Spinoza And Eastern Philosophy

I have been an unofficial student of philosophy for a few years now. My terminology and language probably don't meet the standards of the stuffy, contemporary philosophers found in overpriced lecture halls but I will do my best.

As of late I have been concerned with the metaphysics of Baruch Spinoza and some of the Eastern traditions such as Taoism and Buddhism. How Spinoza's pantheist interpretation of "God" seems to have foundational similarities to those in the East. Like the Tao, Spinoza seems to make a claim that there are no separate "things" in the universe and that all and nothing, from grain to galaxies, are all one "being". Or, as Spinoza claims, God. Which the word "God" could easily be replaced with "Tao" or "Satchitananda". In other words Spinoza denies any notion of a anthropomorphic, personal god like that found in the Abrahamic religions of the west. Christianity, Judaism, Islam.

My main concerns are as follows:
1.) What are the implications of such a philosophy? Would anything change if this philosophy were adopted by the majority?.
2.) What are the arguments against this view? Could there be any?
3.) Is this just a form of Nietzche's perspectivism that shouldn't be taken seriously as a philosophical argument or hypothesisIs. Or is it just as Schopenhauer eluded to, just a matter of giving the "sum" of all the parts a different title? I'm just curious what others think about this interpretation of God.

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1 Response May 8, 2012

I am with Schopenhauer on this one: Saying that God = Nature = God gets us nothing - unless you are ascribing qualities to nature beyond what appears to science and the senses. But then you're back where you started, because you now have to identify and explain the supra-natural and occult aspect that is more than some mere given (random, senseless) arrangement of matter and energy. You are back to pursuing something transcending nature.