Spinoza's concept of God's infinity.
Wickersham, Gordon Clement
MetadataShow full item record
The fundamental principle of the philosophy of Benedict de Spinoza is the necessary and absolute infinity of God. He defined God as an absolutely infinite being. This concept is the starting point of his philosophy. All of his thinking is God-centered. The proof of his principle of infinity is presented in the Ethics, Book I. Spinoza began with an intuitive notion of God. He expressed his intuitive beliefs in definitions and axioms to begin the structure of his philosophy. The propositions and proofs which follow are rational explanations of the intuitive definitions. The reality of God is proven by the necessity for a First Cause, a self-caused being. The infinity of God is affirmed because God is the only substance which can possess the attribute of existence. There is no other being of the same kind as God; therefore nothing exists which can limit God. All particular things flow necessarily from the nature of God. All reality is in God. Everything that is, is God. [TRUNCATED] Spinoza disagreed fundamentally with Christianity. He denied the personality of God essential to the Christian faith. He did not comprehend the meaning of Christ's incarnation, but believed that Jesus perceived and taught the highest truths. Spinoza objected to irrational belief in miracles and mysteries as a basis for faith in the Infinite God. He rejected the idea of sin, and denied the freedom of the human will to choose good or evil. The Christian doctrine of salvation is by forgiveness of sins through repentance and faith. Spinoza denied the possibility of sins against God, and condemned repentance as pain, or evil resulting from fear. Spinoza and Christianity agree that love is the highest function of God and man. But Spinoza's intellectual love consisting in the mental comprehension of the necessary truths of the universe is not to be compared with the glorious love of the Christian God which is shared and reciprocated by finite men in a personal union of spirit with the infinite God. Spinoza's concept of God's infinity is perhaps the greatest concept held about God. It is exalting to think about the Infinite God. That Infinite God can achieve real meaning, however, only as he is the Perfect Person. Perfect Personality does not limit the being of God. This is the highest concept of God possible. The highest function of man is to participate in the Infinite Love of the Infinitely Perfect Person of God.
Thesis (M.A.)--Boston University
RightsBased on investigation of the BU Libraries' staff, this work is free of known copyright restrictions.