San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Friday, November 7, 2014

Investment Allocations And The 4% Rule

I was reading the newspaper the other day when I came across an article informing me that the 4% rule needs to be amended.  For those of you who might not be familiar with it, the 4% rule is the standard advice given by financial gurus about how much of your retirement portfolio you can withdraw each year and not end up running out of money before you run out of life.  This article predicted a very difficult time for both stocks and bonds over the next twenty to forty years and, based upon that negative appraisal, decided that the 4% rule needs to be adjusted down to the 2% rule.  In other words, if you have a million dollar portfolio (who doesn't these days?) you can draw a maximum of $1667/month from it if you do not want to run out of money at some point during your retirement.  That is down from the current recommended high of $3334/month calculated under the 4% rule.  Pretty depressing, isn't it? If you scrap and save and invest from the moment you start your first job and you keep working until you are 65 years old you should be able to accumulate a million dollar portfolio.  But then, after all of that sacrifice and future orientation, you can only safely draw $1666/month from your retirement account.  Why bother investing if the payout is going to be so miserably low? Why not spend it all today on wine, women and song?  Or, if you are Welsh, why not blow it all on Welsh rabbit and turnips?
I have always thought the 4% rule was one of the most stupid things to come out of the mouths of financial advisers.  They adopted the rule because they believe that the only safe investment portfolio is one that contains a mixture of stocks and bonds.  The stock market, as we all know, is far too risky to be fully invested in, they say.  The companion rule to the 4% rule is the investment allocation rule that tells you to invest the percentage that is equal to your age in bonds.  For example, when you are 25 years old your investment allocation for that year should be 25% to bonds and 75% to stocks.  By the time you are 75 years of age, if you are still investing, you should be putting 75% into bonds and 25% into stocks.  That is some of the worst advice you could ever be given.  Let me explain why.
The long term total return on your portfolio is almost entirely dependent upon the investment allocation decisions you make early in life.  For longer periods of time, generally at least greater than 15 years, bonds will always have a lower total return than stocks.  There is no 20 year time period in the history of this country where bonds have outperformed stocks.  None.  Since that is true and since your retirement portfolio is, by definition, a long term investment, why would you ever allocate a single penny to bonds?  Answer:  because you are either a market timer or you are afraid of bear markets, or both.
The total returns I just described assume the individual investor stays fully invested in stocks the entire time.   That means he does not attempt to time the market.  That means he does not try to predict what the future might hold and then switch his investments back and forth between bonds, cash and stocks.  It means making the simple decision to let time work its magic and stay fully invested in the stock market.  As simple as that sounds almost nobody is capable of doing it.  Fear of down markets causes the vast majority of those who make the right decision to invest in stocks to make the wrong decision to time the market.  Or, even worse, fear of down markets causes many to abandon the stock market entirely. 
I was not old enough to care about an investment portfolio in 1967.  As a result I missed out on a fantastic opportunity.  Since 1967 the stock market, measured on an annual basis, has had a negative return ten times.  In addition, the three worst periods for stocks, outside of the Great Depression, have occurred since 1967.  In the period from 1973-1974 the stock market dropped 47%.  From 2000 to 2002 the stock market dropped 49%.  And, as if you all don't remember, from 2007-2009 the stock market dropped a whopping 57%.  To top it all off, the stock market dropped a mind-boggling 20% on just one day in October of 1987.  With all of those horrendous bear markets how could it be possible to realize a decent rate of return in stocks?  Certainly the advice to keep an ever increasing percentage of my portfolio in bonds must be sound.  What seems obvious if often completely untrue.
There is a stock mutual fund that came into existence in 1967 that is available to the public as I write this post.  There is nothing special about this fund in that it is not a top ten pick or a fund that has a reputation for being the best in the country over time.  This stock mutual fund invests in a diversified portfolio of domestic stocks.  If you had started to invest into this fund in 1967, what do you think your average annual rate of total return would be as of today?  If you guessed 11.7% you would be correct.  In other words, by being fully invested in the stock market since 1967 and weathering all of those scary bear markets you still would have realized almost 12%/year in total return.  There is another domestic stock fund that began operations in 1934. This fund is also open to anyone who wants to put some money into it.   Do you care to guess what its long term total return has been?  I wasn't around in 1934 but if I had been I sure wish I would have started a long term investment program into this fund.  From 1934 through today this particular fund has averaged 12.3% per year in total return. 
