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PHI1104 (60)


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University of Ottawa
David Raynor

Descartes & Spinoza • Descartes established something dangerous about God according to Leibnitz • Descartes talks about God as being benevolent; understanding; and will • Spinoza looks at that & says “ok if that defines God – then the universe itself, the entire totality of things…that is infinite, may very well be eternal, may very well be unchanging…why not just say that is God?” • Spinoza: God is the universe…the universe is God (radical philosophy) • Traditional View of God: God created the Universe • Is Spinoza an atheist? – controversial matter, in some matter he was seen as an atheist because he rejects the idea of a God that transcends the Universe… some people would say that Spinoza was an atheist…Spinoza would say that he DOES believe in God but he thinks that God is nature…not the creator of nature • Spinoza can also be inferred as a pantheist: believing that everything is God • Spinoza was excommunicated (thrown out of the community) • He was not allowed to affiliate with being Jewish Spinoza Species of religious fundamentalism • epistemological ? Bible is fundamental of god (it is true) -- it is not literal … therefore reading the bible is no different than reading pride & prejudice…any sentence in the bible is not necessarily true (no connection between what the authors intend to say and what is true) • literal fundamentalism – (literally true) • moral fundamentalism – if God commands x…x is the morally right thing to do . • Spinoza argues that the concept of God cannot be argued as being normative? • God must be wise/just/good – the decisions God makes • Spinoza’s God has none of these – he is numerically identical with nature. God is nature. Therefore god has no
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