Credo Quia Absurdum Est

“Credo quia absurdum est” is a Latin phrase which means “I believe because it is absurd”. Not “in spite of the fact that it is absurd”. Because. It is a paraphrase of a statement from Tertullian’s work De Carne Christi (“The Flesh of Christ”), “… it is by all means to be believed, because it is absurd”. Tertullian lived around 155 – 240 AD. This paraphrase has been espoused by Christians as a measure of the strength of one’s unquestioning belief.

Not to be outdone, Orthodox Jews also have their unquestioning beliefs: God created our world and everything in it including us in one week, five thousand seven hundred and seventy six years ago, and everything written in the five books of Moses (the Old Testament) is literally true. We are not to look for the logic or the reason for what is written, but to accept it all because God commanded us to do so, even if He tells us to sacrifice our son or daughter.

While thinking about Immanuel Kant – The Categorical Imperative, I came up with a proof that either God exists but we do not, or we exist but God does not. It goes like this:

  1. The laws of physics apply everywhere in the Universe, consistently throughout it. We may not understand all the laws but they are universally applicable.
  2. Everything in the Universe must obey the laws of physics. We obey the laws of physics.
  3. God doesn’t have to obey the laws of physics. Even if we defined a special case in the laws of physics that applied to God in a consistent manner, God would not have to obey it. God’s existence represents a lawlessness with respect to physics.
  4. Since the Universe cannot be both lawful and lawless with respect to physics, either we exist in this universe but God doesn’t or God exists in this universe but we don’t.

Now I don’t have anything against Muslims. I know of quite a few Muslims who are at least as good and wise as any Christian, Jew, atheist, or other person on this planet. No condescension intended here. That said, I’m certainly glad I’m not a Muslim. The sentence for apostasy, the rejection of one’s belief in God or conversion to another brand of belief, if one is a Muslim, is death in any country ruled by Sharia (Islamic law). See The Punishment for Apostasy from Islam if you have the stomach for it.

The Saudi poet, Ashraf Fayadh, is currently waiting for his death sentence to be carried out because someone accused him of blasphemy and apostasy, which Ashraf denies. See Outrage over Saudi death sentence for poet on blasphemy charges.

There but for the grace of God go I.

Mike Stone

Raanana Israel



Filed under & Philosophy, Dilemmas, Essays, Dilemmas, & Philosophy, Uncategorized

2 responses to “Credo Quia Absurdum Est

  1. A third possibility is that God is apart from this universe, therefore, while the universe must obey the laws of physics, God’s lawlessness would my affect it.

    • Yeh, I’d thought about that, although I formulated it a bit differently: in a multi-verse, God could exist in another universe that was lawless wrt physics, without affecting our universe which could be lawful. When I asserted that God does not exist, I meant He didn’t exist in our universe. I formulated it as I did so as not to unduly confuse my readership, because the point I was working up to was not the proof but the punishment for Islamic apostasy and the Saudi poet Ashraf Fayadh.

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