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Spinoza’s Religion

August 7, 2014

For the advanced institute “The Jewish Idea of God”, founding CEO of the Ein Prat Academy Micah Goodman offered his interpretation of Spinoza. Goodman begins this clip by setting forth the proposition that humans are set apart by two qualities: we are the only animals aware that there is a future and we also know we cannot control that future. This produces a uniquely human anxiety. One way of dealing with it, argues Goodman, is the Stoic practice of holding an extreme present-orientation. The other option is Spinoza’s notion of religion: through a series of mundane “commanded” tasks, humans fool themselves into believing they have control. The religious man’s sense of safety is an illusion.


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