Benedict de Spinoza

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Benedict de Spinoza, or Baruch d'Espinoza, lived (1632-1677) in Amsterdam. He was a glass grinder whose philosophical work caused his excommunication from the Jewish synagogue.

Spinozism includes the belief that all existence consists of only one substance, such as God or nature. Under this view, everything from mind to matter is merely a manifestation of the one true reality. Evil has only a fleeting existence in the mind or heart, and is extinguished in due course by the divine Whole.

Proof (roughly):

1. There is at least one substance of the universe. 2. God exists, and is of a substance. 3. God is infinite in attributes. 4. For there to be two substances, they must differ in attributes. 5. God has all of the attributes, so no substance may differ from that substance, therefor there is only one substance, God.

Spinozism was the first of three pantheisms rejected and condemned by the First Vatican Council. Spinozism is considered to be one of the most complete expressions of monistic idealism.

Quotes

  • If you want the present to be different from the past, study the past.
  • All happiness or unhappiness solely depends upon the quality of the object to which we are attached by love.
  • Be not astonished at new ideas; for it is well known to you that a thing does not therefore cease to be true because it is not accepted by many.
  • True virtue is life under the direction of reason.
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