Tag Archives: Speculation

Canada’s finance minister proposes changes to mortgage lending laws

From the National Post.

Excerpt:

On Tuesday, the Department of Finance announced three changes to the standards governing government-backed mortgages, that come into force April 19. Here are a summary of the changes.

QUALIFYING FOR A FIVE-YEAR RATE

The adjustments to the mortgage framework will require mortgage insurers to ensure that new borrowers qualify for a five-year fixed rate mortgage when calculating the gross debt service and total debt service ratios. The measure is intended to protect Canadians by providing them with additional flexibility to support mortgage payments at higher interest rates in the future.

LIMIT THE MAXIMUM REFINANCING

Borrowers seeking financial flexibility can currently refinance their mortgage and increase the amount they are borrowing on the security of their home up to a limit of 95% of the value of the property. The adjustment will lower the maximum amount of the mortgage loan in a refinancing of a government-backed high-ratio mortgage loan to 90% of the value of the property, consistent with the principle that home ownership is a tool for savings.

DISCOURAGING SPECULATION

This measure will require a minimum down payment of 20% for government-backed mortgage insurance on non-owner-occupied properties purchased for speculation. At present, borrowers may purchase a residential property with a 5% down payment. The change will require a 20% down payment for small non-owner-occupied residential rental properties. Borrowers purchasing owner-occupied residential properties which also include some rental units (such as a duplex) will still be able to access government-backed mortgage insurance with a 5% down payment.

But the CEI reports that the Democrat mortgage bailouts encourage fiscal irresponsibility.

Excerpt:

Economists and real estate experts are saying that a $75 billion mortgage bailout program designed by the Obama administration has backfired and harmed the housing market…

[…]Earlier, the government pushed through billions more in other mortgage bailouts, to bail out even reckless high-income borrowers, and forced financial institutions the government took over in the name of fiscal responsibility, like Freddie Mac, to run up billions in losses bailing out irresponsible borrowers.

Banks will now be pressured to make even more risky loans. The House has approved Obama’s proposal to create the so-called Consumer Financial Protection Agency. Government pressure on banks to make loans in economically-depressed neighborhoods was a key reason for the mortgage meltdown and the financial crisis. Yet Obama’s disturbing proposal would empower the new agency to enforce the Community Reinvestment Act without regard for banks’ financial safety and soundness.  The Community Reinvestment Act was a key contributor to the financial crisis.

The mortgage crisis was also caused by the reckless government-sponsored mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and by federal affordable-housing mandates. But Obama’s proposed financial rules overhaul does absolutely nothing about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, admits Obama’s Treasury Secretary, tax cheat Timothy Geithner, even though he admits that “Fannie and Freddie were a core part of what went wrong in our system.”

Worse, the Obama Administration lifted the $400 billion limit on bailouts for Fannie and Freddie, so that they could continue to buy up junky mortgages at taxpayer expense, and showered their executives with $42 million in compensation.

Obama’s financial-regulation plan is “largely the product of extensive conversations” with two lawmakers responsible for the corrupt status quo, Chris Dodd and Barney Frank, and it expands the reach of regulations that have been used by left-wing groups to extort pay-offs from banks.

This is why we should have elected an economist like Stephen Harper.

MUST-READ: What does the Bible say about forcing pro-lifers to perform abortions?

Story from the New York Post. (H/T Hot Air – Cassy Fiano)

Excerpt:

A Brooklyn nurse claims she was forced to choose between her religious convictions and her job when Mount Sinai Hospital ordered her to assist in a late-term abortion against her will.

The hospital even exaggerated the patient’s condition and claimed the woman could die if the nurse, a devout Catholic, did not follow orders, the nurse alleges in a lawsuit.

“It felt like a horror film unfolding,” said Catherina Cenzon-DeCarlo, 35, who claims she has had gruesome nightmares and hasn’t been able to sleep since the May 24 incident.

The married mother of a year-old baby was 30 minutes into her early-morning shift when she realized she had been assigned to an abortion. She begged her supervisor to find a replacement nurse for the procedure. The hospital had a six-hour window to find a fill-in, the suit says.

Bosses told the weeping Cenzon-DeCarlo the patient was 22 weeks into her pregnancy and had preeclampsia, a condition marked by high blood pressure that can lead to seizures or death if left untreated.

The supervisor “claimed that the mother could die if [Cenzon-DeCarlo] did not assist in the abortion.”

But the nurse, the niece of a Filipino bishop, contends that the patient’s life was not in danger. She argued that the patient was not even on magnesium therapy, a common treatment for preeclampsia, and did not have problems indicating an emergency.

Her pleas were rejected, and instead she was threatened with career-ending charges of insubordination and patient abandonment, according to the lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Brooklyn federal court.

