Essay On Spinoza's Beliefs About Evil

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To begin, I will lay out what I have perceived, through my research, to be Spinoza’s beliefs about good, and consequently, what he believes about evil. Firstly, in order to understand Spinoza’s thoughts on evil, you must first understand what he believes about the state of the universe. Spinoza believed that everything in the universe is made up of a singular substance: God. This pantheistic view seems to permeate into most of his other ideas, and especially concerning his view of ethics. Because God is infinite and makes up the entirety of the universe, evil cannot exist as an independent entity in Spinoza’s eyes. In fact, Spinoza believed that the universe has no independence, meaning all things come from this singular substance which is God, or…show more content…
Because of this, they cannot exist independently and intrinsically, but only in comparison to one another. Because of this evil and good are relative and thus one could make the argument that they do not exist. Though his general ideas may give the perception of him being a moral nihilist, Spinoza was not. He agreed that the human concepts of good and evil did have use and purpose in human life. On the topic of good and evil, Spinoza states that: “1. By good, I understand that which we certainly know is useful to us. 2. By evil, on the contrary, I understand that which we certainly know hinders us from possessing anything that is good.” Spinoza continued his deconstruction on the nature of good and evil with his propositions which are found in part IV of his book Ethics. I will list and discuss Spinoza’s propositions later in the essay. Spinoza's also believed that free-will was an illusion, and that physical laws and the nature of the universe was the main driving force for human action and

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