Causa sui is a latin phrase seldom used in common, everyday parlance. Many of you may not have heard of it, probably because this variety of rhetoric isn’t something you’d often find in the interminable streams of media filtering through our society. Surprisingly enough, this isn’t a legal term; as most latin terms in popular culture are. Nor is it an inspiring maxim that i frequently fail to actually accomplish. Ahem.
No, Causa sui (pronounced Kwa-Sah Sue-e) means ” cause of itself”. It is a phrase commonly utilized in the philosophical field of metaphysics and has been a central concept in some of the works of highly influential thinkers, namely Sigmund Freud and Jean-Paul Sartre. Quite frequently, theologian apologetics have used this conceptualization as a fundamental pillar; supporting their arguments when approached with the question…
Some would say that a religious upbringing would stifle one’s natural metaphysical curiosity and while that is debatable, it’s say to say that religion does pose to have all the answers to some of the deep, philosophical questions of our universe. Such as the one presented above. When a religious person is approached with that question, they would usually reply with something like:
” God created the world and he created it out of nothing at all. That’s why the world exists, that’s why me and you exist. ”
As to why God himself existed, that was left a little vague, unlike the finite world that he freely created, God was eternal. He was also omnipotent in every degree and being omnipotent, he might have bootstrapped himself into existence. He was, to use the latin phrase ‘Causa sui’…
For more science-sized snippets please follow my newly-formed , personal twitter at @UpQuarky . I’ll be sure to regularly post philosophical/scientific fun stuff.