Up@dawn 2.0

Friday, March 24, 2017

Kane Wolnik

Dr. Phil

CoPhilosophy (#10)

24 Mar, 2017

Baruch Spinoza

Baruch Spinoza was born in Amsterdam and raised by Portuguese parents of the Jewish faith. He was well educated in many subjects related to scripture and mathematics, particularly geometry.  Spinoza in his later years began to slowly move away from the traditional beliefs set by his parents and created a different version of what was taught about God. This form of Spinoza’s religious belief became known as Pantheism or the belief that God exists everywhere. This differed from his early teachings that God inhabits a place high in the heavens but outside the clutches of time, matter, and space. Unfortunately for Spinoza, the Jewish community in Amsterdam had eventually ostracize, condemned, and cursed him for this absurd belief. After the acknowledgement of this by Baruch from his community, Spinoza fled the city and fixed himself in The Hague (city in the Netherlands), Where he became a ‘Lens Grinder’ and private tutor. Baruch Spinoza’s odd belief sought to emphasize that God was within every aspect of nature, thus God and nature are one in the same. During his life, he wrote a book called ‘Ethics’. Inscribed was his thoughts on God, emotions, freedom, and nature detailing how they all intertwined into logical reasoning of the world and place that surrounded him. This was often looked at as being Rationalism or the belief that opinions and actions should be based on an individual’s thought through reason and knowledge on a subject rather than that of religious beliefs or emotional response.

With Spinoza’s theory in which God is Nature and they are one in the same brings up some philosophical food for thought analysis of this. If suppose God is Nature being one in the same, and that our notion that Nature is of female orientation: Wouldn’t that mean that God would be a woman and not a man? I wonder why the community of the Christian Faith has kept this idealized view that God is a man and not a woman? Seeing how a woman is the only gender in which can produce any offspring or is it to keep with the idea that a man is more of a supposed authoritative dominant figure than that of a woman because of apparent physical factors?


  1. #8

    The English philosopher John Locke (1632-1704) was frustrated over the question of what makes someone the same person over time. Personally, people tend to change over time for many reasons. A person is not the same in his youth as in his latter days. Things, events, and occasions occur throughout life that don’t make us the same person we used to be. Some people are constantly trying to better themselves; by doing so, they change their habits, and ultimately who they are. Contrary, a good person could change into a bad one through something that happened to them in their childhood, or even adulthood. Also, the cruelty of life and its harshness may encourage someone to do something that they would’ve never otherwise done.

    Locke had many interests including scientific discoveries, politics, and most importantly education. According to Locke, we don’t know anything when we are born, and all of our knowledge comes from our experience in life. The one thing that makes us the same person as before is our consciousness, our awareness of our own selves. This is why, when we pass away and ultimately “lose our body”, we are still the same person in the afterlife. Our memories and our pasts is what makes up our personal identity. Without them, we can’t recall what we once were, and compare it to what we are now. Thus, if we do not remember our past, our childhood, and what makes up who we are, how can we know that we’ve changed, for better or for worse?

  2. Sorry I overlooked this earlier.

    I don't think Spinoza intended any gender implications at all with his pantheism, which in any event transcends such distinctyions. But I'm sure you're right, that plenty of fundamentalists would be loathe to admit that God might be a Goddess.