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“The highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free.”
“Be not astonished at new ideas; for it is well known to you that a thing does not therefore cease to be true because it is not accepted by many.”
“If you want the present to be different from the past, study the past.”
“I would warn you that I do not attribute to nature either beauty or deformity, order or confusion. Only in relation to our imagination can things be called beautiful or ugly, well-ordered or confused.”
Watch the excellent video excerpt about the life and philosophy of Spinoza from the book The Story of Philosophy, by Will Durant
Baruch Spinoza (1632 – 1677 ) has been called by some “The Prince of Philosophers”. By the Catholic Church and the Jewish priests he was banned as a “heretic”. Spinoza was raised in the Portuguese Jewish community in Amsterdam. He developed highly controversial ideas regarding the authenticity of the Hebrew Bible and the nature of the Divine. The Jewish religious authorities excommunicated him, effectively excluding him from Jewish society at age 23. His books were also later put on the Catholic Church’s Index of Forbidden Books.
If you are fundamentally heretical, like me, how can you not love this guy?