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Moses syndrome

(1) A delusion characterized by uncritical belief in the promises of others to lead one to the Promised Land, e.g., to beauty, youth, wealth, power, peace of mind, or happiness. (2)  A delusion characterized by the belief that one has been chosen by a god, destiny, or history to lead others to the Promised Land, e.g., some goal such as "putting the sciences on a firm foundation" (Descartes) or belief in such things as "the eternal law of nature that gives Germany as the stronger power the right before history to subjugate these peoples of inferior race, to dominate them and to coerce them into performing useful labors" (Hitler).

The Moses syndrome should not be confused with the baby Moses syndrome (the hope-in-a-basket fallacy), a kind of defense mechanism whereby one deceives oneself into inaction by the wishful thought that somebody else will eventually come along to solve your problems for you and save you from disaster.

Last updated 20-Dec-2013

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