Feeling threatened, Cenzon-DeCarlo assisted in the procedure.

She said she later learned that the hospital’s own records deemed the procedure “Category II,” which is not considered immediately life threatening.

WARNING: I am now going to be really mean. Please don’t read the rest of this if you don’t like me being judgmental against atheists.

I was thinking about the kinds of things that atheists think are “moral” and interpreting those things within a Biblical framework. I know that atheists support abortion because they don’t want to be compelled to diminish their own happiness by tending to the needs of their own baby, conceived as a result of their own irresponsible sexual behavior. So when they force a pro-life nurse to perform an abortion, what they are really saying is “I don’t want anyone punishing other people with the unhappy consequences of their own selfish pursuit of happiness, because then no one will judge and punish me when I do the same as they did”.

The problem is that atheists don’t want to be thought of as people who are willing to go as far as killing others in order to avoid facing judgment and consequences for their own actions. They have to invent some myth that justifies the abortion, instead. If they could only invent some plausible-sounding myth that would convince other people, and themselves, that their abortion was justified by some greater good. With the right myth, they could continue their pursuit of pleasure unimpeded by consequences and social disapproval. What possible myth could possibly provide moral justification for something as extreme as abortion?

Well, atheists decided to invent several myths to provide rationalization for abortion:

  • Darwinism – animals do it, and we’re just animals, so let’s do it!
  • overpopulation – we’ll all starve by 1970! Oops, I mean 1990! 2050!
  • resource exhaustion – we’ll be out of oil by 1970! Oops, I mean 1990! 2050!
  • global warming – too many people are driving cars so some have to go away!
  • embryonic stem-cell research – it will turn lead into gold, you’ll see!
  • rising crime rates – who cares about what economists say!
  • etc.

So basically they are inventing myths in order to justify abortion as a legitimate means of pursuing happiness in this life. And this made me think of how child sacrifice was used by pagan nations in the Bible. It’s exactly what is predicted in Romans 1:18-32, which is arguably the most useful passage in the Bible for understanding what our existence here is really about. They didn’t want to take responsibility for those demanding, expensive children they conceived during unmarried sex, because those children would reduce their selfish pursuit of pleasure. So they invented a variety of baseless myths in order to make abortion appear “moral” to themselves and to others.

The Bible mentions the habit of inventing “speculations” in order to avoid having to obey the moral law. Atheists feel that they are too “smart” to be restrained by authentic morality, especially one that is constantly under fire in the public schools, the mainstream media and pop culture. So they do destructive things and then are surprised to feel guilty about it. They want to be happy while sinning, and to avoid the natural consequences of sin that serve as warning signs of the judgment to come. If anyone dares to imply that there is any morality higher than selfishness, (say, by wearing a cross in public or by questioning Darwinism), then they use the power of the state to silence them.

That’s atheist “morality”. The Bible’s diagnosis of sin really hasn’t changed in 2000 years. The people who rebel against God have just found more sophisticated myths to justify their selfish pursuit of pleasure. Before, it was Molech. Today, it’s overpopulation causing global warming. And they are not afraid to enforce these myths on religious people using the power of the state. Anything to make everyone celebrate their destructive actions as though they were in fact good. And if they have to kill many people to pursue happiness, well, that’s fine on atheism – there is no “right to life” on atheism. It’s survival of the fittest. Morality is just an illusion created by evolution.

And that is why a pro-life nurse was forced to perform an abortion – because she made people who reject God feel guilty by calling attention to a real standard of objective morality which defies atheistic efforts to rationalize hedonism with speculative myths. She was telling them that we should not take the life of an innocent unborn human being just because it makes us happier to do so. She was opposing their hedonistic purposes, and the speculative myths that they had invented to justify their selfish, irresponsible pursuit of pleasure. Christian morality isn’t a headlong pursuit of selfish pleasure. It’s about self-denial and self-sacrifice – which is not pleasurable.

As I wrote before:

The great moral accomplishment of atheists in the last 100 years has been to murder 100 million people. And this is not counting the millions of deaths caused by abortion, and environmentalist bans on DDT. It also doesn’t count the millions of broken homes caused by the sexual revolution, or the social costs of raising children without fathers who go on to commit crimes.

When the intuitive awareness of God’s moral requirements conflicts with the atheistic desire for selfish happiness, atheists first do the crime, then they search around frantically for some fig-leaf to justify it as “moral”. Any speculation will do, and the “evidence” can be manufactured (at taxpayer expense) to fit the myths. They believe that if they could just get everyone to see that evil is really good, and to celebrate their selfish hedonism, then their feelings of guilt would vanish, and their happiness level would increase. Their attempts to demonize Christianity and Christians is also part of their plan – they want to celebrate their own behavior as moral and deride the behavior of authentic Christians as immoral.

