Stephan Arkadyevitch Oblonsky held his political beliefs as personal convenience. Don’t we all? It seems to me that the only disingenuous group of people are those who call themselves “independent thinkers.” They are merely the only ones who don’t recognize or don’t own up to their own biases.

Someone discerns God’s voice based on the belief that God wouldn’t want them to be unhappy or to experience pain.

“Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.” Prov 21

“Reason, thy viceroy in me, me should defend/ But is captived and proves weak or untrue,” John Donne, Holy Sonnet XIV

People believe what they want to believe (First Hard Fact #1).

If I want to live my life a certain way, then I will find a way to rationalize it. When a contradiction arises between my expressed beliefs and my wants, I must either silence it’s expression, downward select portions of that belief, or reinterpret the tenets so that I feel consistent enough. So the real business of life change involves recognizing these patterns and reminding myself of what I want in order to momentarily defeat a habit. And as a spiritual being it is joyfully true that I can also want to change my wants. But I rely upon something external to myself for this to happen.

O wretched man that I am…

he shall give thee the desires of thine heart (Prov. 37:4).