Thursday, March 30, 2017
Thursday, March 30th: Thoughts about Spinoza's God
According to Nigel Warburton's "A Little History of Philosophy," Baruch Spinoza (1632- 1677) had an interesting view point when it came to the belief in a god. Spinoza believed that God existed in everything and that "God" and "Nature" were the same thing. He also believed that God does not take interest in the world around him. Rather, God is only concerned with himself. Arguably, and though Aristotle's god is outside of the world and not synonymous with the world, Aristotle's "unmoved mover" seems to be similar in construction to Spinoza's god. The "unmoved mover" causes the universe to work and pushes the world to its will; in my opinion, I do not find Aristotle's god much different than Spinoza's. Without the push of Aristotle's "unmoved mover," the world and nature would cease to exist. Because Spinoza's God is everything including nature, one cannot exist as itself. Aristotle himself is considered the first naturalist, and his idea of God came over a millennium before Spinoza's idea of God. Because of those things, I would argue that Spinoza took Aristotle's idea of God and heightened that ideal to meet his own needs. Spinoza himself enjoyed nature and wanted to understand the world around him. What easier way to do that than to make the world around Spinoza God? This is especially since Spinoza was the same man to take math further than his predecessors by combining philosophy with geometry. Spinoza seemed to enjoy combining his interests. His view of God did not seem any different.