(suggested by Cliff)
Well, I suppose it is – simply because needing something is a more powerful urge than wanting something, right?
Let’s have a real life for-instance. As of right now, I want a beer, but I need a night off the booze. So, clearly, it would be better to deny myself the beer. (Whether I do or I don’t is quite another matter, obviously.)
Then again, let’s imagine that it was a Friday night instead of a Monday night. On a Friday night, as we all know, sobriety ceases to be a relevant consideration – meaning that I could crack on and enjoy the beer, without fretting about petty matters such as my long-term physical well-being. This is clearly the superior situation.
So, if I might be permitted to upgrade the original premise: it’s better to have and don’t need, than need and don’t have.
This philosophy lark’s a doddle, innit?