An accidental blog

"If God is sovereign, then his lordship must extend over all of life, and it cannot be restricted to the walls of the church or within the Christian orbit." Abraham Kuyper Common Grace 1.1.

Friday, 20 November 2009

"If God doesn't exist, everything is permitted"

This is a quote often attributed to Doestoevsky. Apparently, he didn't write or say it. David E. Cortesi has tracked down its origins to Jean Paul Satre who seemingly inadvertently attributed it to Doestoevsky:

"The existentialist...finds it extremely embarrassing that God does not exist, for there disappears with him all possibility of finding values in an intelligible heaven....Dostoevsky once wrote, 'If God did not exist, everything would be permitted...
Unfortunately, he couldn't find a source for Satre's quote!

So, if anyone wants to quote this saying, perhaps it would be better to write: 'As Doestoevsky didn't say ...'


Jeremy Larson said...

I have the phrase highlighted in my copy of "Brothers K." Here's a link that talks about it:

Steve Bishop said...

Hi Jeremy,

Thanks for the link and thanks for dropping by.

Jeremy Larson said...

Sure thing. Thanks for your work on this blog.