Tuesday, 26 May 2015


Excerpts from The Battle for the Beginning by John McArthur:

Either there is a God who created the universe and sovereignly rules His creation, or everything was caused by blind chance. If God rules, there is no room for chance.  God’s rule and chance are mutually exclusive and inherently incompatible.  If chance causes or determines anything, God is not truly God.
But chance is not a force and cannot make anything happen.  Chance is nothing. It does not exist. And therefore has no power to do anything.  The outcome of the flipping of a coin is not a matter of chance, rather, the outcome is exactly determined by all the laws of physics associated with the flipping of the coin and the properties of the coin itself.  Under precise laboratory conditions the outcome of a coin-toss will be predictable and repeatable. The only variable, where the laws of physics do not apply, is the decision to toss the coin—or not.  Without this initiative there can be no outcome.
Chance is contrary to every law of science (chance precludes anything from being observable and repeatable), every principle of logic and every intuition of common sense.  The most basic principles of thermodynamics, physics and biology suggest that chance simply cannot be the determinative force that has brought about the order and interdependence we see in our universe.
God is the uncaused cause.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The Bible: Genesis 1:1

Randomness - a lack of pattern or predictability in events.
Probability - the measure of the likeliness that an event will occur.
Luck - a purposeless, unpredictable and uncontrollable force that shapes events favorably or unfavorably for an individual, group or cause.
Chance is a philosophical concept.

Anyone who has read or watched the Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy will know that at the end of the show, as Ford Prefect, on his Spaceship of Infinite Probability, ends his search for The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything with the roll of two dice.  His answer was 42.  The question we all need to ask ourselves is, does the sum total of all my life experiences, all the highs and lows, the joys and sufferings, my childhood, my education, my career, all the good I have done, and the loves of my life, total nothing more than the roll of the dice? I hope your answer is, "No."


This is the typical non-theistic response: "Evolution is driven by mutation, selection in regard to the species environment, and reproductive success. It is absolutely not due to blind chance. It is completely run by specific events that lead to decent with modification."  This statement is obviously self-contradictory!

It uses mutation as the basis for its argument.  The question has to be asked, what caused the mutation?  The environment? This then becomes a circular argument and leads to the next obvious question, what caused the changing environment if not chance?  