I hope you are getting the point.  If you have been steadily investing into a stock mutual fund that has averaged 12%/year over its lifetime you can most certainly withdraw more than 4%/year from that fund without having to worry about running out of money.  In fact, if you had retired in 1967 and if you had placed all of your retirement assets into that one fund that began in 1967, you could have withdrawn 11.7% of the account each year and you would still have all of your original principle.  Because of inflation I don't think it is necessarily a good idea to draw 12%/year from a retirement account but if you control your fearful emotions about bear markets and commit yourself to a 100% stock fund investment allocation you can most certainly ignore the 4% rule.  Your retirement need not be so peevish as the 4% rule followers tell you.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Call For Unconditional Surrender In The War On Terror

Now that the Republicans have won control of both houses of Congress I have a suggestion for them.  I don't normally write open blog posts to politicians since I consider it to be a total waste of my time.  Congresspeople are not interested in being instructed or advised by their constituents, especially Welsh ones.  They are far more interested in posing, posturing, receiving adulation, padding their retirement pensions and ruling over us than they are in learning something about the world in which we all live.  Nevertheless, although I realize everything written here will fall upon blind eyes, I will do it anyway.
It seems like a long time ago since King George II declared war on a noun. You remember what it was like.  The twin towers had fallen and most citizens in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika were afraid for their lives.  It was a completely irrational fear, of course, but rationality usually has very little to do with full blown blind panic.  Like terrified little children the sad citizens of this sorrowful land immediately looked to their gods and prayed for safety.  The politician-gods were quick to answer those prayers.  Among other things, like the abomination known as the Patriot Act, our most high and holy King declared that he would wage perpetual war against those who scare us.  With that declaration the war on terror began.
It is difficult to wage war on a noun.  Does anyone know what constitutes a "terror"?  I don't.  All I know is what our present King, the most high and holy King Obama, tells me.  According to him a "terror" is defined as anyone who opposes SDA imperialistic advancement who also happens to have the courage and the fortitude to strike back at SDA military forces that are occupying his country.  It does not take a logical genius to see the problem with his definition. After 9/11 the SDA military attacked Iraq and Afghanistan.  The goal, or at least we were told it was the goal, was to find and kill those responsible for the twin towers disaster.  We were informed that an armed militia by the name of Al Qaeda was responsible for the attack and that the general of that group was a man named Osama bin Laden.  A list of a dozen or so important members of Al Qaeda was drawn up and SDA forces were sent off to find and kill them.
Fast forward to today and the situation is much more clear.  All of the men on the list of important terrorist operatives are long since dead.  Osama bin Laden ended up being killed while living in Pakistan of all places.  We waged a war against the Taliban in Afghanistan for no reason related to the war on terror whatsoever.  We also waged a war against Saddam Hussein in Iraq for no reason related to the war on terror whatsoever.  And now, after the unsuccessful prosecution of two imperialistic wars, the number of people in the Middle East who can be classified as terrorists who hate the SDA is quantum leaps larger.  For every terrorist we have killed, two more have jumped up in his place.  It is like the story of the Sorcerer's Apprentice.  Every time SDA forces kill one terrorist two more appear.  The more we kill, the more we create. Clearly it is the SDA itself that is responsible for creating the enemies it is seeking to kill today.
The war on a noun has also expanded geographically like King George II never expected.  He thought a quick military operation in Iraq and Afghanistan would get the job done.  Indeed, he proudly pronounced that the mission had been accomplished shortly after SDA forces had taken over Iraq and the Iraqi government.  But like all dictators, King George had to learn a very hard is far easier to conquer a people than it is to control a people.  No empire in the history of the world has ever successfully controlled an indigenous people.  Eventually all imperial powers are forced to turn and flee from the guerrilla fighters who are fighting for their freedom and their homeland.  Why no dictator has ever figured out this truth is a mystery to me.  I guess all of them think that the next time will be different.  It never is.
