My Venture into Personal Finance

I’ve moved all of my posts on the subject of personal finance to a new blog at: ProtectionFromInflation.com.  I initially started the blog on a free WordPress.com site and then moved it to a secure host that I manage.  Judging from the initial response I received from the new blog I probably left some of you hanging.  So the new location for ProtectionFromInflation.com is here and it has the same content I had on the free WordPress site.

To give you some background, when I started thinking about retirement, I realized that this was a difficult subject to master.  It was pretty troubling to me that so many people were wandering around with so little reliable information available to them.  I learned that one of the most important and under-served topics was the topic of inflation.  As a retiree, inflation becomes a very serious financial enemy.

Actually, inflation is an enemy to everyone, but we tend to not notice it when we are young.  It’s like a disease that we don’t see until we get older.  When we are young we are still working and our wages tend to go up with inflation, but the fact that the money we earn today can’t buy the same thing next year is still a problem when we are young.

Thankfully, I discovered that there was a relatively simple solution to the problem.  It was a little hard to find and there was a lot that distracted me from it.  I’m pretty sure that most people don’t know what it is and how to do it.  That’s what I hope that I can help with.

I’m also working on providing new software that will help us track our inflation protection.  Stay tuned…

 

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A “Neutral” Government?

If philosophical neutrality is a fallacy, as I previously asserted, then building a government on this philosophy is a critically serious problem.  It appears to be a trend in governments across the world and it looks like a plan forged by the powers of darkness to me.

Peace does not come by the careful application of a fallacy.  It only comes through love and proper reasoning and that will mean that those who are thinking irrationally will have to be exposed.  That exposure doesn’t feel very good and some will fight to death over it, but I know from experience that true humility brings peace when we are finally willing to admit that we are wrong.

I was reading a report from a few years ago, about a Canadian ruling that was addressing the contents of prayers before meetings.  I am told that they were warning that there are prayers that may not be legal.  This appears to be a clear case of philosophical absolutism to me.  The United States has it share of the same kind of thing, as do other countries.

We may be tempted to assert that a government should stay out of speech related issues, but in reality, how can they?  A government must assert a philosophy of some kind or else it cannot function.  It has no choice.  The problem with what governments are doing is that the philosophy they are asserting is often irrational.  You can’t rationally assert a philosophy that assumes that no philosophy should be asserted. A government built on a foundation of irrationality is in no position to bring about peace or anything else.

With great sorrow, I see the problem again in the recent speeches of both President Trump and Vice-President Pence.  Their words sound like an attempt to respect all religions and creeds, even though it is obvious that they can’t.  In many of the same speeches, they rightly express that that there are certain creeds and religions that they do not respect, such as those that kill people or promote the destruction of the United States or disrespect its constitution.  Are these not creeds and religions?  This is confusing to say the least.  That’s not what made America great.

If they intend to go back to America’s foundation, they must return to the doctrine of Christian tolerance which asserts that although Christians don’t respect other creeds and religions, they do tolerate them to a degree in civil life, because that’s what Jesus expects us to do until He chooses to deal with them Himself.  Christian tolerance is built on the concepts of free will, grace (meaning favoring others when they don’t really deserve it), and the fact that Jesus is still alive and able to take care of the wicked without our help.  Christians desire that all men will come to know Jesus by willingly accepting His offer.  This means that, according to Christian tolerance, there can be no force when it comes to individual choice either.  This is the basis for American liberty and it also happens to be non-neutral.

So why is this a big deal?  It’s because it’s this issue that leads a people toward either liberty or tyranny.  If a government doesn’t have the authority over life, liberty and personal property, it definitely doesn’t have authority over the Creator that endowed those rights.  Any government that thinks it does that is indicating that it believes it is the supreme authority in certain matters.  Even if taking God’s place isn’t intentional, that’s what is being communicated and it leaves the door open to serious future problems.  Even now we are seeing the desire for philosophical respect drive the followers of various ideas to converge against Christianity, asking that it either comply or be silenced by “civil” government.  Since Christian tolerance is the basis for our liberty,  freedom as we know it is in serious danger.  What governments must do is to acknowledge that their right to rule comes from the God of the Bible, the true One that the Christians have acknowledged.

