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Political Science
Harald Bathelt

Spinoza- lecture 3 Context Nature of religion Scriptural interpretation Secularism 1 Secularism 2 Context- religious and political intolerance- monarchists, orthodox -Religion mingles too much with politics, it is about intolance towards beliefs or religious expression, Freedom of thought in Holland Spinoza’s excommunication- by jewish community, manifested liberal views with regards to theology, tries to introduce science in the understanding of religion, publishing in latin, book made a big impact immediately and considered by some people as outrageous, 1674 spinoza was banned. Nature of religion- fear and superstition, oscilate between two emotions or greater goods which lead to superstitition and people turn to god, this is the problem associated with religion. Religious authorities play a decisive role to promote stability through putting ideas into peoples minds. Theres no real worship of god but authorities who use religion. -----Twisting the message of scripture Intolerance- anthropological, state of deception which reduces man to a state of capacity The problem of religion – theological : concerned the type of arguments used by authorities of religion to justify political and religious claims. - Political- false assumptions of authorities with regards to religion in politics, so towards human freedom - Freddom of thought comparison to religious paiety - Freedom of thought required as civil right Scriptural interpretation- dominant methods- dogmatism: scripture ancilitary to reason, assumed true and from available ration conception of truth, it is imported into the scripture, skeptisism : reason ancillary to scripture, suspends autonomous reason which is problematic from any type of interpretation Skepticism hermeneutics: scripture from scripture alone- cant import anything external stick to the scripture. Spinoza says in chapter 7 that this is like interpreting nature by collecting data and deducting conclusions from it. The data is whats said, by whom, in what language and the audience. Scripture are different books written in different times from different men. Different ways: 1. Language (linguistic), so how words are placed. We should look for meaning and not for truth, difficult to reconstruct language. Some people could have altered the meaning, also the scripture received in translation. Given all these difficulties, we can only make conjunctures, impossible to know the true meaning 2. historical: historical sensitivity needed to interpret reason, reason can have a critical and normative function Content: moral law, faith and theology- should not import scripture from outside of content. Scriptural interpretation- moral law: obedience, so love your neighbor, truth/knowledge of god is irrelevant to religion, which goes against the dogmatic method. Faith: pious universal dogmas, religious pluralism Theology: revelation, so distinct from philosophy, not superior to philosophy, allows for freedom of thought 1.Only by obeying the law of the sovereign, there can be salvation. have faith only if you obey 3.if faith is only about obedience, then it requires the dogma be pious dogma, so not truth about god and hence has no relevance to the practice of religion Universal faith- Dogmas that are strictly required by god. Important: 1. Belief in Supreme Being, will have justice by god and all human beings must obey, so applies to all human beings. People can agree to them through their own religious perspectives, you can interpret the dogma from universal faith. 2.worship of god is true practice -Freedom of thought comparable with religious paiuty and required by civil society in order to achieve peace, fundamental to prove this end of chapter 13- faith allows to philosophize, insofar as faith is about obedience If theology Is reduced to dogma, then theology is comparable to reason. One can say hes not opposed to reason, but that reason in fact falls outs
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