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Single Idea 19933

[catalogued under 25. Society / D. Political Doctrines / 10. Theocracy]

Full Idea

[In the first Hebrew state] religious dogmas were not doctrines but rather laws and decrees, piety being regarded as justice and impiety as crime. Anyone who defected from this religion ceased to be a citizen.

Gist of Idea

If religion is law, then piety is justice, impiety is crime, and non-believers must leave


Baruch de Spinoza (Tractatus Theologico-Politicus [1670], 17.08)

A Reaction

Presumably speeding offences count as impiety, and failing to pray is a crime. A critical question will be how far religious doubts must extend before one actually has to leave. Mere doctrinal differences, or full atheism?

Book Reference

Spinoza,Benedict de: 'Theological-Political Treatise', ed/tr. Israel,Jonathan [CUP 2007], p.213

Related Idea

Idea 19932 The early Hebrews, following Moses, gave up their rights to God alone [Spinoza]