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So I added sections to the article. I think this will make it much easier to expand the article to an appropriate size given the importance of the topic. I think the sections should cover every major area which deserves treatment. Anyone have any thoughts/criticisms? A Friendly Spinozist (talk) 19:22, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
I also apologize for the lack of citations. However, since nothing in the article is really cited I thought I would fix that problem all at once. A Friendly Spinozist (talk) 19:42, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
So I thought I would begin work on this article by deleting all of the misinformation that I can identify. I have my rationale for each deletion here.
This is inaccurate because, in fact Spinoza defends a theocratic form of government in chapter 19 of the TTP (Shirley translation page 284). For instance, Spinoza writes that "the sovereign is the interpreter of religion" and it is clear, in the context, that he means this as a normative claim.
2. "To Spinoza, all "revealed" religion..."
Spinoza does NOT think that we should analyze revealed religion based on reason (See his discussion in Chapter 7, Shirley 141). This is Maimonides's view and Spinoza, at last on the surface, refutes it. Spinoza thinks we should divorce religion and philosophy as is said in the next paragraph. Now, there is a sense in which this point is right. Spinoza does favor reason over revealed religion and he does favor some kind of rational investigation into scripture. However, this point needs to be more nuanced and as it stands it is incorrect. I deleted it for now. A Friendly Spinozist (talk) 19:00, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Spinoza a pantheist philosopher?
It looks more like the authors of this article want to see Spinoza's treatise through the glasses of some famous German readers by the end of the 18th century. I have removed the assumption that Spinoza was a "pantheist". This can be mentioned in this article as part of the reception history.
Systems of government in the treatise
According to First Stadtholderless Period
Spinoza, in his Tractatus theologico-politicus, tried to give Van den Enden's political ideas a foundation in his own philosophy, by pointing out that demcocracy is the best form of government "approaching most closely to that freedom which nature grants to every man". Other than Thomas Hobbes, Spinoza posited that Man does not give up the rights he possesses in the state of Nature to the State, when he enters the social contract. To him therefore leaving Man as close as possible to that state of Nature is important, and he thinks that democracy accomplishes this best, as it is "the most natural" and "rational" form of government... Spinoza stressed the importance of unlimited toleration and freedom of expression.
These seemingly very important aspects of the treatise are not discussed in the current article.
Note on Book about the subject
A recent work came out on the reception of this book came out, that may be of intrest to editors of this page: "A Book Forged in Hell: Spinoza's Scandalous Treatise and the Birth of the Secular Age" by Steven Nadler
Hello there. Kudos on your true encyclopedia editing work on this article. This note is just to let you know I will be reading your work with the utmost interest, and eventually, when time permits, I will also try to contribute here. So far, your ideas look great, and thanks for doing it and for waking me up again to the subject. Cheers, warshytalk 15:45, 21 March 2013 (UTC)