Other brands of neutral thinking have already been used in the west and have failed quite miserably at critical times.  Recall that Neville Chamberlain attempted to bring peace in his time using a method that would allow the UK to respect Hitler’s choices.  President FDR signed a peace agreement with Japan in a similar gesture right before we entered the war.  It’s important for us to remember how well those things worked out.  How about those Israeli peace agreements?

It’s important to ask ourselves: What good is peace if freedom is taken away?    There is a way for peace and freedom to coexist, but it depends on Christian philosophy, because that’s the only way they fit together without the government becoming an irrational tyrant.


I have developed a social news site called AmenMe.com.  Please come and visit!

Purchasing Health Insurance?

If you are looking to purchase health insurance, and you are a Christian and go to church on a regular basis, I highly suggest that you look into Christian Healthcare Sharing.

Healthcare sharing between Christians is actually better than insurance in many ways.  It’s a huge group of people who are committed to sharing each other’s medical bills.  In a very real way, it’s a strong move back to what God intended Christians to do.

What got me looking for insurance alternatives was a move my company made to force us to an insurance company that was known to be participating in abortion.  I could not bear the thought of having even one cent of my premium used for someone else to have an abortion.  My move to Christian Healthcare Sharing was fundamentally a conscientious one, but I was also interested in it would cost.

I was surprised to find out that even with the significant amount of help my company provided, it was still a pretty good deal to go with Samaritan Ministries and that was a couple of years ago.  Some have recently reported a $500 per month reduction in cost.  I researched about four different ministries and Samaritan was the one that best aligned with my beliefs and my goals.  The thing that really stands out with Samaritan is that the organization doesn’t even touch your money at all.  You send your money directly to those who have needs, every month.  All Samaritan Ministries does is to direct your payments.  They keep track of where the needs are and whether or not they are legitimate and within the scope of the Samaritan Ministries Guidelines that all members must agree to.

I’ve been a member now for over two years and as Samaritan Ministries has grown, it has added new options.  There are options for young healthy members who don’t really want to spend much money, as well as options for the big family that really needs to know that all their emergencies will be met.

There’s even an option to share a few dollars more per year to have needs met should they exceed $200,000.  Needs in the millions have been successfully shared.  When you have that kind of commitment from other Christians, it is a very comforting thing.  It’s comforting to know that you are following God’s pattern in the Bible for how Christians should help each other.  It’s also critical to know that you are not participating in things that grieve God’s heart.

I encourage you to go to Samaritan Ministries and check it out and tell them that you heard it from Troy Taft.  That will help me too.  Thank you.

You can also check out the videos of what members have to say about Samaritan Ministries.

Tree Ring of Truth

If you watched the debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye, you may remember that Bill Nye used tree ring evidence to support the idea that there was not a global flood 4,000 ago.  He said that they found evidence of a tree that was dated by humans to be 9,500 years old.

Beside the fact that there’s a big difference between 10,000 and 5,000,000,000 (the supposed evolutionary age of the earth, a problem that wasn’t really addressed), he was playing on a childhood belief that there is only one tree ring per year on a tree.

A little research into the science of tree dating reveals that it is a well known fact that, sometimes, trees produce more rings than one in a year.  I wouldn’t throw away your belief in a young earth based on Bill Nye’s arm chair analysis.

To learn a bit more about the assumptions that go into dating trees, see these articles:

Do Tree Rings Disprove the Genesis Chronology?

Evidence for multiple ring growth per year in Bristlecone Pines

Remember, evidence isn’t proof because scientists can be wrong.  Even when something is likely to be true, it doesn’t mean that it is true.  Sometimes, unlikely things happen.  In this case, it wasn’t even unlikely.  Sometimes, trees produce more that one ring a year, and scientists already know this.

