more from Baruch de Spinoza

Single Idea 19933

[catalogued under 24. Political Theory / D. Ideologies / 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)

Book Reference

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

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?

Related Idea

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