Wednesday, 20 May 2015


Lies, Atheism and the Pro-Abortion Movement
Not all atheists are pro-abortion and not all in the pro-choice movement are atheists, but I have come to the conclusion that most are.  What drew me to this conclusion?  Let me explain…
In my position as president of Bus Stop Bible Studies I have had the opportunity to work with a number of crisis pregnancy centres, posting advertising panels inside buses with various Canadian transit companies to promote their compassionate ministries.  We first posted panels with the North York Pregnancy Care Centre (now Pregnancy Care Centre) back in 2010.  In the past five years there has been the occasional complaint but nothing of any consequence.  In that same time the number of PCC locations in the GTA has increased to six, such is the demand for their services.
In mid-May, 2015 a certain Linda Star started an on-line petition in an attempt to get the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) to remove the current PCC advertising panels. "Remove anti-choice ads on the TTC" reads the petition headline. What I found so amazing, and so disturbing, is that one individual can post a petition, the basis for which are lies and fabrication, and get 15,000 signatures in a matter of days.  I guess this is one of the downsides of the social-media world in which we now live.
Below is the specific advertising panel used as the basis for the petition:
As I reviewed the written comments on the petition website I noted a number of recurring themes, so I copied and pasted a completely random selection of 1,090 comments into a spreadsheet and conducted some simple analysis based on key words.
Here are some conclusions I was able to draw:
The Pro-Choice community are not interested in choice - they are almost exclusively interested in access to abortion.  Even though the co-sponsor of the bus ads is the JFJ Hope Centre adoption agency, apparently this is not a viable ‘choice’ for the pro-aborts.  Of the 1,090 comments analyzed there were 18 references to adoption – all of them conveyed negatively:
“We don't need Ads promoting Adoption on the TTC.”
“I think more woman should have abortions to help control the population. There are way to [sic] many people on this planet and I think if someone wants a kid they should adopt.”
“Pregnancy Care Centres are guilty of false advertising. They purport to provide information about options, but they only provide information about placing a baby for adoption, or raising it on your own. They do not provide information about the possibility of termination.”
The pro-abortionists are anti-religion or seemingly deny a moral compass.  Of the 1,090 comments there were 164 direct references to religion, again all in the negative.  100% of the comments deny or exclude that the life of the child has any bearing on the conversation – all that matters is the woman’s right (choice) to kill her unborn child.  The word choice was referenced to 412 times.
Reduced to an absolute, abortion is either moral or immoral.  It is either right or wrong. Why would I suggest that the choice of abortion is a moral absolute? Simply put, the outcome of an abortion is an absolute – a dead human (there is no other specie it could be).  One can argue the semantics of whether one calls this other living entity a child, a baby, a fetus or a zygote, but every living being has its origins at the moment of conception.
This bring us to question the definition and purpose of morality.  One dictionary definition of morality is “Principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior. A particular system of values and principles of conduct, especially one held by a specified person or society. The extent to which an action is right or wrong.”
Comment left on petition: “a mythical god should not be used to influence the right of personal choice.”
There are three possibilities with regard to (an individual’s) morality:
It’s personal.  My definition of what is right and wrong are the attributes that determine what I consider to be moral or immoral.  The only logical conclusion is anarchy – anything goes.  My sense of right and wrong is as valid as any other individual's and therefore I am accountable to no one.
It’s societal.  A simple majority of 50 + 1 establishes the rules.  As goes the crowd goes (even when led by an articulate but deceptive ideologue such as the likes of Hitler and any number of the current political leaders) so goes right and wrong.  Unfortunately the silent (moral?) majority remains silent and the noisy few establish the rules.
It’s an absolute.  If morality is an absolute then there must be a Moral Law Giver.  This Moral Law is that which distinguishes those that are pro-life and those that are pro-death.  And let me be very clear, to be pro-choice is to be pro-death because the only ‘choice’ that is in question is death.
This brings us back to the reasoning for my drawing the conclusion that most pro-death/choice individuals are atheist, it is simply because they deny the reality of any moral absolutes.  Moral absolutes are completely contradictory to their whole worldview and belief systems.
Ignorance.  The other conclusion I have come to is that most pro-choice supporters are woefully and tragically ignorant of the facts and what an abortion entails.  In the United States (and one would assume that Canadian statistics are comparative) 36% of abortions are carried out when the baby is 9-weeks or older and requires the killing and dismemberment of the baby by one means or another.
Lies. It has been said the abortion industry could not exist were it not for lies.
“A friend of mine was intentionally lied to at one of these "Crisis Pregnancy Centres" when she was a vulnerable, scared teen-ager seeking information and options when faced with an unplanned pregnancy. These ads, and the well-funded deceptive organizations behind them, must be exposed, and stopped. All women have the right to make health decisions based on their own personal, moral, religious, and material circumstances - and have equal access to unbiased, honest information and services. Support "Options for Sexual Health"!
This is the typical rhetoric from the pro-death/choice camp.  Obviously, the most glaring lie is that PCC’s don’t present choices – this is exactly what they do – and they will encourage their clients to make ‘right choices’.
As for being ‘well-funded…organizations’… all abortions in Canada are 100% government funded.  Abortion clinics are for the most part very profitable companies pulling in an average of $2-million per year each.  
Pregnancy Care Centres on the other hand are all not-for-profit, charitable organizations mostly run and supported by volunteers. Being ‘well-funded’ is as far from the truth as one can imagine.  One can view their financial statements of the Government CRA website.
“I find this false advertising offensive!” Of course, if this were false advertising one wouldn’t be allowed to post it on Canada’s transit systems. Typically it is statements such as these that are so patently false.
Below are the key words analyzed:

A Selection of comments posted on the petition:

"a public institution, in this case the TTC, should not be supporting a specific political viewpoint."

"A publicly owned corporation like the TTC can not be allowed to propagate religiously inspired mis-information."

"A safe abortion is a woman's right in Canada and I oppose any organization that impedes a woman's right to correct information and free choice. Please remove the offending adds."

"A woman needs factual and unbiased opinion when facing such an important decision; this is NOT a religious issue, but a health issue. This organization's position is the remove the constitutional right of 
women to make a well-informed decision."

"A woman's body is her own! SHE will decide what to do NOT anyone else!!"

"Abortion is a sin, but denial of choice is a greater, more venial sin!! If there was no sin in the world it would already be paradise."

"Abortion is a legal medical procedure and a basic human right for women and the shaming of women choosing this option HAS TO STOP."

"Advertising for places that lie to the public should not be allowed in Canada."

"Anti-choice ads oppose public health policy and seriously endanger women's psychological and physical health. It is scandalous that a public service like TTC would publicize such anti-health and anti-women advertisements. TTC must remove the advertisements immediately. Maybe TTC should also apologize to women and to public health authorities."

"Anything using religion as a weapon or providing incorrect information to force people into life choices, shouldn't be allowed."

"As a Christian I am very opposed to the anti-choice groups presenting themselves as "the" Christian choice. It is not."

