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Baruch Spinoza

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 08:26 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 43.6 
  • Words: 1985
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The task of simply just surviving is for most of us a handful in itself in this life. However, only a few in a life time choose not to be satisfied with only just survival rather they assume the yoke of redefining life for themselves and for others. In philosophy of religion, pantheism is usually in conflict with traditional religious authority, which claims that the pantheistic belief is nothing more than a blasphemous form of idolatrous worship. A man by the name Benedictus (Baruch) Spinoza took it upon his shoulders to construct an explainable theory of this deistic belief and as a result earned the name of the father of Pantheism. I, George Meza, had the privilege of investigating the life of this rational genius as he struggled along the path of enlightenment in a society that was as different to him as his theory of ethics was to the Synagogue and the Church. Spinoza’s works ranged from the political to the theistic, from the mathematical, to even the intellectual. I ask the question what trials and troubles in the life of Baruch Spinoza could birth such a passion for what was known at the time as heretical theology. What was the impact of Spinoza’s work on our technologically advanced society that has put aside terms such as G-d and ethic and has attempted to redefine the term free will?

The Spinoza family arrived in Amsterdam, via Portugal in 1498, due to persecution the family decided to go by the name Spinoza. Baruch’s father and grandfather were originally Spanish crypto-Jews -- that is, Jews who were forced to adopt Christianity in post-Islamic Spain, but secretly remained Jewish, Spinoza's parents had died when he was quite young, I believe that this was a major influence on his later work.

His father Michael died when he was 21; Baruch Spinoza was born in the Amsterdam quarter of Vloedenburg (now Waterlooplein quarter), Holland in November 24, 1632. What most people don’t know is that Spinoza was born to a traditional...


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