Talk:Baruch Spinoza

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This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Baruch Spinoza page.

Ignorantia non est argumentum[edit]

"Ignorantia non est argumentum." Translation: "Ignorance is no argument." Source: Ethica ordine geometrico demonstrata et in quinque parses distincta, Part 1, Addendum; Amsterdam, 1677.

I have not found this particular quote in any paragraph of part 1 in Ethics. I have seen it on the internet more often (even on the BBC Web site), but it seems to me that it is not an actual quote, but rather an idea of Spinoza put in a quick "tag-line"

The closest I could find was:

"We must not omit to notice that the followers of this doctrine, anxious to display their talent in assigning final causes, have imported a new method of argument in proof of their theory--namely, a reduction, not to the impossible, but to ignorance; thus showing that they have no other method of exhibiting their doctrine."

Source: Ethics by Benedict de Spinoza (1677) Translated from the Latin by R.H.M. Elwes (1883) MTSU Philosophy WebWorks Hypertext Edition

Mcmvanbree 20:08, 20 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The actual quote "ignorantia non est argumentum" is attributed to Friedrich Engels in Anti-Duhring (Herrn Eugen Dühring's Umwälzung der Wissenschaft ("Anti-Dühring"), Kap. IX, Moral und Recht. Freiheit und Notwendigkeit): "Worauf wir nur mit Spinoza antworten können: Ignorantia non est argumentum, die Unwissenheit ist kein Beweisgrund." 08:36, 21 October 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]


This is the best Wikiquote page I've come across. Whoever has done it did an absolutely sterling job. Thanks very much!

—This unsigned comment is by (talkcontribs) . (15 March 2008‎)
To aid in the defense of myself against a very few people who have sometimes sought to belittle, remove or destroy my work for some years now, it should be noted that this anonymous comment was made after I had worked extensively on it, and it was in this state (+ a few images which have been deleted at the commons). Most of these were removed by people I believe over-zealous to suppress graphic presentations of significant ideas, until recently when I have begun restoring some of the images others had removed in a campaign of leveling and destruction which I found disgusting, but was too busy with many other things to do very much about at the time. Part of the page is also now at Ethics Geometrically Demonstrated (1677), where I have also restored much. ~ Kalki·· 21:09, 25 January 2014 (UTC) + tweaksReply[reply]
Kalki: You are fantastic!!! Just watched the linked version of the 2007 Spinoza page. I hope that you will restore the Spinoza page to the greatest extent possible so that it will become as fantastic as it was in the linked version of the 2007 Spinoza page. I encourage you to do so because you are superb contributor!!! --P3Y229 (talk) 00:19, 26 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Changes made on 2013-08-28[edit]

Added "all things excellent..." from the Ethics. Found the correct source and wording for "Peace is not mere absence of war..." (it is in the Political Treatise, not the Theological-Political Treatise). Grommel (talk) 20:41, 28 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I extended on that addition, but restored the previous variant on the theme, with mention that it might be an improperly cited paraphrase of the quote provided. ~ Kalki·· 04:19, 29 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I have a comment, The foreshortened quote inside the image box of the IXOYE cross incorrectly expresses the intent that Spinoza believes in Jesus Christ, which when you take the entire quote into account will see is not the Spinoza says…"the case is far otherwise."—This unsigned comment is by (talkcontribs) .

