Analysis Of Spinoza 's ' The Ethics '

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In the tradition, there is contingency. This means things could have been otherwise; things do not have to be the way they are. According to the traditional view, it is arbitrary that God makes anything at all. God is utterly self-sufficient; He did not need to make the world. Moreover, God could have made other worlds; though, the extent to which he could make these worlds is limited. For example, God could not create a world in which evil prospers because He cares about goodness, benevolence etc., but the point remains that God could have created things differently; God could have created other worlds. Spinoza, however, strongly disagrees with this position. In 1p33s2 of the Ethics, Spinoza puts forth a couple of arguments that separate him from the tradition. Spinoza’s best argument against the traditional view in this scholium is that “All things depend on God’s power. So in order for things to be able to be different, God’s will would necessarily also have to be different. But God’s will cannot be different … So things also cannot be different” (Ethics, 1p33s2). This argument is a direct result of God’s essence. Spinoza believes in a profound dependence upon God. This comes from the “first principle theory” (Carriero), which states that the first principle connects everything together through their reliance on the first principle. This is demonstrated in propositions 26, 27, and 28. In these three propositions, Spinoza demonstrates that everything thoroughly relies on God for its existence and for its activity. Furthermore, proposition 16 demonstrates that God’s essence contains infinite things and infinite modes. By containing infinite things and infinite modes, by definition, there is nothing that could exist outside of Go... ... middle of paper ... ...rtes. By rejecting Descartes objection of the possibility of more than one substance, Spinoza’s is able to preserve his argument for substance monism, and thus, the impossibility of things being other than the way they are. In conclusion, in 1p33s2 of the Ethics, Spinoza argues against the traditional view that things could have been created by God in some other way or order when he states “All things depend on God’s power. So in order for things to be able to be different, God’s will would necessarily also have to be different. But God’s will cannot be different … So things also cannot be different” (Ethics, 1p33s2). This position directly challenges the traditional view, which states that it is arbitrary whether or not God creates anything at all. According to Spinoza, things necessarily are the way they are and it is not possible for anything to be any different.

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