The war on terror has now expanded from Afghanistan and Iraq to Pakistan, Yemen, Egypt, Libya, Somalia, Nigeria and Syria, where a new Islamic state, or Caliphate, has been formed.  The number of warriors engaged in battle against the imperialistic forces of the SDA has multiplied exponentially.  The cost of unsuccessfully attempting to control these divergent groups is bankrupting the SDA, but the King does not care.  His honor is at stake and there is no price tag on his honor.  He will fight to the bitter end even if it ends up bankrupting and killing all of his loyal subjects.  That is the way a good dictator always goes down.
I have a suggestion on how to end the war on terror.  It is a simple one, but it won't be a popular one.  It will solve the entire problem quite literally overnight if it were to be applied.  All we have to do to stop the fighting is to declare an unconditional surrender and remove SDA military forces from everywhere in the world they are presently stationed which happen to be outside SDA geopolitical boundaries.  The only reason this war continues to escalate is because the SDA continues to escalate it by continuing to be an occupying force in nations where we are not welcome.  If we stop the escalation the war will stop....immediately.
I can hear the howls of dissent as I write this.  Are you kidding?  If we bring SDA military forces home we will immediately be attacked by every other country in the world.  Why will they attack us?  Because they hate our freedom and they want our property, you will say.  Give me a break.  The only reason the SDA is universally despised around the world is because we are a despotic imperialist power that is bent upon forcing the citizens of the world to conform to our will.  The moment we stop terrorizing the citizens of the world is the same moment we stop having terrorists who oppose us.  The only reason we are opposed is because we are doing things we should not be doing in countries in which we do not belong.
There is no country in the universe that even comes close to being a threat to the national security of the SDA.  None.  If we bring all of our forces home and mind our own business we will not be invaded or attacked by any other sovereign nation or body of terrorists.  None.  In fact, we might find something wonderful happens.  If we bring all of our forces home we might discover that people around the world want to trade with us. (As a side note, take a moment to remember Vietnam....we surrendered to them and we are trading partners with them today.)  We might discover that people around the world like the things we build and they just might want to buy them from us.  We might discover that when we don't spend all of our time killing the citizens of the world those very same citizens might end up becoming customers for the corporations that operate in this pitiable country. 
Alas, what I write will never be.  War is the health of the state.  War is what keeps politicians in business.  War is good for government.  It does not matter what war does to everyone else.  What is good for government is what always shall be.  Career politicians do not care about you or your business.  They care about their careers in politics.  One of the best ways to maintain the status of career politician is to maintain the status of perpetual war.  That is the nature of the country in which we live and, sadly, it will never change.  
As a postscript, if you are one of those crazed loonies who believes the SDA military has a moral obligation to protect one group of people in a sovereign foreign nation from another group of people in that same sovereign foreign nation, please answer a couple of questions for me.  First, how do you determine which group of people in that sovereign foreign nation to support?  Second, how do you select which country to become involved with in the first place?  Practically every country in the world has groups within it that oppose each other.  How do you decide to invade Afghanistan and not invade North Korea?  Third, why should I, as a citizen of the SDA, be forced to pay for the security of some group of people in a foreign land?  Fourth, please show me examples where these foreign interventions have been successful in our past.  For example, you might show me how Panama, Nicaragua, Libya, Iran, Vietnam and Iraq are all sterling examples of successful intervention on our part.  Fifth, please predict how my proposed unconditional surrender could in any way be worse than the unintended consequences of every single foreign intervention the SDA has ever propagated.  Good luck with your answers.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Musings On Election Day Festivities

Yesterday was an interesting day.  It was election day.  I hope you exercised your constitutional right to not vote for any candidate.  I certainly did.  So did my wife.  A couple of folks, family members mostly, found out that we did  not vote and got very angry with us.  We were told that our not voting meant we had actually cast votes for Obama.  Since Obama is a lame duck president who was not even running for office I had a hard time understanding how that could be true.  We were also told that we voted for Mark Udall.  How not voting gets turned into granting a vote to a candidate we didn't vote for mystified both of us.  Still, who are we to argue with those who know better than us?  We were also told that by not voting we had lost the right to criticize any politician for the next couple of years.  Nobody seemed to understand that the fact we did not vote for any of those seeking office was our first act of criticism for each of those candidates.  In addition, nobody seemed to realize that casting a vote for a person usually means you are affirming that person and not simply reserving the right to criticize him at some point in the future.  I guess when it comes to election time all rational thought is thrown out the window.  That makes sense actually.  Politics is the most cherished religion for most of the citizens of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.
