The hated philosopher who wanted to separate religion from science

The hated philosopher who wanted to separate religion from science

Gustavo Bueno’s materialistic philosophy rests, among other things, on two main pillars. One of them is that in order to avoid falling into dogmatism or relativism, Any proposal must be anchored in the bedrock of exact sciences.

He reached similar conclusions, three centuries ago, Baruch Spinoza (Amsterdam, November 24, 1632 – The Hague, February 21, 1677), perhaps the first related philosopher who wanted to completely separate philosophy from religion, encouraging the former to adopt science with greater interest.


A hated philosopher

He is considered one of the three greatest rationalists in seventeenth century philosophy, along with the French René Descartes And German Gottfried LeibnizSpinoza was born in the most free city of the time: Amsterdam.

Spinoza’s library is in the same house, where he lived between 1661 and 1663.

Spinoza was only able to become the foremost philosopher of modernity in an ideologically troubled place like Amsterdam, where even the most non-Orthodox thinkers came to live. Religion had to be separated from politicsAnd one of the early proponents of democracy (although he later believed it was not the only acceptable form of government).

He was also a pioneer in the movement to define belief and superstition in the Bible, conceiving it as a historical document, and proposing this religion You no longer set foot in the kingdom of science.

Benedict de Spinoza

Precisely for this reason, Spinoza would also be one of the most hated philosophers of his time.

A unique life

Spinoza will be fully influenced by Descartes’ ideas, as well as by his mentor, Frances Van den Enden, Who was also a radical supporter of Cartesian principles. Spinoza entered the Primitive Van den Enden Academy in the mid-1650s.

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Spinoza would also be attracted to one of the many sects that gave birth to this new era of nonconformity, namely the Mennonites branch in the Netherlands: a sect known as the Collegiants, who were pacifists and believed in withdrawal from society; As shown Russell Shorto In his book Amsterdam:

If we collect the names of some of these sects, anyone who thinks we are reading a list of bands that were called to play at the folk music festival: there were the tremblers, the zealots, the seekers, the equalizers.

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Spinoza’s grave in New Kirk (The New Church) in The Hague

Little by little, Spinoza would forget his father’s business and focus solely on learning philosophy and Direct your interests to cultivate the mind. And he was attacking religion with such fervor that his Jewish community would condemn him to ecclesiastical excommunication: Not for nothing, he attacked his practices and laws as unfriendly as the protest comedian does today.

Spinoza believed in God, but was an atheist for all practical purposes, because his god was not like the god of the rest. When a rabbi asks, in fact Albert Einstein If he believed in God, he replied: “I believe in the God of Spinoza, who reveals himself in the harmony of what is established and governed by laws. I do not believe in a God who deals with luck and human deeds.”

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The main room in the house – it is now preserved as a museum. Its appearance has been reconstructed.

So, it was comforting to be deprived of Spinoza. He said goodbye not only to the community but to his family. In the seventeenth century, everyone necessarily belonged to some official religion. The church or the synagogue were not just places where one attended religious ceremonies, but they formed the same community of people and represented an essential element of identity and legitimacy in the social subject. However, Spinoza is no longer a convert to Christianity or any other religion.

He was harassed for his criticism of religious orthodoxy, and his books were included in the Index of the Banned de la Iglesia Catolica (1679). His work was circulated in secret until great German philosophers in the early nineteenth century claimed it: “Schleiermacher” […] Heigl and Schelling all declared in one voice that Spinoza was the father of modern thought.

But Spinoza was, in fact, just one additional component of the great changes that occurred at the time. The real transformation engine was the ecosystem in which Spinoza would grow. Specifically, Amsterdam. If you want to know why this place is so unique, you can do so in the following video:

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