My fourth blog post

While not directly criticizing Leibniz, Spinoza holds a drastically different view on creation and the universe. Spinoza believes “that everything that God thinks or conceives must also exist”,[23] and he combines God’s will and God’s understanding where Leibniz separates them. In other words, God cannot imagine an infinite number of worlds and “as a separate act of will” choose one of those to create.[23] How does Spinoza explain creation then? To put it simply, everything in the universe “is a direct result of God’s nature”.[23] The moment God thinks of something, it exists. As there are not an infinite amount of universes (according to Spinoza and Leibniz) God must have only conceived of one universe. This, however, still runs into the problem of the existence of evil. How can God, in His perfection, create a world capable of evil if the world is an extension of his mind? In any case, Spinoza still tries to justify a non-infinite basis for the universe, where reality is everything God has ever thought of.

Leibniz’s theory leaves much to be desired. He was quite paradoxical in his theory. Leibniz claims that the world we live in now is the best world that could be created. He says in The Monadology that God has the idea of infinitely many worlds. If that is true, why would God make this one as we know it? What makes this one so special? If there are infinite worlds, then would not there be one that is slightly better than this one? And one better than that one? Leibniz to account for this concluded that “there can be no infinite continuum of worlds” (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). This contradicts his statement that “God has an idea of infinitely many universes?” (Monadology). The problem in Leibniz’s philosophy is it has “paradoxical theses” (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). His thesis is like the question: What came first, the chicken or the egg? His paradoxical thesis is based on his conclusion contradicting his premises.

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