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Single Idea 4827

[catalogued under 28. God / B. Proving God / 3. Proofs of Evidence / e. Miracles]

Full Idea

Anyone who seeks the true cause of miracles, and strives to understand natural phenomena as an intelligent being, and not to gaze at them like a fool, is denounced as an impious heretic by those whom the masses adore as interpreters of nature and gods.

Gist of Idea

Priests reject as heretics anyone who tries to understand miracles in a natural way


Baruch de Spinoza (The Ethics [1675], IApp)

Book Reference

Spinoza,Benedict de: 'Ethics, Improvement of Understanding, Letters', ed/tr. Elwes,R [Dover 1955], p.78

A Reaction

A rather bitter personal remark, by someone who was driven out of Amsterdam as a heretic. Presumably the heresy is not aggressive a priori naturalism, but mere openness to the possibility of natural explanations of miracles.