Volume 61, 2018
Philosophy of Religion
God Neither Loves Nor Hates Anyone
The title seems to suggest that God is neutral or indifferent to the universe that it permeates. Its neutrality being necessary for its immanence is acceptable but not its indifference. Following Spinoza’s monistic thinking we explore here the question as to how the ultimate reality, can or cannot be indifferent to its own self (the universe). Permeating the universe, God becomes a universal form or concept into which the human can imagine any version of thought-extension in accordance with the nature of his/her need. Indeed, Spinoza finds God formal it is the supreme substance which can and does inspire man’s polytheistic practices, as sustained by panentheistic faith. Moreover, for Spinoza relation between God and the universe is one of rational causality - God permeates the manifest universe, and the universe through its intelligibility illustrates God. The phrase in the title is not a denial of God’s desirability for man. Rather, it is a reaffirmation of God’s openness to the whole universe, by virtue of which it is one with Nature and vice versa. Each becomes explicable in terms of the other as both seep in rationality validating Spinoza’s ‘deus sive natura’.