Enlightenment

The Cosmos: Truth vs. Perspective

Conclusions that will be made are as follows: God is the whole universe in its entirety, so we are all pieces of God in a sense like cells in a body. We begin with the simple notion that all things either exist in themselves or in something else. That which cannot be conceived through another thing must be conceived through itself. That is, when something exists, if it was not created or thought of by something else then it must have been created and thought of by itself, for it must have been created for it to exist.

When God is used we directly attribute it to Nature because we accept that they are one in the same, instead of the notion that there is a separation, as the separation between mind and body being in the material realm and the immaterial realm. When we talk about Substance and Mode, we understand that Substance is an entity that depends only on itself and that Modes are different forms derived from the one entity and they depend on this Substance. For instance, if sun was a substance then heat would be a mode of that substance. The accepted notion here is that there is only one substance in all the cosmos and that it is God-i.e.-Nature.

We do not differentiate the two, only that God-i.e.-Nature is all. Nature-i.e.-God is infinite and perfect. For a human to assume imperfection is to assume the imperfection in respects to themselves. When we think something is imperfect we do so under the notion that things are bad, good, beautiful, and vile. These notions derive from how we understand things through ourselves. For example, one might say that sunflowers are good because they enjoy the scent they give off and because one could enjoy their seeds, and say that a poisonous flower is bad because it has the ability to kill. People argue the imperfection in the cosmos because of these but neglect to realize that if God-i.e.-Nature is entirely powerful, then it is within its nature to be all possible things. It must then be accepted that the existence of “all bad” and “all good” are also within its nature as being perfect. The existence of all things is the perfection in Nature.

Now, to settle some arguments, some would argue at the notion that God being directly attributed to Nature, in a sense that it would be material, as absurd. Dealing with the notion that God is corporeal (material); opponents assume that it must be divisible which goes against the nature of God. This is false, the notion that it is necessary for a corporeal substance to be divisible would be ‘absurd’ to Benedict Spinoza. If the entire thing is one and there can be no other thing, how can it divide?

The next argument that is misunderstood is that God-i.e.-Nature is the immanent (“indwelling”) cause of everything, as opposed to the notion that God is “out-dwelling” from a different realm; suggesting that God causes from within, that God is inseparable from Gods effect on (Nature). This argument is the differentiation from old accepted concepts that God was an existence that existed outside our notion of reality and watched over through a threshold. This concept however derives from the thought that God-i.e.-Nature is one and all. The thought that God is not an intelligent designer also arises, that in Gods perfection it had no choice but to create everything as part of its perfection.

This conclusion comes from Spinoza ‘ claim in Proposition 29 of Ethics 1, where he states, “Nothing in nature is contingent, but all things are from necessity of the divine nature determined to exist and to act in a definite way.” The word contingent means that something could have been different, while necessary means it could not have been different. So, we find that the statement means that nothing that has happened could have gone any different than it went. This does not mean that things were ‘designed’ or ‘planned’ because this takes intelligent design. The thought is that anything that has happened or will happen is the only things that would’ve happened. So, whatever clothing you are wearing at the moment, or whatever activity you are participating in, you could not have been wearing nor doing anything besides what you are doing right now. So, as Ip33 states in conclusion to the explanations, “Things could not be produced by God in any other way or in any other order than is the case”.

To conclude, we deal with what Spinoza claims oppositions to these views hinge on, the mass belief among men that all things in Nature are like themselves in ‘acting with an end in view’. This means that the way mankind looks at life and the cosmos is in terms of an end because to us there is a point in time that there is such a thing. The point is that all final causes are nothing but human fiction. Man should not assume that the cosmos are more so in order than confusion. Since the things we can easily imagine are especially pleasing to us, men prefer ‘order’ to ‘confusion’, as if order were something in Nature more than a relation to our imagination. Chaos in the cosmos is balance and order.

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