maandag 8 oktober 2018

MA-1951-thesis over “Spinoza's concept of God’s infinity” -#Spinoza

De Bibliotheek van de Boston University heeft de dissertaties en theses uit de tijd dat ze nog met typemachines werden gemaakt, gedigitaliseerd. Ook de MA-thesis van Gordon Clement Wickersham. Eerst even over wie hij was:
Uit zijn obituary: Gordon C. Wickersham, age 87, of Bourbonnais, passed away on Friday, December 27, 2013 at home. Gordon was born on May 23, 1926 to Ross and Olive (Clement) Wickersham in Binghamton, NY. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy and English from Olivet Nazarene University. He went on and received a Master’s Degree in Philosophy from Boston University and a second Master’s Degree in Philosophy from Nazarene Theological Seminary. He married the former Marva Davis on March 31, 1950 at Kansas City First Church of the Nazarene in Kansas City, MO. He spent 8 years pastoring churches in South Texas and Chicago area. He worked at Bethany Nazarene College for 11 years as Publicity Director as well as Alumni Director. He then worked at Olivet Nazarene University for 20 years in student recruitment and as Publicity Director before his retirement in 1992. After retirement he worked part time as the Religion Editor for the Daily Journal. He enjoyed photography and loved music.” Zijn MA-thesis is gedigitaliseerd:
Gordon Clement Wickersham, Spinoza's concept of God's infinity. MA-thesis Boston University, 1951 – cf. & PDF

Abstract: The fundamental principle of the philosophy of Benedict de Spinoza is the necessary and absolute infinity of God. He defined God as an absolutely infinite being. This concept is the starting point of his philosophy. All of his thinking is God-centered. The proof of his principle of infinity is presented in the Ethics, Book I. Spinoza began with an intuitive notion of God. He expressed his intuitive beliefs in definitions and axioms to begin the structure of his philosophy. The propositions and proofs which follow are rational explanations of the intuitive definitions. The reality of God is proven by the necessity for a First Cause, a self-caused being. The infinity of God is affirmed because God is the only substance which can possess the attribute of existence. There is no other being of the same kind as God; therefore nothing exists which can limit God. All particular things flow necessarily from the nature of God. All reality is in God. Everything that is, is God. [TRUNCATED] Spinoza disagreed fundamentally with Christianity. He denied the personality of God essential to the Christian faith. He did not comprehend the meaning of Christ's incarnation, but believed that Jesus perceived and taught the highest truths. Spinoza objected to irrational belief in miracles and mysteries as a basis for faith in the Infinite God. He rejected the idea of sin, and denied the freedom of the human will to choose good or evil. The Christian doctrine of salvation is by forgiveness of sins through repentance and faith. Spinoza denied the possibility of sins against God, and condemned repentance as pain, or evil resulting from fear. Spinoza and Christianity agree that love is the highest function of God and man. But Spinoza's intellectual love consisting in the mental comprehension of the necessary truths of the universe is not to be compared with the glorious love of the Christian God which is shared and reciprocated by finite men in a personal union of spirit with the infinite God. Spinoza's concept of God's infinity is perhaps the greatest concept held about God. It is exalting to think about the Infinite God. That Infinite God can achieve real meaning, however, only as he is the Perfect Person. Perfect Personality does not limit the being of God. This is the highest concept of God possible. The highest function of man is to participate in the Infinite Love of the Infinitely Perfect Person of God.”

Aan het per se willen lezen van Spinoza’s “Infinite God” als “Perfect Person” zie je het christelijke van de auteur. Ook “Substance possess the attribute of existence” is een wat onspinozistische omschrijving. Voor wie zich nog eens speciaal met Gods Oneindigheid wil bezighouden, kan het wellicht nuttig zijn van deze thesis kennis te nemen.

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