In this paper an attempt is made to argue for the coherence of Spinoza’s insistence on the truthfulness of Christianity. A lack of empirical data on the causal factors responsible for the occurrence of prophecies, the origins of Scripture, and the possibility of obtaining salvation by practicing obedience (to what he considers to be the moral essence of true religion) prohibits Spinoza from claiming mathematical certainty on the truth of revealed religion. The available Scriptural evidence, however, enables the author of the Tractatus theologico-politicus to conclude that we can be morally certain of the truth of Christianity. In view of Spinoza’s assessment of the cognitive possibilities offered by our temporary existence as finite modes this assessment of religion appears to make considerable sense.

Spinoza, Tractatus theologico-politicus, causaliteit, intelligibiliteit, ware godsdienst
dx.doi.org/10.2143/TVF.74.2.2162469, hdl.handle.net/1765/37316
Tijdschrift voor filosofie
Erasmus School of Philosophy

van Bunge, L. (2012). Spinoza over ware godsdienst. Causaliteit en intelligibiliteit in de Tractatus theologico-politicus. Tijdschrift voor filosofie, 74(2), 241–267. doi:10.2143/TVF.74.2.2162469