Death of Philosopher and Rationalist Baruch Spinoza

Death of Philosopher and Rationalist Baruch Spinoza

Benedict de Spinoza
Source: Wikipedia

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Baruch Spinoza dies. One of the founders of the rationalist movement in modern philosophy, Baruch Spinoza is usually placed alongside figures like Rene Descartes and Gottfried Leibniz.

Spinoza associated himself with freethinkers in his youth and would eventually be expelled from the Jewish community in Amsterdam for his "abominable heresies" and "monstrous acts." The reasons for such a reaction seem to include denying the laws of Moses and even the immortality of the soul. Baruch Spinoza also argued that God is simply the mechanism of the universe and that the Bible is nothing more than a metaphorical and allegorical work, not a divine revelation.

Such ideas were all part of his development of a system which would become known as naturalistic or scientific pantheism. Spinoza's pantheism, unlike some other forms, was very impersonal in how God was conceived. As a result, many people considered him an atheist and some even labeled him the "Greatest Atheist".

Others, however, argued just the opposite. German author Novalis labeled him as a Gott-trunckener Mensch (a God-intoxicated man) because God, even if impersonal, played such a central and commanding role in Spinoza's writings.


Baruch de Spinoza's 'Nature and God' Explained, with Will Durant

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