Friday, September 9, 2016

617: Spinoza... new ideas...

In the previous lecture I wondered, if for instance a man like Descartes ever was married. It happened that I got the answer yesterday.
He never was married, but he had a mistress with whom he had a daughter. Sad to say, but the little girl died when she was 5 years old.
Spinoza lived a private  and somewhat secluded life perhaps, it may seem, but it was  not a lonely life at all.
By the end of the 1650s, Spinoza, about 30 then, had established a circle of friends, the most notable of whom were Jan Rieuwertsz, 
a bookseller and publisher of Dutch translations of Descartes’ works, who was later to become Spinoza’s publisher; 
Jan Glazemaker, translator into Dutch of Descartes’works, who was later to translate most of Spinoza’s works into Dutch. 
Peter Balling, the Amsterdam agent of various Spanish merchants, who was to translate Spinoza’s first published work, an exposition of Descartes, into Dutch. 
the brothers Jan and Adriaan Koerbagh, the latter of whom died in prison for publishing Spinozistic views 
and Lodewijk Meyer, a prominent member of Amsterdam literary circles.
Many of Spinoza’s friends also had a connection with the University of Leiden,  a place where one could study Cartesian philosophy  in the late 1650s.
Until well into the seventeenth century, the philosophy at the universities was essentially still medieval: it practiced philosophy in scholastic manner. 
The scholasticism is not so marked as a movement, but rather as a certain style of philosophizing, 
which is dominant from the twelfth century on in Europe, and that included very diverse schools. 
Characteristic of scholasticism is firstly an intimate relationship of theology and philosophy, and furthermore,  in conjunction therewith, the method used. 
In that method the focus is on reading, commenting and discussing central authoritative texts in public discussions. 
Deployment of the scholastic method is not so much to develop new philosophical and scientific knowledge, 
but rather to clarify and transfer of already existing beliefs. The framework for these views was formed by religious faith.
As a small sidetrack, it may occur to you, that this scholastic method is still characteristic for the Islamic world with its Quran and imams since 1100 A.D or even earlier.
At present several people with new ideas, especially highly educated women, are simply murdered, at least 15 in the past two years.
It resembles the times, in which Descartes and Spinoza lived. The only relatively safe place in Europe was The Netherlands, if you kept a low profile.
But Descartes and Spinoza transcended the scholastic straitjacket and introduced new ideas in a time, where also science introduced new ideas, which destroyed dogmatic worldview.
Maybe there is a parallel with our present moment in history with respect to the fight between dogmatic Islamic thinking
and the reality of Western science and culture. Its response is killing people with new ideas, blowing up schools in Afghanistan or abduction schoolgirls in Nigeria.
I just want to finish with  the observation, that dogmatic religion in Europe eventually lost, but also that you have to keep in mind that this happened hardly a 50 to 100 years ago.
Thank you….feel free to ask questions or add your thoughts to our discussion… ^_^
Main Sources:
MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995

Dan Garrett, (ed.), “Cambridge Companion to Spinoza” (2001)

