Spinoza 's Proof For God 's Existence Essay

Spinoza 's Proof For God 's Existence Essay

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1. Spinoza’s Proof for God’s existence
God is by defined as, “a substance consisting of infinite attributes” in Proposition 11. Spinoza presents 3 Axioms based off his definitions to prove God’s existence. They are as follows: “(e)verything that exists, exists either in itself or in something else”, “(t)hat which cannot be conceived through anything else must be conceived though itself”, and “(t)hat from a given definite cause an effect necessarily follows”. He uses these, along with his Propositions and Definitions to argue God’s existence in four steps.
Firstly, he establishes the uniqueness of a substance. Spinoza uses Definition 3 to prove Proposition 1, 2 and 4, by explaining that that an effect always follows a cause and if there is no cause, it is impossible for an effect to follow. If things do not have anything in common, we cannot use them to understand other things, making them separate. Spinoza further distinguishes the uniqueness of substances in Proposition 1 by using Definition 5 as proof to show that if conception of one thing does not involve the conception of the other thing, substances can be by nature prior to its affections. By proving these Prepositions, he concludes that two substances, which have different attributes and share no cause and effect, have nothing in common, making them unique.
Secondly, he shows how the cause and effect leads to the original substance. Spinoza establishes his primary substance through cause and effect in Proposition 3 and 6. He explains that one substance cannot make another if their attributes are different. In terms of essences, two things with no attributes that are the same must be completely different substances, since it was previously proven that a substance is the ...


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...ernal reality; but Spinoza solved this problem by abandoning the Cartesian dualism of thought and extension. The fact that Descartes is a rationalist but still demands some empirical verification makes his argument inconsistent. Spinoza denies Descartes assertion that error is caused by making hasty judgments upon ideas. Spinoza believes that this error could only be due to the confused ideas themselves, because we do not have a bunch of ideas that we choose from as to what is distinct. If we have ideas that are inadequate, then we have inadequate knowledge. Since there is no freedom to affirm or deny ideas, it appears that Spinoza 's view is mentally deterministic. Spinoza develops his own subtle way around this problem by supposing that inadequate ideas will necessarily lead to confused action which will in turn force ideas to clear up and come closer to the truth.

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