What Is False Hope?

Some say hope has no opposite: that the chances of a desired outcome don’t matter because hope is just that, a desire, whether it’s false or not.

However, many other sources define it otherwise.

A few of them include:

The Urban Dictionary: false hope is looking forward to something that has a strong chance of not happening and you may or may not know it.
(Example: I’m constantly given false hope when people say me and my ex will get back together.)

Rational Wiki: false hope is hope built entirely around a fantasy, a hope that has no knowable chance of coming to fruition.

Thesaurus.com: air castle, airy hope, castle in the air, castle in the sky, chimera, day dream, fantastic notion, fantasy, fool’s paradise, golden dream, pie in the sky, unreal hope, wishful thinking;

Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary and Thesaurus: false hope is having confident feelings about something that might not be true:
(Example: I don’t want to raise any false hopes, but I believe your son is still alive.)

However these sources merely scratch the surface of the words’ true meaning. False hope is more than just a fantasy or hope built on a scant chance.

Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary and Thesaurus come closer to the truth, because in the end, the words’ meaning is based in truth, not just chance.

Why? Because hope’s truth lies in its duration.

Simply put, false hope is false when our desires are temporary and have a fixed, albeit short end.

Examples of temporary desires abound; prosperity, popularity, peace of mind, power, personal plans for the present, pleasure, and protection or security.

In and of themselves, these outcomes are healthy and good for us, but they fail when we place all our hope in them.


Read more about prosperity as a false hope later this week.

Posted in False Hope, New Series!