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    Default Is hope a good thing? Virtue of vice?

    “Hope clouds observation.”
    ― Frank Herbert, Dune

    It has always puzzled me, why was hope in Pandora’s box? It was among the worst evils of all existence, and in some versions it never left, what does that mean? I don't get it.

    Anyway do you guys think hope is something good or bad?
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    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Is hope a good thing? Virtue of vice?

    That will most likely depend on whether someone is socialized to an individualistic or collectivistic society.

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    Default Re: Is hope a good thing? Virtue of vice?

    Wikipedia says that might have been a translation error from the original Greek, so it might not be hope as much as false hope.

    Through personally, I'd say that hope is no more evil than pride or ambition, just depends on what you do with it.
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    Default Re: Is hope a good thing? Virtue of vice?

    Depends on just how you define hope. Because hope could be seen as the thing that makes human society tick, at a very basic level. We get a job because we hope that it will work out for us, we seek a partner because we hope that we will find one, we generally are prepared to suffer now, for gains we hope to achieve later. One could argue that without hope, we'd all just lie down and die, because we simply would not have the ability undertake anything with less then 100% guaranteed chances of success right now.
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    Default Re: Is hope a good thing? Virtue of vice?

    I remember two explanations, either hope remaining meant the it hadn't left people behind or instead a monster that would have destroyed hope was still trapped in the box. I think the description was of some winged thing which would whisper exactly how things were going to fall apart to people.

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    Default Re: Is hope a good thing? Virtue of vice?

    Virtue or vice, it's an evolutionary prerequisite to life.

    False hope can be crushing, but even it has its uses. The absence of hope is despair. And despair, if left unchecked, can have devastating effects on psychological health. Clinical despair, as defined by Psychology Today, can lead to depression, or sometimes the other way around, and increases the risk of self-harm or even suicide.

    Not to be mushy, but hope is a driving force of humanity. It gives us the strength to endure our tribulations, and helps us aspire to greater things. It grants us the power to believe in a better future, even if we do not believe we will survive to see that better future.
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    Default Re: Is hope a good thing? Virtue of vice?

    Quote Originally Posted by S@tanicoaldo View Post
    “Hope clouds observation.”
    ― Frank Herbert, Dune

    It has always puzzled me, why was hope in Pandora’s box? It was among the worst evils of all existence, and in some versions it never left, what does that mean? I don't get it.

    Anyway do you guys think hope is something good or bad?
    Hope is cruel. Does not he who is without hope, even hope of an intolerably painful consequence to suicide, suicide?

    He who hopes lies at the mercy of all ills.

    Pandora was the cruelest of all women.
    The mind is a big place, and worth fighting for.

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    Default Re: Is hope a good thing? Virtue of vice?

    Hope will encourage somebody to carry on when there is no possibility of success. Hope will cloud a person's judgement, and encourage them to continue with a course of action, where a dispassionate evaluation would have made clear the necessity to change.
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    Default Re: Is hope a good thing? Virtue of vice?

    I once heard it described like this

    hope is believing it is possible, but you doubt it will happen.

    faith can get you there as a springboard

    But knowingness is where you want to be.

    Hope = less than 50%
    Faith = 50 to 99%+
    Knowingness = 100%

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    Default Re: Is hope a good thing? Virtue of vice?

    Hope is an emotion. Emotions aren't inherently good or bad, only what you do with them.

    They are however a part of what makes us human. Like with any emotion, one can't let hope control you - but to deny its influence is just as foolish, if not worse.

    To let hope cloud your judgement is to try to attain the impossible without realizing it. But to forsake hope is to give up on any kind of challenge in your life because "it will probably fail anyway". The latter is a favorite approach of overly cynical types by the way, the kind who consider themselves realists and those less cynical than them to be naive and idealistic. Can't stand them.

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    Default Re: Is hope a good thing? Virtue of vice?

    Whoa. I never knew hope was in Pandora's Box/Jar.

    Well, hope is classically defined as a virtue (at least regarding what I have in mind), and I think I'd have to agree. I think hope, like other virtues, enables you to do things that people who lack hope couldn't/wouldn't.
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    Default Re: Is hope a good thing? Virtue of vice?

    Quote Originally Posted by S@tanicoaldo View Post
    “Hope clouds observation.”
    ― Frank Herbert, Dune
    It's worth keeping in mind how much of an arrogant jerk Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother Mohiam is portrayed as being, in both Dune and Dune Messiah - just because she thinks that, doesn't mean that she's right, or that, even if she is right, occasional "clouded perception" is not an acceptable price to pay for the benefits of hope.
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2018-02-18 at 07:26 AM.
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    Default Re: Is hope a good thing? Virtue of vice?

    I always had the [possibly false] impression hope was added as a damage limitation (whether intentially or sneaking in). So the net effect was like setting someones house on fire and then giving them a hose.
    But it seems there's some confusion about what Elpis was, what it means to be in/out the jar, and some mixing of multiple stories.
    Last edited by jayem; 2018-02-18 at 09:03 AM.