I am accustomed to the unfair attacks upon my position of not voting.  It happens all the time.  Refusing to participate in the most holy sacrament of the government (voting) will draw a lot of negative attention.  It is like refusing to stand up and sing the most holy national hymn at a baseball game.  That tends to attract a lot of beer poured upon the head and hate stares from highly patriotic citizens.  As I was watching the television last night and seeing all of the totally predictable events that took place it occurred to me that there are many more logically contradictory behaviors associated with the political process than what I have written about in this blog previously.  Today I would like to bring some of them to your attention.
The concession speech is a fascinating thing.  I watched a couple of them last night.  They all say basically the same thing.  It begins with the "congratulations to my opponent, he ran a great race" phrase.  Then there is usually some form of statement about the importance of closing ranks and expressing some sort of unity.  That amazes me.  Do you see why?  There is one thing that must be true about concessions speeches.  Either they are a lie or everything the candidate said about his opponent prior to the election is a lie.  I guess it is possible that both the concession speech and all of the things said about the opponent before the election could be lies but I will exclude that possibility for now.
During the election for SDA Senator, Udall and Gardner (the hotly contested campaign for the SDA Senate seat from Colorado that drew much national attention) said tons of horrible things about each other.  Short of calling each other the devil or Hitler, they spared no vitriol as they called each other every imaginable name in the book.  The clear message of each candidate was that if his opponent was elected the entire SDA would soon be in hell.  Then, immediately after it was announced that Gardner had defeated Udall, both candidates appeared speaking politely about each other.  That makes no sense at all.  Gardner should have congratulated the voters for selecting him and keeping us out of hell.  Udall should have criticized the voters for sending us all to hell.  The two candidates certainly should not behave with civility towards one another.  They spent millions of dollars telling us they have irreconcilable differences and represent two opposite poles of the political spectrum and then, immediately after the election is over, they deny everything they said previously.  Which one is the lie?
The election in Colorado had a lot to do with abortion.  The Democrats, in particular, kept pounding away on the theme that if a Republican is elected women will lose their "reproductive rights" and their "right to choose" and no longer be permitted to murder their babies.  Well, as we all saw, the Republicans won the election.  The Republicans have control of both the SDA Senate and House.  That means any legislation they want to pass they will be able to pass.  There are no longer any obstacles to passing any legislation the Republicans want to pass.  And the Republicans all told me, during this past election cycle, that they want to outlaw abortion.  Now here is my question....does anybody really think that the Republicans will deliver a bill to Obama's desk that will outlaw abortion?  Neither do I.  That makes every single one of those stinking Republicans a hypocrite and a liar.  And people still fall for their lies.  Right now people are praising the god of the state for the favorable outcome of having more Republicans in office.
One of the most amusing things that takes place after an election like yesterday's is the fact that terms like "landslide" and "tidal wave" start being used to describe what happened.  I heard two different political reporters describe the election that way.  I heard several of the winning candidates talk about how they now have a mandate from the people to pursue their particular agendas.  Everyone seems to agree that the Republicans now have a mandate from the citizens of the SDA to do whatever it is they promised to do.  It is hard for me to distinguish between the mandate the Republicans are claiming for themselves and the mandate the Democrats would have claimed for themselves if they had won because they contain essentially the same legislative items.  Regardless, there is something here that everyone is missing.  All talk about a mandate is misplaced.  Do you know why?  Let me show you.
