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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Section 10 – Philosophy Installment Part 2

Baruch Spinoza believed that God is an infinite being and that there cannot be anything that is not God. Spinoza presents the basic elements of his idea of God within fourteen different propositions of Him being a necessarily existing, infinite, and unique substance of the universe. Spinoza believed that following his propositions of God being infinite, the proof that God is a necessary, uncaused, and invisible being can be preceded in three steps. The first step is to establish that no two substances can share an attribute or essence. Second, prove there is a substance with infinite attributes, and finally, that the existence of that infinite substance precludes the existence of any other substance. If there were to be a second substance, it would have to have some attribute or essence, but since God has all possible attributes, then the attributes to be obtained by the second substance would be of the same already possessed by God. According to the traditional Judeo-Christian concept of God being a divine and transcendent creator who causes a world distinct from Himself to come into being by creating it out of nothing. That God produces that world by a spontaneous act of free will, and could have just as easily not created anything outside Himself at all.
By contrast to this traditional theory, Spinoza’s God is the cause of all things because all things are of God due to following casually and necessarily from the divine nature. In correlation with this theory, Spinoza also believed that the existence of this world is necessary, and that it is impossible that God should exist but not the world. Spinoza does not mean that God does not cause the world to come into being freely, since nothing aside from God can constrain Him to bring it into existence. Spinoza does deny that God creates the world by some arbitrary and undetermined act of free will. That God could have done otherwise, and there are no possible alternatives to the actual world; everything is absolutely and necessarily determined. Spinoza’s views on free will and God’s views on man proved to be controversial as too. Spinoza believed that God was a completely impersonal being and did not care about anything or anyone.
According to Spinoza, you should love God, but don’t expect any love from Him in return. Spinoza’s view on free will differed from traditional views as well. Spinoza was a determinist, which meant that he believed that every human action was a result of earlier causes/decisions. That people imagine we choose freely what we do and have control over our lives, but that is because we do not usually understand the ways in which our choices and actions have been brought about; that free will is an illusion and that there is no spontaneous free action at all. According to Spinoza, the only limited freedom humans have was possible and desirable, and he called it bondage: which was the worst way to live, that being at the complete mercy of your emotions, which causes you to simply react to events from an external source.
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