Believing in Science

The evidence for God’s existence is everywhere.  The same evidence is used by both atheists and evolutionists.  This evidence is found in biology, geology, chemistry, astronomy, paleontology, physics and everything else.  The most obvious evidence for God’s existence is the Bible.  It’s hard to top a written document that explains things, but somehow, this most obvious evidence, is often ignored.  This demonstrates that the problem isn’t evidence, it’s how that evidence is being interpreted.  Because evidence has to be interpreted, there is absolutely no way to do science without a faith.  Allow me to restate that.  If you must interpret scientific evidence, then your method of interpretation, or faith, is a prerequisite.

Let’s consider “faith” in “the law of cause and effect.”  We must “believe” in the law of cause and effect, or doing experiments wouldn’t be possible.  When we do an experiment, we naturally “believe” that the experiment is the cause and that the result is the effect.  If we didn’t then we couldn’t do any science at all.  We must also “believe” in the existence of “laws of nature.” Isn’t that what science discovers?  If there were no laws in nature, why do science?   Somehow, we “know” that nature has laws.  We make these assumptions and these assumptions form our faith.  The sum of all of the things we believe or “take for granted,” is what we call a “worldview.”

Requiring evidence for a worldview is not rational because your worldview tells you how to interpret evidence.  The Bible provides us with a worldview.  Requiring evidence for it would never prove it, because any evidence would simply be reinterpreted by the worldview of the person considering the evidence.

Did you know that there is a mathematical model for the geocentric (earth is the center instead of sun) view of the solar system?  I am told it is possible to chart the movement of objects in the sky using this model with success.  The model, however, is extremely complicated.  If one insists on the fact that the earth is the center of the solar system, the evidence can be interpreted that way.

I am also told that at one time, Galileo tried to convince the skeptics of his day that the moon wasn’t a perfect sphere, as Aristotle had stated.  He had them look into his telescope and see that the moon was covered with craters and valleys.  They refused to believe their own eyes!  They stated that there must be an invisible crystalline sphere that  covered the moon, filling in its valleys and craters.

These examples demonstrate the limit of evidence.  It cannot prove anything, ultimately.  It can confirm a person’s ideas but it is amazingly inconclusive when faith is involved, and faith is always involved.  Why couldn’t the earth be the center of the solar system?  Why couldn’t there be an invisible crystalline sphere around the moon?  Evidence alone won’t prove the point!  If you try to live by evidence without faith, you will always be easily confused.  I tend to believe the simplest answer, if God doesn’t say otherwise.  The Bible tells us that God is a God of love and hides things for us to discover.  It makes sense that God’s science would be fascinatingly simple.

The faith problem explains why so many evolutionists and atheists disregard the best evidence of God.  They find ways, based on their faith, to disregard things, like the Bible.  It is consistent with their faith to re-interpret evidence, but to so and then act like others shouldn’t, is very inconsistent.  I find that, in general, evolutionists and atheists don’t actually want evidence for God or the Bible, they already have faith in something else that causes them to use the evidence the way that they want.  They may think they are being “neutral,” even though that doesn’t exist, but they are merely holding to their worldview.  If something disagrees with their worldview, they simply create a new possibility, based on the unknown, and reinterpret the evidence.

Bible believers actually have a more strict position.  Unlike evolutionists, I can’t just make things up.  God’s words are pretty clear and never change, and I have to stay consistent with them.  It is true that when I don’t understand something I use conjecture, just like the evolutionists, but I try to stay within the confines of what God has said.  I’m not asking evolutionists for evidence, though, because I am aware that the real issue is that evolutionists have an opposing faith.

I have a good reason to believe in God and science.  Evolutionists and atheists don’t have a good reason to believe what they believe.  The demand for evidence is just being used as a way to suppress the fact that what they believe doesn’t make sense.  Take the “law of cause and effect” for instance.  How can evolution explain the existence of a law like that?  If things change randomly, what’s to stop the law of cause and effect from changing randomly?  As far as I can tell, evolution doesn’t provide a rational framework for the existence of any law.  In order for an evolutionist to believe in science at all, they must irrationally rely on biblical assumptions.  The Bible says that the earth was created by a Person who never changes and makes laws.  Because of that, I have a real reason to believe in science.  Evolution, however, cannot rationally support the worldview that must be assumed in order for science to exist.