Colorado has a population of 5.3 million people.  Of that 5.3 million citizens, 4.0 million of them are over the age of 18.  In other words, Colorado has 4.0 million citizens who are eligible to vote.  In the most hotly contested election of the year, Udall vs Gardner, a grand total of 1.868 million votes were cast for the five candidates for the SDA Senate office.  That represents a grand total of 46.7% of all possible votes.  That means that 53.3% of the eligible voters exercised their constitutional right to not vote yesterday.  That means that the majority of those who were eligible to vote in Colorado yesterday declared their opinion that none of the candidates was worthy to fill the office of SDA Senator.  There was a mandate from the people yesterday.  It was a clear mandate.  But it was not the mandate we are hearing about today.  Cory Gardner garnered 923,000 votes in his winning campaign for the Senate seat.  That represents 23.1% of the available votes.  How can any candidate in his right mind claim a "mandate from the people" when he received less than a quarter of the available votes? 
Why do the media, or the politicians for that matter, refuse to report on those of us who cast the non-vote declaring that "none of the above" were suitable for us?  Why do the actions of the clear majority of the eligible voters in this land end up being consistently and constantly ignored?  Why do no reporters inform us that the clear mandate from the people is that they are fed up with government in all of its forms and prefer to be left alone?  Yesterday's election is not the first time this has happened.  Indeed, in almost all mid-term elections and in many presidential election cycles the greatest voting bloc is made up of those who make the entirely rational decision to not vote.  If the majority rules, and it does in a democracy, then why are any career politicians making the claim that they represent anyone but a tiny minority of people they have managed to convince to vote for them in exchange for a portion of the forthcoming largesse?  The entire process stinks.  Everything that happened yesterday and everything that is being said about it today stinks.  If you voted yesterday I feel sorry for you.  It is going to be very hard to get the stink off of you.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

American Humanist Association's Debauched Morality

Yesterday's post to this blog contained seven sets of circumstances under which the members of the American Humanist Association believe it is morally permissible to kill an unborn baby.  Although logically required, by their own ethical terminology, to describe those sets of conditions under which an abortion would be immoral, the AHA refused to provide those circumstances.  Quite clearly the AHA was more concerned with recruiting new members by appealing to the millions of women who have killed their unborn babies than they were with elucidating moral truth.
Today I am going to analyze the ethical system used by the AHA to arrive at their morally dubious conclusions about abortion.  The very bottom of the full page ad they took out in Sunday's Denver Post said this, "Humanism is a philosophy that engages in a search for truth, moral values, and emotional exuberance from the natural world of experience. Free of faith-based claims of holy sources of truth, it derives its life goals from our collective judgment of what best serves human fulfillment and personal integrity rather than theological or ideological abstractions."  Wow!  That is a mouthful.  I am going to have to break that down piece by piece.
I am not quite sure where the AHA came up with its definition of itself but it is not quite accurate.  Humanism is defined by the fact that it presupposes that God does not exist, or, at least, if He does exist He has no interaction with the world in which we live.  Rejecting the God of the Bible as the source of truth, the humanist installs his own thoughts and feelings as the ultimate arbitrator of what is true and what is false.  To claim, as the AHA does, that humanists search for truth in the "natural world of experience" is not precise enough.  Those who search for truth through experience within the natural world are called empiricists.  Empiricists need not be humanists and humanists need not be empiricists.  Leaving that aside however, we can conclude that humanists have made the irrational decision to believe that human begins are the measure of all things.  They did not prove that God does not exist. They simply presupposed Him out of the picture.
Christians refer to humanists as secular humanists, to separate them from the historical group of Christian humanists that existed around the time of the Reformation.  Secular humanists are, by definition, proponents of the religion of evolution.  They believe in the faith based postulates of the evolutionary religion with no empirical evidence to prove or support them whatsoever.  In this sense they are similar to Christians.  Nobody was around when the world came into being.  It is therefore logically and scientifically impossible to describe the events that took place at that time in any terms other than religious or faith-based statements.  Everything everyone believes about the origins of the world and human beings is, by definition, a religion.  One significant difference, among many potential differences, between Christian belief in God's creation of the world and the humanists belief in the eternal existence of matter and the evolutionary process that brought mankind into existence is that only one of them provides a foundation for ethical thought.  Can you guess which one it is?
