We have been dealing with the question, Why do people persist in believing things that are not true? We have looked briefly into two of the reasons so far: one, (108) that people do not take the time, or expend the effort necessary, to check out whether the data will support their beliefs; and two, (109) that there is a determined effort afoot to deliberately deceive people.
Now, I realize that conspiracy theories are generally met with a good bit of skepticism by people who want to believe that they have not been deceived, but here we again appeal to reason #1 -- have you really checked into the data to see if a conspiracy is possible? And, with the above sentence, we have introduced yet another reason why people persist in believing things that are not true: people believe what they want to believe.
Let's consider this. It is a substantiated fact that people believe things that make them comfortable, regardless of the facts. That is why there are so many different kinds of religions in the world. The logic of God is that there can be only One. All others have to be imposters. But, there are as many gods as there are religions in the world. So, all but one are deceptive imposters. Which is the right one?
One way we cannot find the truth is to decide that the one we believe in is obviously the true one. In every major religious movement there is a deliberate focus upon evangelism or, as some call it, proselytizing. But let's consider the implications of this focus. It's bottom line is that its adherents ought to be out trying to persuade others to leave the religion that they have embraced, and come over to the one being presented to them by the evangelist. This means that we understand that people have an obligation to give other religions a hearing--or our evangelism is wasted effort. But, if we are going to ask others to give up their religion because Truth has now come to light, we also have a moral obligation to be willing to give ours up if the Truth reveals that it is erroneous. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.
In other words, it is hypocritical to highest heaven to simply assume that the religion we believe is the correct one without being willing to investigate it. God is not afraid of the Truth. He isn't afraid of being investigated to see if He is the Truth. But people are. They want their religion to be the right one simply because it is theirs, and to change it would produce too much upheaval in their lives. This is what I mean about people believing what they want to believe.
We ought to be committed enough to the Truth that we would give up anything and everything if the Truth required it, but instead, we are unwilling to even check to see if what we believe is the truth.
But, we don't create Truth by wishing that what we believed was the truth. Truth is. Our desires are most likely corrupt. Many people persist in believing what is not true because it is more comfortable for them to believe a lie than to discover the truth. What about you? Have you decided to be comfortable, or correct?