Saturday, January 01, 2011

[1566] HITCHENS’- STOCK GUYS- AND THE GRAND DESIGN- Let me talk a bit on how we, as human beings, allow ourselves to believe things- things that we know are wrong- but it makes us feel better to believe them- so we do. First- those of you who are stock/financial advisers- this post is not meant to undermine your field, but to reveal how we at times make decisions that are not in our best interest. A few years ago, before I retired from the fire dept., we had some company come in and offer us a supplemental investment thing- it basically was a 401k type thing- not our main retirement [one of the few fields that still have traditional retirements]. At the time I was the only person who invested and stuck the money in a guaranteed instrument- it was a C.D. type thing that guaranteed around 4 %- tax free. Everyone else followed the stock advice and eventually lost around half of their money- this was right before the market crash. Only one other friend did well- he followed my advice and put his money in the fixed account. Now- are all stocks bad? No. But if I were to tell you that I have this investment for you- it might make 6-10 % [which was about what you could make at the time] or you might lose it all- O-one more thing- this investment also rides heavily on THE WORDS A SINGLE MAN SPEAKS [Federal reserve chairman- Warren Buffet- the treasury secretary- etc. etc.] That is this investment can lose millions/billions in a single day- if the market interprets the words of this man in a negative way [yes- this has happened more than once]. Or you could invest in another instrument [heck- even a 10 year treasury note was yielding around 3.5 at the time!] that on average might make a few points less, but this investment is guaranteed to not go down and you will never lose your initial investment [theoretically]. Of course, any sane person would pick the safer- better investment. But the advisers never tell you this- because their jobs depend on you not knowing this! So as my buddies lost their small fortunes [and mine rose] I watched as they would ask me ‘gee John- you think I should pull out now- I lost 30 thousand’ and of course it was too late. Then as a year or 2 rolled by, the advisers kept saying ‘well- we invest for the long haul- we don’t ride these ups and downs’ so everyone felt good- like they might recoup their initial loss. Then after a few more years most of the financial guru’s [cnbc, Bloomberg, etc.] started saying ‘now it’s time for people to accept they will never again make back the money they lost- but because you’re so broke now- you can’t afford the safe investment- so YOU MUST be in the market now!’ and Walla- most people stayed in the market- took advice from the same people who ruined them. Okay- the point is we at times don’t want to accept the possibility that we were hoodwinked- we want to believe the lie!

So as I continue to read Chris Hitchens book- god is not great- he seems to sound like these stock advisers in the above scenario. Hitchens makes the case for atheism and says ‘look at the wonders of the human intellect- the Hubbell telescope- we can see billions of stars and galaxies- or look at Stephen Hawking's theory on Black Holes- how he theorizes that we can pass a point called the Event Horizon and be in a place where both the future and the past collide’ [this is simply a theory by the way- we don’t know this as fact]. And then Hitchens compares these great discoveries of man with the bible ‘and look what the bible gives us- a burning bush!’ He basically is glorying in the intellect of man [which is Hitchens god, he glories in his own intellect much- and yet this same ‘intellect’ makes glaring mistakes in knowledge, logic and the basic facts of the subject he is covering- if your gonna glory in anyone’s intellect- at least find one that makes sense!]. Okay- where’s the flaw in his logic? All Christian apologists have shown-over and over again- that the heavens, galaxies, black holes- and any other phenomena like this- are proofs of the greatness and majesty of God. There are actual bible verses that say this ‘the heavens declare the glory of God- the firmament shows his handiwork’ [Psalms] ‘God has revealed himself to us thru the creation he has made’ Romans chapter 1. I mean no Christian appeals to the burning bush story as a sign of the majesty of God. Everything Hubbell discovered, or Hawking found out- was simply AN OBSERVATION of a grand design [the name of Hawking's latest book]. For Hitchens to appeal to the greatness of creation- and then use this greatness as an argument that God does not exist- well that’s like listening to the stock adviser say ‘being you stuck with me this far- into poverty- might as well stay on for the rest of the ride’.

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