Philosophy 100/Prof. Sears
Age of the Greek Baby! Entry #2
Module #5 Baruch Spinoza
Baruch Spinoza was an ancient philosopher who lived from the year 1632-1677. Spinoza was considered to be a Pantheist which means, everything and everyone including all living and breathing things as well as the universe as a whole is God! Spinoza is also a Rationalist and a Determinist. Baruch Spinoza and his beliefs are important to me because after reading about some of his views it is easy to come to the conclusion that his beliefs on being a Pantheist reflects some of my personal beliefs that I have gained throughout my time on this earth and universe that I have been blessed with. The reason why it is important for me to continue to do my own research on the highly controversial and radical Spinoza is so that I can come to a better understanding of some feelings I have developed over the span of my short life that corresponds with the same beliefs of Spinoza.
According to the text in module number five the writings of Spinoza as well as his work “were not published while he was still alive.” In fact Spinoza never reaped the rewards of his so radical work. Spinoza’s work had not even been published till after the philosopher has passed away, and even then he did not receive the respect he deserved for the work he contributed to philosophy, instead they did the opposite to Spinoza. Instead of honoring Spinoza’s work they banned his work.
Growing up in Los Angeles, I believed in God. I believed in the idea of God although nobody in my family was religious. Even when I was out and about hanging with my friends, the last thing on our minds was any kind of religious beliefs. I always found it strange that non-religious individuals were always self-conscious of their actions within society whether they may have been positive or negative actions. The reason why people were so conscious of whether they were doing right or doing wrong was the underlying problem most living and breathing humans have the fear of death or dying themselves as well as the unknown. The unknown is in reference to not knowing for a fact what happens with my body mind and soul when the day comes to lay me down to rest for good.
Some believe that no matter what you do in life you can always be redeemed in the eyes of the lord through prayer and staying faithful to your religion. Me personally, I have always felt that the Bible and the belief of or in God was just a way guiding individuals through life while trying to contain individual humans from causing chaos within a world and universe where everyone is supposed to be free spirits. According to Spinoza humans are devoid of having immortal souls. Spinoza also states in module number five that the purpose of orthodox religion “is to control people.” (Spinoza Page 8) The reason why I believe this to be true is because when you look at the judicial system we live in today and compare it to the Bible or more specifically the 10 commandments; to me it seems as if they go hand in hand.
The differences between the Bible and the Law is that humans centuries ago lived and died by the bible where humans unlike then use the bible as a way to just become better individuals of themselves. The law is substituted in for the bible when it comes to bringing down the hammer for violating the code of law and the rules of the bible. So when Spinoza suggests that there is a God just not in the form we have all been taught from the time we was able to comprehend, he means that God is everywhere and everything and lives within every form of life including the universe. And Spinoza’s take on religion as being a tool used to control humans and attempt to keep order around a universe full of imperfection but Godly ways.