Spinoza's Heresy - Steve Nadler

July 13, 2014

Today, the Dutch philosopher Spinoza - father of the Enlightenment - is revered, but in the mid-17th century, he was branded a heretic by his Jewish congregation in Amsterdam.  Recently, philosopher Steve Nadler was asked if Spinoza should be exonerated. He explains why he said no.

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Spinoza was without question one of the great, groundbreaking philosophers of the early enlightenment. But let's not forget that Francis Bacon, who was born 35 years before Descartes and died before Spinoza was born, came first.

Spinoza, whom I knew only as a name before this piece, kind of reminds me of George Carlin, whom I consider to be a modern philosopher who happened to earn his living as I comic. Carlin went against everything he grew up with, in the way of religious faith, and examined his own life in terms of how he could try to make it have some meaning. I suggest reading his books. He seriously examined his life, warts and all. I have learned from him, and got to laugh at the same time .