I believe that Spinoza, like I myself, certainly believed Jesus to have been a very real human being, and a clearly great human being who declared that all who did the will of Abba (the Father) and simply behaved justly with love for one another, were his brothers and sisters, and fellow children of Abba. Spinoza in his great monist understandings of many things clearly perceives in Jesus a great spiritual genius, and the greatest of all history, though he rejects many of the assumptions of those who would embrace or oppose divisive and destructive creeds born of shallow understandings of them, or who would seek to impose them upon others, and often seek to forbid or prevent any respectful attention be provided to any ideas which they do not understand or accept.
Spinoza declares: "I do not think it necessary for salvation to know Christ according to the flesh: but with regard to the Eternal Son of God, that is the Eternal Wisdom of God, which has manifested itself in all things and especially in the human mind, and above all in Christ Jesus, the case is far otherwise."
Here he is addressing errors which shallow, ignorant and confused interpreters of the words and ways of Jesus, (quite often intent on establishing or developing various power and control structures based upon definite ideologies such as can be expressed and formulated in words), have been making for millennia. Jesus, at his greatest and best was clearly a very insightful poetic and practical genius who exercised such principles in his magnificent career among mortals in a way as might today be called pragmatic, but were always a very profound pragmatism, dealing with the ultimate nature of all things, of humanity and the ALL which was ever one, and not merely the shallow selfish and social pragmatism of those most obsessed with personal pleasures, public displays, pomp, pretensions and power of various kinds.
Against the great spiritual tradition of well determined acceptance, forgiveness, and grace expressed and exemplified by a very great man there have arisen a great many divisive and destructive creeds and ideologies, such as those developed by those who (still filled with much fear and hatred of their fellow beings) would implicitly or explicitly assert that those who do not agree sufficiently with their particular understandings of God and this great man, and such will and attitudes as these understandings engender, are damned and doomed to endless torments and punishments.
From the start there have been those who opposed and resisted such corruptions, and took measures against them, such as the early apostles and Augustine of Hippo, but much ignorance and confusion persisted and prevailed among many, until such heroes and saints as Joan of Arc, Francis of Assisi and Giordano Bruno resurrected much of the profound fervor of the Eternal Spirit of Christ which has always endured and can never perish, and defied established traditions, assumptions, and began to follow the inclinations of their heart more boldly and courageously, rather than bowing down abjectly to the asinine and dictatorial assumptions and presumptions of those who had never developed much awareness beyond their personal desires, fears and hatreds, or had been extensively corrupted to ignore little other than these. In the capacity of most of humanity to clearly and understandingly respect and follow the ever living examples of such great people as Jesus and Spinoza (rather than any set formulations, such as even Spinoza himself became devoted to creating and offering to others, in a spirit of Liberty, but NOT imposing upon others with a spirit of intolerant will to dominate over others, without any regard to notions of Justice but their own), may True Eternal Grace ever grow amidst all, and show them the way to ultimate Happiness and Virtue and Peace. So it goes… ~ Kalki·· 16:44, 13 January 2014 (UTC) + tweaksReply[reply]

Split Template[edit]

The following split template copied from Wikipedia does not seem to be working. Trying to document the split by UDScott into Ethics (book) 15:16, 13 September 2012 according to Wikipedia Template:Split from

local mt = getmetatable(_G) or {} function mt.__index (t, k) if k ~= 'arg' then error('Tried to read nil global ' .. tostring(k), 2) end return nil end function mt.__newindex(t, k, v) if k ~= 'arg' then error('Tried to write global ' .. tostring(k), 2) end rawset(t, k, v) end setmetatable(_G, mt)

Also tried a Copy:Template in Baruch Spinoza article's "Talk", also with no luck.

ELApro (talk) 00:51, 21 January 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I do not know how to teach philosophy without becoming a disturber of established religion.[edit]

I can not find a source for this quote, which is attributed to Spinoza many places online. IOHANNVSVERVS (talk) 22:56, 8 October 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

IOHANNVSVERVS, I think this is another translation of Letter 48. According to translation of Samuel Shirley, the quote is this. --Y-S.Ko (talk) 01:37, 9 October 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I do not know within what limits the freedom to philosophise must be confined if I am to avoid appearing to disturb the publicly established religion. For divisions arise not so much from an ardent devotion to religion as from the different dis positions of men, or through their love of contradiction which leads them to dis tort or to condemn all things, even those that are stated aright. Now since I have already experienced this while leading a private and solitary life, it would be much more to be feared after I have risen to this position of eminence. So you see, most Honourable Sir, that my reluctance is not due to the hope of some better fortune, but to my love of peace, which I believe I can enjoy in some measure if I refrain from lecturing in public.
Thank you very much, Y-S.Ko! IOHANNVSVERVS (talk) 05:46, 9 October 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]