Born into a humble Jewish family in Amsterdam in 1632, Baruch Spinoza became one of the key figures of the seventeenth-century Dutch and European Enlightenment.
Although Spinoza was often the subject of persecution as an atheist in his day, his writings played an important role in shaping philosophy, theology, and politics for centuries to come. For example, Hegel claimed to his contemporaries that “either you are a Spinozist or you are not a philosopher”. Early political Zionists often invoked Spinoza, who endorsed Jewish self-confidence. His thought remains a turning point in the history of liberal constitutionalism; because it provides one of the clearest and most compelling defenses of free speech, democracy, and the dignity of the philosophical life.
1) “Hope is the restless joy that comes from the idea of a future or past thing whose event leaves us in doubt”
2) “Compassion is love insofar as it allows one to rejoice for the benefit of others and grieve over his misfortune”
3) “No one can keep God in hate”
4) “The existence of a being is to persevere in its existence”
6) “That’s all, in itself or something else”
7) “Liberty exists by its own necessity and is said to be a decision to act by itself”
8) “Don’t mock, don’t cry, don’t curse but don’t understand”
9) “The desire born of joy is equal and stronger than the desires of sadness”
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