 

The Fallacy of Neutrality

Neutrality is actually a fallacy. That’s because “neutrality” is a position.

A person who decides to be neutral is taking a position of neutrality, therefore, they are not being neutral.   They are relying on a self-refuting logical argument. Not only that, they are implying that every philosophy that takes a position is wrong, usually while convincing themselves that it is an expression of tolerance!

It is not unusual to hear people assert that they come to scientific evidence neutrally, but this a denial of the obvious fact that everyone takes a position.  Evidence can’t talk (even though some say it speaks for itself). Evidence requires a method of interpretation or else the “evidence” is just a set of objects without significance.  To deny the method of interpretation is another way to deny taking a position.

It is also common for nations, business and individuals to claim the be neutral in regard to religious beliefs.  Once again, this attempt to tolerate them all, denies them all since all of them are asserting their own position.  Just because a person claims to not be doing something, doesn’t mean that that is what they are actually doing.  You can claim to love someone while harming them.  The same thing happens when a person claims to be religiously neutral and then disallows any of them to be expressed.  The fact is that a secular position is being promoted under the disguise of “neutrality.”

The claim: “I am neutral” is itself a non-neutral claim because it assumes that “Neutrality exists.” Asserting this claim, is taking a position against those who don’t believe it exists. When a person asserts a position, they are not being neutral. Therefore, the claim that neutrality exists is a fallacy.  Dr. Jason Lisle calls this fallacy: “The Pretended Neutrality Fallacy” in his book “The Ultimate Proof of Creation”.

Both Evolutionists and Creationists aren’t really neutral. They may convince themselves that they are, but by choosing to believe in neutrality they are not only taking a position, they are being irrational. It’s understandable that evolutionists would be irrational, because they don’t have a basis for logic or morality in their worldview, but Christians actually have a moral obligation to be rational because it’s biblical.

Christians are supposed to be honest about the fact that they are not neutral. Jesus said that people were either for Him or against Him. He never said that there were people who were “on the fence.” Instead, He made it clear that the fence didn’t exist. By doing this, He exposed everyone’s position. Claiming to be neutral is to say that Jesus is wrong. When you say that Jesus is wrong, you taking a very bold, non-neutral position.

So, the claim that a person is neutral is fallacious because it is based on the non-neutral position that neutrality exists.  Christians should be aware of this and not be persuaded by the fallacy of neutrality.


I have developed a social news site called AmenMe.com. Please come and visit!

Bill Nye and the “No True Scotsman” Fallacy

It is evident that Bill Nye committed a significant logical error in the recent debate with Ken Ham at the Creation Museum.  The problem with a logical fallacy is that it can sound right to people, even though an argument hasn’t really been made yet.   This article explains the fallacy that Bill Nye committed every time he would contrast “us in the scientific community” with “Ken Ham’s creation model”.  This article does a great job of addressing what the “no true Scotsman” fallacy is, how Bill Nye committed it and how he was merely insulating himself against responding to the issue.  Instead of answering with a discussion about why Ken Ham’s creation model wasn’t scientific, he merely implied that real scientists don’t use it.  In a very real sense, Bill Nye didn’t actually debate the issue.

You can read more about Bill Nye’s use of the “No True Scotsman Fallacy” here.

Here’s a great quote from it:

…early creation scientists forged the paths of each of today’s major scientific branches of inquiry, like Isaac Newton’s physics,4 Matthew Maury’s oceanography, Louis Pasteur’s immunology,5 Michael Faraday’s electromagnetism,6 and George Carver’s agriculture.7,8 Are we to believe that Newton and Pasteur were not real scientists?

Apparently, facts like these do not matter to someone who is so fully committed to the false idea that real scientists only believe in evolution that he is more than willing to adjust the very definition of scientist to preserve his argument.