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    Default Re: Is hope a good thing? Virtue of vice?

    I echo the sentiment that false hope is generally bad. I also believe that even justified hope, in excess, can be a bad thing. More generally, excess has the capacity to make any virtue a vice. I don't know if this is universally true--I'm sure there are counterexamples, but I can't think of any at the moment. The capacity for compassion, for example, is generally considered a good thing--however, compassion that clouds prudent decision-making may lead to reckless or foolish actions. When people think of aggression, they generally envision examples of aggression in excess leading to pretty bad situations, but I would argue that channeled aggression, in moderation, can also be what drives people to create or to protect.

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    Default Re: Is hope a good thing? Virtue of vice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Xyril View Post
    I echo the sentiment that false hope is generally bad. I also believe that even justified hope, in excess, can be a bad thing. More generally, excess has the capacity to make any virtue a vice. I don't know if this is universally true--I'm sure there are counterexamples, but I can't think of any at the moment. The capacity for compassion, for example, is generally considered a good thing--however, compassion that clouds prudent decision-making may lead to reckless or foolish actions. When people think of aggression, they generally envision examples of aggression in excess leading to pretty bad situations, but I would argue that channeled aggression, in moderation, can also be what drives people to create or to protect.
    You're smacking of Aristotle's doctrine of the mean.

    DESPAIR<--------HOPE-------->BLIND FAITH
    The mind is a big place, and worth fighting for.

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    Default Re: Is hope a good thing? Virtue of vice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Donnadogsoth View Post
    You're smacking of Aristotle's doctrine of the mean.

    DESPAIR<--------HOPE-------->BLIND FAITH
    Oh, I wasn't even thinking of that, because I've never liked that expression. Though the term mean probably has classical connotations that are different, to me it always makes me think arithmetic average, which makes me think zero or neutral. I'm all for hope fairly heavily biased towards the blind faith end of the spectrum, just safely away from actual blind faith.

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    Default Re: Is hope a good thing? Virtue of vice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Xyril View Post
    Oh, I wasn't even thinking of that, because I've never liked that expression. Though the term mean probably has classical connotations that are different, to me it always makes me think arithmetic average, which makes me think zero or neutral. I'm all for hope fairly heavily biased towards the blind faith end of the spectrum, just safely away from actual blind faith.
    Nevertheless it's a cool idea.

    How about the Golden Mean? 1:1.6. Then it's more idealistic but still prudent.

    DESPAIR<- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - HOPE- - - - - - - - - - >FOLLY
    The mind is a big place, and worth fighting for.

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    Default Re: Is hope a good thing? Virtue of vice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Donnadogsoth View Post
    Nevertheless it's a cool idea.

    How about the Golden Mean? 1:1.6. Then it's more idealistic but still prudent.

    DESPAIR<- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - HOPE- - - - - - - - - - >FOLLY
    It's hard to quantify hope, but on a scale of 0 to 1, I'd agree 5/8th seems like it would be in the right range to me. Funny how it works out.

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    Default Re: Is hope a good thing? Virtue of vice?

    Hope, for me, illustrates an elevated expectation. But it's not necessary for survival. Case in point:

    You can perfectly assess a choice to have a, say, 1% chance of success, and still choose to do it, because it still beats the other option.

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    Default Re: Is hope a good thing? Virtue of vice?

    Hope is a virtue, in the most classical sense. You need hope to intentionally perform anything good, because you wouldn't do it, if you weren't hoping that it will be good. Which introduces us to the epistemological subdivision of "knowing", "hoping", and "believing", in how we evaluate our perspective actions.

    The Greek thing is different, of course. I am not really sure of what the scene in Hesiodus means. I mean, I can translate it:

    μούνη δ᾽ αὐτόθι Ἐλπὶς ἐν ἀῤῥήκτοισι δόμοισιν
    ἔνδον ἔμιμνε πίθου ὑπὸ χείλεσιν, οὐδὲ θύραζε
    ἐξέπτη· πρόσθεν γὰρ ἐπέλλαβε πῶμα πίθοιο
    αἰγιόχου βουλῇσι Διὸς νεφεληγερέταο.
    "Hope alone there in the unbroken abodes
    remained inside, beneath the jar's edges, nor out of the door
    flew away: for first she pushed the lid of the jar
    according to the wills of aegis-bearing Zeus, the cloud gatherer."

    Hope could in theory be the worry for the future, or even fear (I doubt it, however). But I think that the scene means that while we cannot control the bad things outside the vase, hope, be it good or bad, is a psychological part of us, that only resides in man.

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    Default Re: Is hope a good thing? Virtue of vice?

    I have read that Hope was placed with the evils to prevent mass suicide; but when I was a child, my version does not mention that. So I always interpreted it that Hope was placed there so we could stand against the evils of the world.

