Monthly Archives: September 2008

To Believe or Not To Believe

The following post appeared in Daily Speculations:

Gibbons Burke persists:

Gib BurkeWe’re speculating with regards to the true meal of a lifetime and beyond or eternal barbeque, depending on your freedom to choose outcome you will. Seems perfectly on topic, no?

With apologies to Blaise Pascal for mangling his famous wager; the gaming odds for the prudent eternal investor favor belief, without even considering the utility of belief:

= A believer, if wrong, will never realize his error: he will be dead and to dust. Poof! His upside is limited to the benefits of that belief – peace, joy, happiness, fortitude, patience, courage, etc. (so-called fruits of the Holy Spirit) and perhaps the blessings of a life well lived, depending on the breaks.

= For the same reason, a non-believer, if right, will never realize any returns from his correct bet, so the upside on this option is capped at his expiration date (death). He, too, may have lived a seemingly good life, relatively uninhibited by the constraints of the believer’s conscience and avoidance of sin.

Advantage: subjectively neither at this point.

However:

+ A believer, if right, will enjoy the eternal and infinite upside alpha of his investment in belief: life everlasting in communion with God, who is Himself Truth, Beauty, Virtue and all good things – to behold him face to face, for eternity, as well as the benefits which accrue to a life lived on earth in faith – even perhaps suffering for that faith. What a small premium to pay, relative to the potential reward, no?

– The non-believer, if wrong, will bear the eternal and ultimate lock-limit drawdown, with no stop loss in place. A literal margin call from Hell. Separation from God the Father. He will know he was wrong – for ever, and ever, world without end.

So, to put this into option terms:

The risk profile for investing in the leap of faith  a ‘call’ option of belief in the Underlying Security is unlimited upside if he’s right; limited down side if he’s wrong.

The ‘naked put’ option of the who doesn’t believe in the value of the Underlying Security, is a limited upside if he’s right; unlimited downside risk if he’s wrong. He may end up with a debt he can never repay. (Paging Dr. Faustus!)

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust of it, but he who does the will of God abides forever. [1 John 2:16-17]

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Signs and Wonders

Last night, after looking at the meltdown in the U.S. stock market following the actions of the U.S. Treasury, I became aware of the gravity of the situation.  The Fed is out of cash.  Ben Bernanke has been out of sight during the latest round of restructurings, this time with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  The volatility and huge moves can only be generated by the actions of hedge funds.  Who is going bust next?  Where will it end?

I read today from Luke chapter 21:8.  “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, “I am he,” and “The time is near.”  Do not follow them.”

All we hear in the media from the government is that times are bad.  All we hear from the U.S. media is doom.  When I look out my window, the mountains are still there in their exquisite God given glory.  Everyone still comes to work just like usual.  Folks are coming over on the launch at this very minute.  The water is rippling, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, the land is lovely.  So much for doom and gloom.

Whatever God has ordained, the time for living is now.

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