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Hope In Material Realms

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Material Realm Hope has (1) religious, (2) philosophical, (3) formal non-religious, and (4) informal subdivisions. When the Western world borrowed African ideas contained in "Hope" they removed its Metaphysical aspects. Hope's etymology in ancient Germanic is 'the expected good'; in Indo-European 'hop,' a leaping up in expectation; and in the Middle English verb, 'to hopen'--"to expect something" or "to look forward to." One European definition of Hope today is "the desire that all one believes in is possible." In Subdivisions (1) and (2) much shaping of modern European history was by tensions between Greek philosophy and Biblical Christian understanding. For the ancient Greeks Hope referred to the future as a neutral expectation, the content of which could be either pleasant or unpleasant. By contrast, Biblical thought understands Hope as the expectation of a good future which rests on God's promise. A problem with both the Greek and Christian arguments is they are formatted by the flawed Greek Formal Logic. One is its primary concern with the correctness of the pattern of thought by analysis rather than from the Spiritual perspective of African Tradition's emphasis on the truth of thought by means of Synthesis. Another is that whereas African Logic always starts building a Thought Structure from a “real” or Truthful foundational base, correct Greek logic may start with the correct, the unreal, or the wrong assumption for a foundation. Still another is African logic emphasizes what one thinks to build a solid thoughtful structure, but Greek logic emphasizes how one thinks when one thinks correctly. These three can and do lead their followers far off the path of the Truth. Most likely this comes from the authority's intention to control and discipline the people. Another problem with both these Greek and Christian arguments is, despite advocating a sort of certainty, their foundational base is shaky. Examples: "For the religious to believe in and hope for what is said to be the promises of God is to seize faith"; Or "Hope moves the will to trust in eternal happiness and the all-good God."

Note the essence of what these say is wrong because the assumption (major premise) they used to begin their arguments is wrong—and not because it does not make sense. In fact, it makes perfect sense to the naive. A job of Critical Thinking is to find the assumption lurking behind the (quite valid) conclusion. Thus their major premises about what God says or does or thinks do not stand the test of Truth because they have no way of knowing that. Question El Dorado's expression: "Better to Travel Hopefully Than To Arrive," by asking: "How do you know that?" Are these not merely opinions of European philosophers and religious leaders?

In Subdivision (3) Non-Religious Hope deals with the future in the sense of a vision of possibility that might be realized in the Material world--a sense giving rise to the popular definition: "Hope is eagerly looking ahead with confident expectation" and though hard to attain it is not impossible to attain. What is expected here is to get something or to not get something--and either can be of a good or evil ("I hope my ex-husband/wife dies") nature. Often what drives this is the sorrow of the present. In Subdivision (4) Informal Hope has a wavering uncertainty; is more on the order of a wish; has an emotional and hedonic (pleasurable) element; and is characterized by an idea of a favorable outcome of future events--"I hope it happens." Ones only cost by hoping is the risk of the possibility of disappointment. Even then, its effects are lessened by "Hope for the best but prepare for the worse"--i.e. continue to prepare for the "what ifs" of reality in case what is hoped for does not arrive. In short, Viable Material Realm Hope is a mental sentiment inside a present material unreality and possessing the desire for a specific good or evil potential possibility to evolve into its actualization.