The Discussion

[13:19] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine) claps
[13:19] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): she is not the only one
[13:19] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): how did the Netherlands become a place for thinking then
[13:19] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that invited such thoughts
[13:19] herman Bergson: Good question, Gemma....
[13:19] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and not other countries
[13:20] herman Bergson: one explanation could be that the Dutch were merchants....
[13:20] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): yes true
[13:20] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): and its a small country
[13:20] CB Axel: As I understand it, because the Netherlands was predominantly Protestant, the Church didn't control them.
[13:20] herman Bergson: merchants only choose the side of where the profits are...
[13:20] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): the u open your ears and eyes more to other countries
[13:21] herman Bergson: merchants don't discuss ideologies....just trade :-)
[13:21] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): But they have to make relations to others
[13:21] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ah
[13:21] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): Thats the key of traiding
[13:21] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): good trading
[13:21] herman Bergson: besides that ..the Portuguese Jews in Amsterdam were a huge source of economic prosperity for the town
[13:22] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): true
[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ha
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok
[13:22] herman Bergson: and as the saying goes....PECUNIA NON OLET....
[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): was wondering how or why they ended up there too
[13:22] herman Bergson: Money doesnt stink :-)
[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): teh other day
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:23] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): it stinks. but no one will smell it
[13:24] herman Bergson: One aspect of the situation might be that that part of the Netherlands was protestant....but devided in several factions.....
[13:24] CB Axel: Linden dollars have no smell whatsoever.
[13:24] herman Bergson: there was no ruling Church...
[13:24] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): yes, thats true herman
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thus more safe for new ideas
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ok
[13:25] herman Bergson: So they had to be tolerant towards each other.....unless they wanted war
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): the picture is clearer
[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:25] CB Axel: I don't think Muslims are much worse than Christians. Christians today are just more subltle.
[13:25] herman Bergson: But the picture is very volatile Gemma....
[13:25] herman Bergson: in a week anther faction could become the dominant one...
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ah
[13:26] herman Bergson: Mainly there were two groups....
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well that is going on all over the world i think
[13:26] herman Bergson: royalists and republicans.....
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): look at our problem
[13:26] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): yes bejiita, when u are a "true" believer and do not use religion only for your things.
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes
[13:28] herman Bergson: As you may have noticed...Descartes pays an important role in this moment of history....
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i am going to crash
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): need to relog
[13:28] herman Bergson: ok Gemma :-)
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok
[13:28] CB Axel: Suppression of free thought is evil no matter who's god is suppressing you.
[13:29] herman Bergson: Yes CB
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): so true
[13:29] herman Bergson: ANd to some extend free thought was possible in The Netherlands of those days
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:30] herman Bergson: Look at this map and try to find the green spots.....
[13:30] herman Bergson: THIS is the present situation....
[13:30] CB Axel: Only two that I can see.
[13:31] herman Bergson: Indeed!
[13:31] CB Axel: Oops. Three.
[13:31] herman Bergson: yes you didn’t expect that green patch in Africa :-))
[13:31] CB Axel: Herman walked out of chat range for those of us at the back. °͜°
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): true
[13:31] CB Axel: We're looking at the world map, Gemma.
[13:31] herman Bergson: Ohh I am sorry.....
[13:31] CB Axel: Looking for green spots.
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ah ok
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): repeat what you said over there if anything
[13:32] herman Bergson: I just asked everyone to look for the green spots on that map...
[13:32] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): sorry which map?
[13:32] CB Axel: One up in the Baltics, One in West Africa, and The Netherlands.
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes i see three
[13:32] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): ah thanks^^
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:32] herman Bergson: this one...sorry
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): the one in west Africa is?
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i forget
[13:33] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): and Germany is also a spot in green?
[13:33] herman Bergson: I guess Sierra Leone
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i read that report
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh goodness i think not!!!!
[13:33] CB Axel: Belgium? Is that green, too?
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): not even here all is perfect
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): it seems
[13:34] herman Bergson: there is a fourth one ....
[13:34] herman Bergson: Estonia...
[13:34] herman Bergson: below Finland
[13:34] CB Axel: I see one down around Croatia.
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): wow i guess it is sierra leone
[13:35] herman Bergson: yes indeed...!
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aa there
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): see it
[13:35] herman Bergson: I am getting more optimistic by the minute :-)
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:35] CB Axel: Kosovo?
[13:36] herman Bergson: yes or Montenegro?
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): wish it was even more green
[13:36] CB Axel: I'd like to see the US divided between north and south to see if the color would change. °͜°
[13:36] herman Bergson: Well the black countries are telling.....
[13:36] herman Bergson: Still at the Medieval level...
[13:37] herman Bergson: in some respects
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): we had that report as homework a couple years ago
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its so strange,
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): that they want to go backward in time like this
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its 2016!
[13:37] herman Bergson: No no bejiita...they dont go backward intime....
[13:37] CB Axel: I'm surprised by New Zealand. I wonder if that's because the Maori are not well treated.
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but i guess its all about power
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): repressing others
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): others
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): they live still like in middle ages
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sharia laws and other crazy stuff
[13:38] herman Bergson: since ...say..1000 the most important intellectual task of the Islamic culture was to know and interprete the Quran and try to stick as close as possible to the true interpretation
[13:39] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): hi laila
[13:39] herman Bergson: every new ideea was kicked immediately as being not the true meaning of the Quran...
[13:39] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): sadly
[13:39] CB Axel: Or to a small group's true interpretation.
[13:39] herman Bergson: and it is still their culture...for centuries now
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): in other words time stand still there
[13:40] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): yes. and they do not learn and move forward
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): so long to work on it when some don’t want any change
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): but some do
[13:40] herman Bergson: to some extend yes....but on the other hand they cant close their eyes for Western knowledge and technology....
[13:40] herman Bergson: so there is the conflict....
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): who want to live in a world of violence and suffering?