If we presuppose that evolutionary materialism is correct, as the humanist does, there is no basis for making any ethical claims.  What is simply is.  There is no reason why something should be called right and something else should be called wrong.  Natural selection, mutation and enormous amounts of time have no right or wrong.  What lives today does so because it was the fittest for the environment in which it lives.  Simply put, it is impossible to get to a philosophical system of ethics from a biological and physical system of materialistic evolution.  There is no bridge to span the gap between man as a pure biological entity and man as an ethical being.  Hence, no secular humanist should ever be permitted to talk about something being right and something else being wrong.  To make ethical assertions a humanist has to deny everything he affirms about man and the nature of the universe.  It should not be permitted.
The AHA claims to "search for truth."  What can that possibly mean in their system?  Truth is little more than what is.  You want the truth?  It is that some things survive and some things do not.  There is nothing more than that.  The AHA also claims to be searching for "moral values."  How is that possible?  Where do these moral values come from in a universe made up of eternally existent matter and energy that has progressed to the point we find it today by means of materialistic evolution?   Moral values require some sort of personality and there is no personality in matter and energy.   Human morality is a philosophical concept that cannot come from the merger of two atoms or the recombination of DNA.  No matter how many times that DNA might mutate and no matter how long we wait, the concept of moral philosophy will not emerge spontaneously out of matter, energy or a piece of deoxyribonucleic acid.  The AHA finally claims to be engaged in a search for "emotional exuberance."  What in the world is that?  I have no idea.  I just hope they don't get any of it on me if they ever do find it.
The above definition proudly proclaims that it is "free of faith-based claims of holy sources of truth."  That is only partially true.  Although they whole-hardheartedly reject the truth claims found in the Bible, they embrace a whole host of faith-based claims about the nature of reality.  Claiming that God does not exist is a faith-based claim.  Claiming that materialistic evolution is true is a faith-based claim.  Claiming that humanists are somehow mystically empowered by the materialistic universe and, therefore,  enabled to pursue truth is a faith-based claim.  Indeed, practically everything the humanists say is a faith-based claim.  Let's set aside the false distinction between faith-based and whatever it is humanists believe their doctrines are based on, shall we?  Let's agree that we all proceed in this arena entirely by faith.
The definition given above goes on to happily inform us that humanists "derive their life goals from their collective judgment of what best serves human fulfillment and personal integrity..."  How a personal and individual life goal can be derived from something called the "collective judgment" is not described.  That seems like a pretty difficult thing to accomplish to me.  Moreover, where does the humanist get the moral authority to talk about human fulfillment and personal integrity?  Those are ethical concepts that have no place in his materialistic universe.  Still he talks about them.  I wonder why?  Could it be that his concept of right and wrong comes from an individual soul that was created by God and implanted in him at conception?
Notice how the beliefs of the humanists sound a lot like socialism.  That is no accident.  Christian theologians have described how every society that has ever existed has had some system of law. Whatever the source of law is within a society is always equivalent to the god of that society.  Christians believe that God's law, as recorded in the Bible, should be the law of the land.  God's law is the expression of His moral perfection and all men are measured by it.  All God-haters reject that view.  What do they put in its place?  The AHA answers that question for us.  They write, "Our nation was intended as a secular nation without the divine authority of a monarch or pope.  Our laws were intended to be enacted as a product of discourse among 'we the people' about our collective judgment of what serves the general welfare."  Now that is all very interesting.
With absolutely no philosophical platform whatsoever to advance a moral philosophy, the humanists claim they have somehow been magically endowed with the ability to formulate and frame moral constructs.  Then, with absolutely no moral platform to work from, the humanists believe that by putting together a bunch of people who agree only on one thing, that God does not exist, it is possible to create a body of law that will "serve the general welfare", whatever that means.  Where do they keep coming up with this stuff?   Do they have no sense of logical contradiction at all?
