“What do you want, and why do you want it?”
You may be thinking this question does not fit with the others. But it does. Many of our conclusions are affected more by our wants than by our reasoning. I recently heard a joke about a guy who decided he should not eat donuts. But he was finding it very difficult to hold his donut free conviction. And in his struggle he said, “Maybe God just doesn’t want me to stop eating donuts. So he decided that if there was an empty parking space in front of the donut shop when he passed, that would be a sign from God that he was not to stop eating donuts. “And sure enough,” he reported to his small group, “on the fourth time around the block . . .”
What we want influences what we think. And it is important to examine our wants and the reasons for them as we are trying to determine the truth.
In his book, Ends and Means, Aldous Huxley wrote, “I had motives for not wanting the world to have meaning; and consequently assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption.”