us causes pain and mental turmoil which at that very moment swallows us up in a darkness which is not "normal" to those who suffer. Whether we have faith in an all-powerful God and the promise of a resurrection, or we view such thinking as ludicrous, both camps should respect the other person's choice in what they believe or disbelieve. Personally, at the moment, I don't believe in alien visitations or abductions, but ridiculing people who do would say more about me than them. It is clear that Christians (not just J.W.'s)` get comfort at such times with verses like these: 1 Thessalonians 4:13,14 - "And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died." (New Living Translation) Non-believers have no such comfort - whether it's true or not.

  • eyeuse2badub

    When I was a child, I hoped that Santa Claus would bring me gifts for Christmas--and he did! At Easter I hoped that the Easter Bunny would bring candy--an she did! When I put my baby tooth under the pillow, I hoped that the Tooth Fairy would leave me some money--and they did!

    When I grew up and learned the truth about Santa, The Bunny, and The Fairy, it didn't shatter my world! So what I'm saying is that your parents and/or other authoritative figures teach/tell you things that are just not true to give us a feeling of happiness. When we see the truth of the matter it shouldn't have a major impact on our lives. It's just what it is, a happy concept to make us look forward to something good.

    just saying!

  • stillin

    Nobody has the monopoly on hope. Some things we just don't know until they happen.

  • Bugbear


    Your life cannot become more ”comfortable” by living with a lie. The “lie” will always gnaw in your mind and discomfort you and make you to brood. I am an atheist, and I have no hope in God or the Bible or in the GB. I simply don´t know in a life after death, and I admit it….. But of course when I die maybe, or not I will find out…??

  • waton

    Part of the grief is that the person that died does not share life with you any more. sorry for the life lost, cut short. so, should not the sharing of time, life without your friend be more precious, albeit emptier? Masking the loss by belief in unproven promises, is missing the point. impressing the uniqueness of life and consciousness, to live it to thefull, carrying it forward. not a comforting idea , but a strengthening I hope. and I hope.

  • Saename

    I don't think false hope is inherently bad. It's when you build your whole life around this false hope that it becomes futile and dangerous. Jehovah's Witnesses do just that. They hope for the better future. They hope God will create a paradise earth for them. The reason why it's a problem is that they build their lives around that. Sometimes, they reject a job promotion because they think it would interfere with their spiritual goals. Sometimes, they deny themselves the opportunity of getting a higher education for the same reason. Sometimes, they don't accept blood transfusions, again for the same reason. That is quite obviously a problem.

    But let's say that there is a "worldly" person who learns that she is terminally ill and most likely will be dead within a year. Let's say that she also enjoys reading books—like really enjoys. In addition, let's imagine that there will be a new book coming out in one and a half years, and she really wants to read this book. Her hope that she will live long enough to read it is in some sense "false." According to multiple doctors, she won't survive for more than a year. Is it necessarily bad if she hopes to see the book one day—if this is one of the things that keeps her going?

    There is of course another thought experiment that applies just as well. Is having no hope worse if that very same person, who happens to be an atheist, lives in a region where she has the legal right to die at any time (because of her terminal illness)? Is it worse if she also believes she won't go to hell or won't be punished in any other way for choosing to die? Is it worse if she also believes that she doesn't have to fear death because she doesn't believe in the afterlife anyway? Some would say that in such a case, choosing to die because having no hope is better. Why suffer a year of some terminal illness if you can die already without experiencing the suffering?

    So is false hope bad? Sometimes it is, sometimes it may not be. Sometimes it is for some people, sometimes it may not be for some people.

  • Pete Zahut
    Pete Zahut

    So what's next? Where is he now? Will I be able to meet him again?

    Lots of people claim to know what happens after this life is over but who can really say for sure one way or the other? What real and tangible proof is there?

    What I realized is that the notion of living forever and expecting to do so, was implanted in my mind since my childhood as a JW. Who knows if this idea of "living forever" isn't just humans being greedy?

    At this point, I'm taking a wait and see attitude. If there is another life, I don't see any reason why I won't be a part of it. I have no awareness of the time before I was born and I figure if there isn't an afterlife, then I'm no different than anyone else and I won't know the difference once I'm gone. Knowing this, makes today all the more special and it impresses on me how "lucky" I was to have been the one who beat the million to one odds and was born at all. Life is a freebie and we're all lucky to be here at all.

  • John Free
    John Free

    There was an old brother that used to say "there were no atheists in the trenches". But then, is a period of extreme fear (or in your case grief) the appropriate time to be forming personal beliefs? Or would our ability to think rationally be blurred by what would be comforting to believe?

    I would suggest dealing with the grief and shock first and giving thought to these issues at a more appropriate time.

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