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Either a word for belief itself or to describe a person who believes that any task is possible often in an irrational way.

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  • Merely possible (by someone), or that the person believes that they themselves can do any task?
    – Andrew Leach
    Apr 3, 2015 at 12:09
  • 2
    "Dead" comes to mind.
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 3, 2015 at 12:11
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    Sort of megalomania? a psychopathological condition characterized by delusional fantasies of wealth, power, or omnipotence.
    – user66974
    Apr 3, 2015 at 12:19
  • 2
    It's possible there is such a word.
    – Oldcat
    Apr 3, 2015 at 18:13

7 Answers 7

2

Perhaps gullible, over-credulous, or hopelessly naive?

gullible:

Easily persuaded to believe something; credulous

credulous:

Having or showing too great a readiness to believe things

naive:

showing a lack of experience, wisdom, or judgement

It doesn't quite convey the idea that the person believes that everything is possible, though. Merely this person's inclination to believe that they are.

So perhaps combine this with something that connotes optimism or lack of realism -- e.g. (overconfident and) gullible optimist.

1
  • I appreciate your answer, but I was hoping for a more philosophical term. 'Pollyannic' was mentioned by someone, I liked the term, but it wasn't the most felicitous given the context. Apr 4, 2015 at 8:00
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Sanguine - "Anticipating the best; optimistic; not despondent; confident; full of hope."

Source; Wiktionary http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/sanguine

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  • Sanguine is a synonym for optimistic. No I wasn't looking for this term. You can read my comment in Centaurus's answer. Apr 3, 2015 at 14:26
  • Andy: I would argue that 'sanguine' is not a precise synonym of 'optimistic' as it refers to one of the 'Four Temperaments' (which are analogous to the classical Four Elements) from which all other states of mind are mythologically derived. It therefore has the connotation of being 'primal', 'basic' or 'elemental' optimism or confidence. Apr 3, 2015 at 15:02
  • I appreciate your explanation of the term, but they all sound a little too euphemistic to describe someone of an irrational disposition. Does the term 'sanguine' have the connotation of believing in something irrational? If it does I'd take it as the answer to my question. Apr 3, 2015 at 15:11
  • Not as is, no. Depending on context, someone who referred to themselves as being sanguine as opposed to confident because they believed in Alchemical principles would be a little wacky. TBF, the original question didn't request an implication of irrationality, just a term for super confidence. With out resorting to phrases, neologisms and prefixes, like 'omni-confident' and 'ultra-optimistic', I don't think you're going to find a suitable term. Apr 3, 2015 at 15:19
  • There probably should be a word, given that I personally have met several people who are close to matching this description. Apr 3, 2015 at 15:21
0

What popped into my head were "hopeless optimist" and "naive idealist". Googling this, you find a blog entitled "Hopelessly Optimistic Naive Idealist"!

Clearly the concept is regarded as humorous.

0

Pollyannic

This describes someone who believes positively in things even irrationally in the face contradicting evidence.

1
  • I had to look up this term. This is what I read The Pollyanna principle is the tendency for people to remember pleasant items more accurately than unpleasant ones. I'm afraid it's a little of place to describe the person in question. Apr 4, 2015 at 7:53
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I think I might have found the right term. It's called Quixotic - Having or showing ideas or plans that are imaginative but usually not practical. :) Origin - From the character Don Quixote in the novel by Miguel de Cervantes, whose adventures are a result of him trying to achieve or obtain things that are impossible. Meanwhile, Thanks for for all the answers. I appreciate everyone's efforts to get me close to what I was looking for.

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    If this is the answer, then a better question would have been someone whose primary characteristic is being irrationally/unrealistically idealistic. That's very different than believing every task is possible. Apr 4, 2015 at 9:39
  • @JimReynolds I know I didn't phrase my question in the best way possible, but I did mention the words irrational and believing in every possibility. Apr 4, 2015 at 9:44
  • Well, that's ok, of course. I'm curious what led you to start thinking about the question. Is it something you can share? Apr 4, 2015 at 9:50
  • @JimReynolds Nothing in particular, it was just a curious thought. I'm always looking for philosophical terms relating to human nature. :) Apr 4, 2015 at 10:22
  • Ah, cool. Me too. How did you find quixotic? Apr 4, 2015 at 10:33
-1

To answer your question as posted: "Is there a word for the belief that everything is possible?"

If someone thinks he is endowed with omnipotence, he thinks he can do anything, he thinks he is omnipotent (adj). And if He can really do anything, He is omnipotent.

  • having unlimited or universal power, authority, or force; all-powerful. TFD

  • having complete or unlimited power. Merriam-Webster

omnipotence is the noun. "Some people question God's omnipotence."

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  • 1
    I'm inclined to think this person as deranged and their belief as fantastical. :) Omnipotence is the term I would have been looking for before asking the question. On first notice Omnipotence/Omnipotent sounded like they could only be applied to supernatural entities. I don't want the term to imply that. Still I thought better of the terms with your examples. Perhaps it's still not the ideal, 'established' term for someone of the said belief or the belief itself, but so far this is the closest I've come to. I think a more humourous term would be felicitous here, hence Deranged, Fantastical. Apr 3, 2015 at 13:29
-1

I would consider them to be idealistic

adjective

  1. of or relating to idealism or idealists.

where ideal is defined as

noun

  1. a conception of something in its perfection.

Related would be idealism (emphasis mine)

The tendency to represent things in an ideal form, or as they might or should be rather than as they are, with emphasis on values.

(from dictionary.com)

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