Answer by Kris Rosvold:
As an atheist I agree with your teacher, in one sense. That is that humans do need Hope in order to remain sane. While this need for hope is true, where her assertions go off the rails is that she (apparently from her words) can't conceive of a person gaining hope from any source besides a god.
This last part is blatantly false.
I derive all the hope I need, and more from:
The smile or laughter of a child.
The pleasure of making a good meal for my family or friends.
The nuzzles of my Darling Wife.
The trust my clients place in me.
The continuing growth of family farms.
The sheer beauty of sunrise.
A a kiss from my Darling wife
The stunning beauty of a sunset.
What more do I realistically need?
Now, I don't fault your teacher for being so terribly wrong. It's really difficult to see things clearly when your eyes and heart are clouded by blind faith.