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and it looks like turkey might be going in the wrong direction too
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well the ones using it as power
[13:40] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): wanting the result but do not want to learn
[13:41] herman Bergson: yes Gemma....
[13:41] herman Bergson: But let me tell you a true story....
[13:41] CB Axel: Yes. Turkey has me worried.
[13:41] herman Bergson: It tells exactly how it is....
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed, When i was there a while ago i saw it as a sort of safe one but not anymore
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): right
[13:41] herman Bergson: We have a TV program....
[13:41] herman Bergson: A camera folows the police in their work...
[13:41] herman Bergson: A car was stopped....
[13:42] herman Bergson: a woman was using her handy which is forbidden....
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): handy?????
[13:42] herman Bergson: the was wearing  a scarf over her head....muslima...
[13:42] Ciska Riverstone: cellphone
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ah
[13:42] herman Bergson: cellphone
[13:43] herman Bergson: the policeman said...sorry you get a ticket...
[13:43] herman Bergson: she answered I wasn’t on the phone....
[13:43] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): yes, they just put it there every time
[13:43] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): looks terrible, but ok^^
[13:43] herman Bergson: I have a toothacke...and I was listneing to the Quran....against the pain....
[13:43] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): lol
[13:44] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): ah o. THATS the reason??
[13:44] herman Bergson: the policeman said....I guess an aspirin would be more effective than listening to the Quran....
[13:44] herman Bergson: the woman answered.....
[13:44] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): well, thats also a stupid question.
[13:44] herman Bergson: You only can say that because you are not a believer.....
[13:45] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): medicine does not always help. Also the spiritual things help. We must get back the feeling of things and people
[13:45] herman Bergson: and that is essential in muslim thinking.....
[13:45] herman Bergson: all non believers are inferior to them....
[13:45] herman Bergson: all kefar have to be killed....all non believers
[13:46] CB Axel: And you think that was her point?
[13:46] herman Bergson: and that battle is raging on nowadays
[13:46] herman Bergson: Oh yes.....CB....she was very convincing in her  behavior
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): awful, its like the doomsday is coming, a horde of demons blowing every living thing on the planet to pieces
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): until the earth is totally dead
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): :(
[13:46] CB Axel: Chrisitans say the same thing about the Bible. Buddhists say it about meditation.
[13:46] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): I think there is no battle.Its a normal development of all humans. Of believng and finding your way of living
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): has to stop this madness
[13:46] herman Bergson: I don't think so, Bejiita....:-)
[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:46] Ciska Riverstone: no herman  - I would not say that in that case- that woman for sure did not want to kill the policeman - she wanted to follower her religion - but she should have done by putting the quoran on her cd in her car radio
[13:47] CB Axel: I agree, Ciska.
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lok what ISIS is doing, they re nuts
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): thehy have nothing to do with muslims
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hopefully they will be stopped
[13:47] herman Bergson: A lot of people in Islamic countries also see that they only can improve their standard of living when they adopt new ideas....
[13:47] Ciska Riverstone: so the ticket was right - but it wasn' t the officers business either to tell her how she has to ease her pain
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): they are not religious
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): they have their own crazy ideas
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): they just say it is for religion
[13:48] CB Axel: Exactly, Ciska.
[13:48] herman Bergson: that is right Ciska ....he just suggested an other option to her
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but that is the problem, Islam in its basic form i don’t think is evil but then some interpret it wrongly, create their own version and then we get things like IS
[13:48] Ciska Riverstone: well o
[13:48] Ciska Riverstone: no herman
[13:48] Ciska Riverstone: he judged her possibility
[13:48] Ciska Riverstone: and taught her the right one ,)
[13:49] CB Axel: I think I would have to hear the actual exchange so I could hear their tone of voice.
[13:49] Ciska Riverstone: so she reacted the same way
[13:49] herman Bergson: yes indeed....
[13:49] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): Ciska, what is the right religion?
[13:49] herman Bergson: on the other hand ....
[13:49] CB Axel: Seeing it would be even better. To see their facial expressions and body language.
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): religion is a complex subject for sure
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well some believe meditation will cure a head ache or any other ache
[13:49] herman Bergson: listening to the Quran could have a placebo effect for the woman
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats true
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): or anyone
[13:49] Ciska Riverstone: there is no such thing as a right religion ;)
[13:49] CB Axel: Hermine, the right religion is what's right for the individual.
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:50] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): Ja Ciska^^
[13:50] CB Axel: If people what to believe in a magical man in the sky, fine. I just wish they'd leave me alone.
[13:50] Ciska Riverstone: of course herman maybe a better one then aspirin
[13:50] herman Bergson: could be indeed Ciska....wouldn’t surprise me
[13:50] Ciska Riverstone: so that’s not for the policeman to judge  - the policeman’s judging is right about it takes her attention away to hold a cellphone and drive
[13:51] Ciska Riverstone: and thats it
[13:51] herman Bergson: so it is Ciska :-)
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats true, fiddling with phone and drive is insanely dangerous
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): should not be done for any reason
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): against the law here
[13:51] herman Bergson: But my point was actually that Islam had a strong tendency to take the attitude that non believers are inferior beings
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the crazy thing its not illegal in Sweden
[13:52] CB Axel: It's like something I read once: Religion is like a penis. It's fine to have one. It's fine to be proud of it. But please don't whip it out in public and start waving it around. And PLEASE don't try to shove it down my throat.
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): unless you caused an accident and then its too late
[13:52] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): lol
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hahah thats so true CB
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol
[13:52] herman Bergson: Like in Spinoza's days and even in our days atheists are inferior human beings with no moral standards
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i see
[13:54] herman Bergson: We'll continue our research on Spinoza next Tuesday....
[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:54] herman Bergson: Thank you all for your participation again...
[13:54] herman Bergson: Class dismissed  :-)
[13:54] herman Bergson: and hello Laila ^_^
[13:54] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): thank u herman
[13:54] Laila Schuman: hello
[13:54] Ciska Riverstone: thanx herman - thanx all
[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu then
[13:54] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.
[13:55] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:55] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): YAY! (yay!)
[13:55] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hope to be here tuesday if i get home in time
[13:55] Daruma Hermine Boa (hermine): it was interesting as always
[13:55] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes
[13:55] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok cu tuesday
[13:55] herman Bergson: Thank you Daruma :-)
[13:55] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:55] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): bye for now
[13:55] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): bye all
[13:55] herman Bergson: Bye Gemma :-)

[13:55] Ciska Riverstone: bye all

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