The very concept of morality is illusory on an atheistic worldview.

And lest anyone think that I can’t defend the Christian worldview as true, click here and start engaging.

How I respond to atheists who speculate about unobservable entities

I noticed a new comment to my article explaining how to argue for God from the fine-tuning of the universe.

The commenter wrote this:

Hey, atheist here. Just astounded by your characterisation of the atheist’s response. I’ve never heard any atheist use the argument that humans caused the fine tuning. It doesn’t make sense because humans would still have to exist in some now corrupted timeline where the universe wasn’t fine-tuned.

I have a whole post on my blog dedicated to this topic but I’ll summarise my main arguments.

[SNIP! See below for his 8 points]

Maybe you can integrate these arguments into your post and address them, instead of a straw man?

Mike

This is a pretty good comment, with only a little acceptable snark at the end. I hate it went people write loads and loads of stuff without citing any evidence.

And I wrote this back:

Thanks for your comment. You’ll note that in my piece I cited numerous scientific facts and produced an argument that was logically valid. Now let’s take a look at what you wrote.

And here’s how I replied to his 8 points.

“1. Possibility of a multiverse.”

1) This is a speculation with no scientific evidence. Notice how I appeal to an experimental particle physicist for my conclusion.

“2. Possibility of an oscillating universe”

2) This has been disproved theoretically and observationally. Notice how I cite research papers that do not merely speculate, but are based on observations.

“3. The Vast (to use Dennett’s terminology) majority of the universe does not contain life, so to claim that life is its purpose is merely superimposing your own subjective judgement onto it.

3) This is speculation about God’s motives. You are not in a position to dictate to God how he would have accomplished his goals. If you would like to listen to William Lane Craig speak on these scientific arguments, and listen to Dennett’s LAME response, click here.

“4. Related to 3. Clearly the universe is fine-tuned to make hydrogen, since that is the most abundant substance in the universe. Life seems to be fairly far down in the priorities of the universe. Of course I’m (half) joking, but there is no reason why one natural phenomenon needs a fine tuner any more than any other.”

4) This is speculation about God’s motives. You can feel free to joke about the evidence for and against God. I don’t joke about these issues – I prefer to cite evidence.

“5. The argument flauts its own premises by posing the existence of a creator which doesn’t need a fine-tuned universe. So either the premise is wrong, or we have an infinite regress of fine-tuners.”

5) Fine-tuning is an example of intelligent design such that a selection from a field of possibilities corresponds to an independently specified pattern. I.e. – the subset of functional proteins compared to the set of possible sequences of amino acids. God is not composed of parts so is not fine-tuned.

“6. We have no idea if these constants are even capable of changing. To state that they have been fine tuned without this information is nothing more than speculation.”

6) This is more speculation. Don’t make arguments based on what “we” don’t know. I make arguments based on what we do know. You do the same.

“7. It could be that the state of the universe is unlikely, but not as unlikely as the existence of a fine-tuner. In this case it would just be a big coincidence.”

7) “It could be…” It could be that monkeys will fly out of my butt. Stop speculating about things we cannot know. Let’s see your argument, and the peer-reviewed data to back it up. This is not a game.

“8. Even if the fine-tuning argument were valid, it says nothing about the type of creator that exists, so to go from this deist creator to the Christian God is a huge leap.”

8) The argument is not meant to prove the Christian God. The argument, taken together with a bunch of other scientific arguments, is meant to prove a Creator and Designer of the universe. To prove Christian theism, you make a case for the resurrection and then debate it in public in the university. And then you respond to philosophical objections, such as evil, suffering and the hiddenness of God.

I thought it was a useful example of how to ask people for arguments and evidence, and not take a speculation for an argument.

I find that atheists speculate a lot about unobservable entities in order to escape from good scientific arguments. They speculate about hyper-universes to explain the big bang. They speculate about a multiverse to explain the fine-tuning. They speculate about aliens seeding Earth with life to explain the origin of life. They speculate about as-yet-undiscovered precursor fossils to explain the Cambrian explosion. They speculate about as-yet-undiscovered developmental pathways that use co-option to get around irreducible complexity. And on, and on, and on.

And that suggests to me a question. What sense does it make to build an entire worldview on speculations about things you cannot observe? Or is atheism not about truth, then, but instead about thinking that you are better than other people and throwing off the demands of morality? If the truth is that God exists and that Jesus rose bodily from the dead, then why try to dance around it using speculations? What possible benefit could there be, ultimately, to having blind faith in a religion just to pursue pleasure?

My entire series on how moral values and moral duties cannot be grounded rationally on atheism is here.