    In either version, it is a virtue, the only thing that allows man to stand against the evils of the world - better than courage, loyalty, or even love. "The miserable have no other medicine, but only hope."
    Last edited by Scarlet Knight; 2018-02-20 at 09:16 PM.
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    Default Re: Is hope a good thing? Virtue of vice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarlet Knight View Post
    I have read that Hope was placed with the evils to prevent mass suicide; but when I was a child, my version does not mention that. So I always interpreted it that Hope was placed their so we could stand against the evils of the world.

    In either version, it is a virtue, the only thing that allows man to stand against the evils of the world - better than courage, loyalty, or even love. "The miserable have no other medicine, but only hope."
    Hope
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    All people discuss it and dream on end
    Of better days that are coming,
    After a golden and prosperous end
    They are seen chasing and running
    The world grows old and grows young in turn,
    Yet doth man for betterment hope eterne.

    ’Tis hope delivers him into life,
    Round the frolicsome boy doth it flutter,
    The youth is lured by its magic rife,
    It won’t be interred with the elder;
    Though he ends in the coffin his weary lope,
    Yet upon that coffin he plants—his hope.

    It is no empty, fawning deceit,
    Begot in the brain of a jester,
    Proclaimed aloud in the heart it is:
    We are born for that which is better!
    And what the innermost voiceconveys,
    The hoping spirit ne’er that betrays.

    --Friedrich Schiller
    The mind is a big place, and worth fighting for.

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    Default Re: Is hope a good thing? Virtue of vice?

    Quote Originally Posted by S@tanicoaldo View Post
    “Hope clouds observation.”
    ― Frank Herbert, Dune

    It has always puzzled me, why was hope in Pandora’s box? It was among the worst evils of all existence, and in some versions it never left, what does that mean? I don't get it.

    Anyway do you guys think hope is something good or bad?
    My interpretation of the version of story where hope is last thing left out is fairly straightforward: with all the other evils out, life is not worth living, but because of hope, people will stupidly think it is and prolong their own suffering.

    As has been noted, there are other versions and other, more positive readings.

    But to answer the title question: hope can be a virtue, and even necessary, in a setting where everything isn't a lost cause. The reason is simple: people can't foresee far into future with certainty, so without hope, it's easy to fall into despair or just fail to muster motivation to work towards any uncertain outcome. There is a degree of self-fulfilling prophecy and irony in this: quite often, whether you have enough hope to start acting is what determines if you succeed. That is, if you fall into despair in face of uncertainty, you will certainly fail. Where as if you have hope in face of uncertainty, through your hope you will succeed.

    Or, as little green man once said: "Do or do not. There is no try."

    This said: in any setting where failure is guaranteed, hope is just a delusion. Some people use this to distinquish between "hope" and "false hope", but really they're the same emotion. Once again irony rears its head: to realize one's hope as false they must acknowledge certainty of failure, but it is their hope which keeps them believing in a chance of victory.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
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    Default Re: Is hope a good thing? Virtue of vice?

    I hope it will happen.

    I have faith it will happen.

    I know it will happen.

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    Default Re: Is hope a good thing? Virtue of vice?

    Hope robs deeds of their significance. Without it, every act is done for its own sake, for its intrinsic value. With it, this is no longer that case, they are done for reasons outside of themselves.

    Green text because I don't know if I meant that or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frozen_Feet View Post
    There is a degree of self-fulfilling prophecy and irony in this: quite often, whether you have enough hope to start acting is what determines if you succeed. That is, if you fall into despair in face of uncertainty, you will certainly fail. Where as if you have hope in face of uncertainty, through your hope you will succeed.
    The fact that I somehow managed to pass my classes goes against that, though that's anecdotal evidence.

    EDIT: Or as a bearded man who was bad at expressing his ideas said: "Only the Sith deal in absolutes".
    Last edited by NovenFromTheSun; 2018-02-21 at 06:06 AM.
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    Default Re: Is hope a good thing? Virtue of vice?

    I said often, not always. I'd also like to hear who let you pass a class if you fell into enough despair to not do a thing.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."


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    Default Re: Is hope a good thing? Virtue of vice?

    Well, I did the class things mostly so my parents woundn't ask questions I didn't feel like answering.

    (More seriously, I wanted to say i at least made the attempt).
    Last edited by NovenFromTheSun; 2018-02-21 at 06:57 AM.
    I imagine Elminster's standard day begins like "Wake up, exit my completely impenetrable, spell-proofed bedroom to go to the bathroom, kill the inevitable 3 balors waiting there, brush my teeth, have a wizard fight with the archlich hiding in the shower, use the toilet..."
    -Waterdeep Merch.

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    Default Re: Is hope a good thing? Virtue of vice?

    Hope means expectations, expectations means frustration.

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    Default Re: Is hope a good thing? Virtue of vice?

    If we're talking ancient Greeks, (vain) Hope and Despair would probably be equally evil as extremes. Rational expectation would be the good in the middle.

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