The reference to "collective judgment" in the above definition is important.  In essence what the humanist is saying is that all law in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika should be made by a consortium of people who hate God and reject the Bible as God's law for mankind.  Once that group of God-haters has been endowed with political power they should formulate law based upon majority vote.  Whatever the majority agrees is moral is what is moral for today.  It may change.  Tomorrow the majority might decide that the opposite thing is moral and, tomorrow, that is the way it will be. Does this sound familiar to anyone?  It sounds a lot like life in the good, old SDA to me.
One day marijuana is moral, the next day it is not.  One day it is moral to put my kid in a car seat that faces forward, the next day it is not.  One day it is moral to smoke a cigarette, the next day it is not.  As I look out my window I see groups of citizens gathering together to vote on the law.  I live under millions of those laws.  One of those laws says I must pay a fee to the government to pay for my neighbor's children to go to government school.  If I do not pay that fee I will have my home stolen from me and sold to the highest bidder.  Another law says that I must pay 30% of my income to the federal Treasury.  The great majority of what the Treasury spends my money on is immoral.  Too bad for me.  If I don't send the Treasury 30% of my money I will go to prison.  As an employer I have to pay for health insurance for all the female employees in my company.  I must include abortion coverage in my health insurance plans for those employees.  If I don't I am fined and, ultimately imprisoned if  I refuse to comply.  Humanists call this a moral system.  They rejoice when my money is forcibly extracted from me and given to women who have made the morally correct decision, according to their debauched ethical system, to kill their babies.  Meanwhile the decision to steal my money is also deemed to be moral.  Fascinating isn't it?  Just look at the extremes a God-hating association will go to suppress their innate knowledge of the truth.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Seven Justifications For Murder

The American Humanist Association took out a full page ad in the Denver Post yesterday.  I am not sure what the purpose of the ad was.  On one hand I think the pagan group known as the American Humanist Association is attempting to solicit new members by explaining their particularly debauched moral philosophy.  On the other hand they were also clearly trying to advance the cause of abortion advocacy.  I will address their morally bankrupt ethical philosophy tomorrow.  Today I am going to focus on their view of abortion.
The ad began with a bold print headline stating, "We believe that the world would be a better place if every child born was wanted."  Although true, the assertion is fundamentally tautological.  I believe the world would be a better place if everyone had free and unfettered access to chocolate cake.  I believe the world would be a better place if government got off our our backs and stopped stealing from us.  I believe the world would be a better place if people quit hurting each other and calling each other nasty names.  In other words, I believe the world would be a better place if the world were a better place.  The statement is true but it does not tell me much about the real world.
The article goes on to inform me that, "The objection of anti-abortion organizations to abortion is based on the religious belief that a soul enters the embryo at conception....However, many women do not share those beliefs.  They base their moral judgement on what they believe is best for themselves, their families and society....Government should not dishonor their moral perspective by imposing criminal laws derived from sectarian religious beliefs....When morals are based on human experience, there are many reasonable circumstances by which women may choose to abort."  The article then goes on to specify seven specific sets of circumstances where abortion is a moral choice.
The American Humanist Association apparently does not believe it is necessary to provide an argument against the view of "anti-abortion organizations" that oppose the killing of unborn people based upon a belief "derived from sectarian religious beliefs."  In the view of the AHA, merely stating the position of Christians on the issue is sufficient to refute it.  Talk about disrespecting your opponent!  All I have to do is accurately describe your position and once I have completed that process it is so obvious your view is wrong I do not even have to show why.  What arrogance is displayed in these tolerant and compassionate people.  Or is it because they do not have the ability to refute the Christian position?  The members of the AHA simply presuppose that God does not exist and that morality comes from their own inner feelings.  Then, based upon how they feel about something, they pronounce Christian ethics to be in error and advance a theory that permits murder in at least seven different sets of circumstances.
I am fascinated by the fact that, in this article at least, the AHA does not advance the theory that abortion is always moral, regardless of circumstances.  They simply say that there are "many reasonable circumstances by which women may choose to abort."  Does it follow from that assertion that there are sets of circumstances in which women may not choose to abort?  They don't say.  Nevertheless, I believe it logically follows from what they have written.  If they have made the distinction that there are circumstances in which women may abort then it necessarily follows that there must be some other circumstances in which they would declare abortion immoral.  That creates a very interesting dilemma.