"As a physician, I've long wanted these ads gone, and am glad to sign this. The centres advertise that they're there to "provide options," but they're not - instead, they present the option *they* think you should take, which is completely inappropriate. Currently, women in Canada are *technically* entitled to "safe and affordable" abortions, however, in reality, that doesn't happen - the wait-times in Kingston are ridiculous, such that I've had to send patients to Toronto; we can't even get a timely ultrasound to know if they're far enough along to terminate. On top of that, any woman who's been unlucky enough to have to face an unwanted pregnancy, and who has chosen to terminate, will probably agree with me that abortions in Canada are done without adequate analgesia - in the US, you have to pay for your abortion, but at least you have the option of anaesthetic. In Canada, you get given a token amount of medication, and contrary to what abortion clinic websites say, women do *not* describe the procedure as "uncomfortable," but rather as "very painful," and I base this on having worked at a Toronto clinic for 3 years. A bit off-topic, but worth adding! By all means, make your own choice, should you become pregnant, but just as God doesn't belong in the bedroom, neither does he belong in the doctor's office. Signed!"

"as a woman, i have the choice to act on my own body. brainwashing is unacceptable"

"Because choice is paramount."

Sunday, 17 May 2015


I felt it was so important that people understand why a socially conservative approach to taxation is not only the fairest approach, but also the essential approach, that I am reproducing a feature article from the Globe and Mail by Tim Cestnick:

The nice thing about an election year that’s accompanied by federal budget surpluses is that it’s fertile ground for tax cuts – and both the Conservatives and Liberals have promised that tax savings are on the way. But who should really benefit from tax cuts? While it might not seem politically correct to suggest that the rich should get the lion’s share of tax breaks, let me share a story that I first shared many years ago that provides food for thought here.

The cost of dinner

Each and every day, 10 men go to a restaurant for dinner together. The bill for all 10 comes to $100 each day. If the bill were paid the way we pay our taxes, the first four would pay nothing; the fifth would pay $1; the sixth would pay $3; the seventh $7; the eighth $12; the ninth $18. The 10th man – the richest – would pay $59. Although the 10 men didn’t share the bill equally, they all seemed content enough with the arrangement – until the restaurant owner threw them a curve.

“You’re all very good customers,” the owner said, “so I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily meal by $20. I’m going to charge you just $80 in total.” The 10 men looked at each other and seemed genuinely surprised, but quite happy about the news.

The first four men, of course, are unaffected because they weren’t paying anything for their meals anyway. They’ll still eat for free. The big question is how to divvy up the $20 in savings among the remaining six in a way that’s fair for each of them. They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33, but if they subtract that amount from each person’s share, then the fifth and sixth men would end up being paid to eat their meals. The restaurant owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each person’s bill by roughly the same percentage, and he proceeded to work out the amounts that each should pay.

The results? The fifth man paid nothing, the sixth pitched in $2, the seventh paid $5, the eighth paid $9, the ninth paid $14, leaving the 10th man with a bill of $50 instead of $59. Outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings. “I only got one dollar out of the $20,” said the sixth man, pointing to the 10th man, “and he got $9!” “Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar, too! It’s not fair that he got nine times more than me!” “That’s true,” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get back $9 when I only got $2? The rich get all the breaks!” “Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison. “We didn’t get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!”

The nine outraged men surrounded the 10th and brutally assaulted him. The next day, he didn’t show up for dinner, so the nine sat down and ate without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they faced a problem that they hadn’t faced before. They were $50 short.

The moral

There are a couple of lessons to be learned here. The first is an observation from my wife: If the 10 individuals had been women, they probably would have figured things out. But in all seriousness, I’m going to suggest that the approach taken by the restaurant owner in the story is exactly the right approach to divvying up tax cuts. It’s how our system should work. The people who pay the highest taxes should get the greatest relief from a tax cut, in absolute dollars.

The fact is, if you overtax the rich, they just might not show up for dinner next time. After all, there are plenty of good restaurants around the world.

This story is relevant today because both the Conservatives and the Liberals have proposed to cut taxes – in different ways. The Liberals have said that they would offer no tax cuts to the rich, but would instead increase the tax burden on the highest earners. The problem with this, of course, is that pushing any taxpayer’s marginal tax rate to 50 per cent or higher (which would be the case for many Canadians, particularly in provinces that also have taken steps to increase the marginal tax rate for the highest earners) will absolutely cause those folks to explore new ways to bring the tax burden down. And in the end, it may drive some to leave.

Tim Cestnick is managing director of Advanced Wealth Planning, Scotiabank Global Wealth Management, and founder of WaterStreet Family Offices.