Spinoza's arguments for the existence of God

It is often thought that, although <span class='Hi'>Spinoza</span> develops a bold and distinctive conception of God (the unique substance, or Natura Naturans, in which all else inheres and which possesses infinitely many attributes, including extension), the arguments that he offers which purport to prove God’s existence contribute nothing new to natural theology. Rather, he is seen as just another participant in the seventeenthcentury revival of the ontological argument initiated by Descartes and taken up by Malebranche and Leibniz among others. That this is the case is both puzzling and unfortunate. It is puzzling because although <span class='Hi'>Spinoza</span> does offer an ontological proof for the existence of God, he also offers three other non-ontological proofs. It is unfortunate because these other non-ontological proofs are both more convincing and more interesting than his ontological proof. In this paper, I offer reconstructions and assessments of all of <span class='Hi'>Spinoza</span>’s arguments and argue that <span class='Hi'>Spinoza</span>’s metaphysical rationalism and his commitment to something like a Principle of Sufficient Reason are the driving force behind <span class='Hi'>Spinoza</span>’s non-ontological arguments
Keywords Spinoza  Ontological Argument  Cosmological Argument  God  Principle of Sufficient Reason
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DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2007.00076.x
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