Sufficient Evidence: Empirically Impossible

by Harley Voogd

Recently I posted this quote on my Facebook page:

“…socialism is not merely the labor question, it is before all things the atheistic question, the question of the form taken by atheism today, the question of the tower of Babel built without God, not to mount to Heaven from earth but to set up Heaven on earth.”*

A socialist atheist got upset by the quote and felt the need to reply, which went something like this:

Socialism is not atheistic! There is no god and we just want to create a society where all are taken care of. If there is a god then provide sufficient evidence. Until then stop wasting my time!

Forgetting the fact that his response confirmed the truth of the quote, and forgetting the fact that he was the one wasting my time by responding and demanding an explanation, I thought, “What would be sufficient evidence?”

Because, of course, empirically speaking, there is no sufficient evidence to prove God. Even if Jesus were to appear in the sky above this guy’s house and cry out with a loud voice, “I am Jesus! I am God! I created the universe!” my Facebook friend would still be left with the choice of wether to believe what he saw was real or not. And if he’s predisposed not to believe then he will probably explain away the experience as something natural. 

“It is not miracles that dispose realists (or empiricists) to belief. The genuine realist, if he is an unbeliever, will always find strength and ability to disbelieve in the miraculous, and if he is confronted with a miracle as an irrefutable fact he would rather disbelieve his own senses than admit the fact. Even if he admits it, he admits it as a fact of nature till then unrecognized by him. Faith does not, in the realist, spring from the miracle but the miracle from faith. If the realist once believes, then he is bound by his very realism to admit the miraculous also. The Apostle Thomas said that he would not believe till he saw, but when he did see he said, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Was it the miracle forced him to believe? Most likely not, but he believed solely because he desired to believe and possibly he fully believed in his secret heart even when he said, ‘I do not believe till I see.'”**

Now, as for socialism, I’ll leave that for another day. Until then, read anything on economics by Thomas Sowell. 

* Dostoevsky, Fydor, The Brothers Karamazov (Barnes & Noble: New York, 2004 [1879-1880]), pg. 32.

** Ibid., pg. 31.

What did Dostoevsky mean by comparing socialism with Babel, and why did he then contrast socialism with Babel in saying that socialism strives to bring Heaven to earth (whereas at Babel they were trying to get to Heaven)?

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