This past Monday night, I delivered a talk on a topic that still captivates me, even though I supposedly have "finished" the project. It focuses on the following paradox in Spinoza's thought: How can a world characterized by supreme complexity spring from a cause (God) that is supremely simple? Stated differently, how can God be equated to Nature, which is supremely complex, and to Substance, which is supremely simple? This paper will get you thinking about both God and politics, and was inspired by a prayer delivered by my daughter Hannah to open a pro forma session of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Why is this topic so intriguing to me? Above all else, because it deals with a doctrine that is hardly unique to Spinoza -- divine simplicity. Thomas Aquinas and Duns Scotus are two other philosophers who supported that doctrine even before Spinoza did. I must say that it's far afield from the way most people think about God. But is it reasonable? Is it compelling? Does it give us sustenance? I'll leave those questions for you to think about when you read an essay based on Monday night's talk. You can find the essay at the following page of my website, under the title: "The Complexity of the World, the Simplicity of God: A Spinozist Perspective" -- www.danielspiro.com/spinoza.html.
I hope you enjoy it.