Most proponents of abortion adopt the view that abortion is nothing more than a surgical procedure to remove unwanted tissue.  Yes, the tissue is living, but so is the tissue removed in other surgical procedures.  In their understanding of abortion, killing a baby, or fetus, is no different than killing fat cells via liposuction or killing an appendix via an appendectomy.  It is clear for all to see that if an abortion is merely the removal of unwanted tissue there are no sets of circumstances under which it could ever possibly be immoral.   For whatever reason the AHA does not adopt that position.  Instead, they decide to offer up some examples under which abortion is a morally permissible activity.  Let me tell you about the seven examples they give.
  1.  Murder is moral if it can be determined that the person you are murdering was conceived via a sexual union that was not 100% consensual.  Since the law defines "consensual", in at least one instance, as being between two people who are at least 18 years of age, if a person was born of the union of an 18 year old man and a 17 year and 364 day year old woman that person may be morally murdered.  This gives license to kill all people who were the product of rape or incest.  I suspect it should also give license to murder all people who were conceived after the wife said she had a headache and the husband copulated with her anyway.
  2. Murder is moral if it can be determined that a woman will suffer a diminution of her "quality of life", whatever that is, if she does not murder her child.  The AHA defines "quality of life" as "not having the resources to care for more children" but they never to give a specific number.  I need to know that number.  If I murder my child and make more than the allowable amount I am guilty of murder.  If I murder my child and make less than the allowable amount I am innocent of all charges.  Every person in the world needs to know their "resource number" before they start killing their children in order to determine which abortive act is moral and which is not.
  3. Murder is moral if the condom broke.  It is also moral if a woman gets pregnant while taking the pill.  The AHA does not say if it is still moral if a woman missed a day in her pill regime.  I need to know the answer to that question.  If I can kill my child because a contraceptive technique allegedly failed, how far can I be held responsible for that failure?  If it is murder to kill my child, when it is not my fault and a morally proper execution to kill my child if it is the fault of the contraceptive company?  I need to know how to determine fault in each case of conception.  Not surprisingly, the AHA provides no guidelines to help me in my quest.
  4. Here is a fun one.  Any person who is under the age of 18 is given free reign to murder at any time.  Age is the all important determinant.  It is entirely possible that a woman could morally execute her child when she is 17 years and 364 days old but if she waits one day longer she becomes an immoral murder.  Why age 18 is the magic number is not described.  
  5. Murder is moral if the woman who is pregnant was lied to by the man who got her pregnant.  Since most men lie to the women they are trying to have sex with I suspect this would grant women the right to morally execute just about every baby they have ever conceived.  Why the baby should be executed for the lies of the father is not explained.
  6. Murder is moral if the baby is "genetically predisposed to developing serious diseases."  Exactly what constitutes a "serious disease" is not defined.  What percentage of genetic predisposition to disease is required to turn a killing from a murder to a morally correct action is not explained.  It does seem odd to me that mothers who make the decision to not murder their babies because they have some sort of genetic abnormality discover that the government then gives those babies most protected status immediately after birth.  The Amerikans with Disabilities Act ensures that genetic abnormalities will always be granted special privileges from the government.  How strange it is that the privileges granted to the baby one second after it emerges from the birth canal are not granted to it prior to birth.
  7. Murder is moral if the woman wants to have a career.  The concept of career is not defined.  Does a career require a particular position?  For example, could it be considered to be a career if a woman wants to work as a maid in a motel one day per week?  How many hours per week must the woman want to work for her ambitions to be called a career?  We need to know these numbers.  Otherwise the woman will not know if she is a paragon of moral virtue or a murderer.
The article went on to say that there are "many other reasons" why a woman can murder her child and be considered to be a woman of great moral character.  The fact that a woman cannot murder her child for any reason, however, continues to beg the question....what sets of circumstances would make the practice of abortion immoral?  I wonder if the AHA is going to run a full page ad in the newspaper next Sunday describing the seven sets of circumstances under which an abortion would be immoral?  I rather doubt it.