A Theologico-Political Treatise

A Theologico-Political Treatise

A THEOLOGICO-POLITICAL TREATISE BENEDICT DE SPINOZA Part 1 - Chapters I to V - 1spnt10.txt Part 2 - Chapters VI to X - 2spnt10.txt Part 3 - Chapters XI to XV - 3spnt10.txt Part 4 - Chapters XVI to XX - 4spnt10.txt Sentence Numbers shown thus (1) have been added by volunteer. A Theologico-Political Treatise Part IV of IV - Chapters XVI to XX by Baruch Spinoza TABLE OF CONTENTS: Search strings are shown thus [16:x]. Search forward and back with the same string. [16:0] CHAPTER XVI - Of the Foundations of a State; of the Natural and Civil Rights of Individuals; and of the Rights of the Sovereign Power. [16:1] In Nature right co-extensive with power. [16:2] This principle applies to mankind in the state of Nature. [16:3] How a transition from this state to a civil state is possible. [16:4] Subjects not slaves. [16:5] Definition of private civil right - and wrong. [16:6] Of alliance. [16:7] Of treason. [16:8] In what sense sovereigns are bound by Divine law. [16:9] Civil government not inconsistent with religion. [17:0] CHAPTER XVII.- It is shown that no one can or need transfer all his Rights to the Sovereign Power. Of the Hebrew Republic as it was during the lifetime of Moses and after his death till the foundation of the Monarchy; and of its Excellence. Lastly of the Causes why the Theocratic Republic fell and why it could hardly have continued without Dissension. [17:1] The absolute theory of Sovereignty ideal - No one can in fact transfer all his rights to the Sovereign power. Evidence of this. [17:2] The greatest danger in all States from within not without. [17:3] Original independence of the Jews after the Exodus. [17:4] Changed first to a pure democratic Theocracy. [17:5] Then to subjection to Moses. [17:6] Then to a Theocracy with the power divided between the high priest and the captains. [17:7] The tribes confederate states. [17:8] Restraints on the civil power. [17:9] Restraints on the people. [17:A] Causes of decay involved in the constitution of the Levitical priesthood. [18:0] CHAPTER XVIII.- From the Commonwealth of the Hebrews and their History certain Lessons are deduced. [18:1] The Hebrew constitution no longer possible or desirable yet lessons may be derived from its history. [18:2] As the danger of entrusting any authority in politics to ecclesiastics - the danger of identifying religion with dogma. [18:3] The necessity of keeping all judicial power with the sovereign - the danger of changes in the form of a State. [18:4] This last danger illustrated from the history of England - of Rome. [18:5] And of Holland. [19:0] CHAPTER XIX - It is shown that the Right over Matters Spiritual lies wholly with the Sovereign and that the Outward Forms of Religion should be in accordance with Public Peace if we would worship God aright. [19:1] Difference between external and inward religion. [19:2] Positive law established only by agreement. [19:3] Piety furthered by peace and obedience. [19:4] Position of the Apostles exceptional. [19:5] Why Christian States unlike the Hebrew suffer from disputes between the civil and ecclesiastical powers. [19:6] Absolute power in things spiritual of modern rulers. [20:0] CHAPTER XX - That in a Free State every man may Think what he Likes and Say what he Thinks. [20:1] The mind not subject to State authority. [20:2] Therefore in general language should not be. [20:3] A man who disapproving of a law submits his adverse opinion to the judgment of the authorities while acting in accordance with the law deserves well of the State. [20:4] That liberty of opinion is beneficial shown from the history of Amsterdam. [20:5] Danger to the State of withholding it. - Submission of the Author to the judgment of his country's rulers. [Author's Endnotes] to the Treatise. [16:0] CHAPTER XVI - OF THE FOUNDATIONS OF A STATE; OF THE NATURAL AND CIVIL RIGHTS OF INDIVIDUALS; AND OF THE RIGHTS OF THE SOVEREIGN POWER. (1) Hitherto our care has been to separate philosophy from theology and to show the freedom of thought which such separation insures to both. (2) It is now time to determine the limits to which such freedom of thought and discussion may extend itself in the ideal state. (3) For the due consideration of this question we must examine the foundations of a State first turning our attention to the natural rights of individuals and afterwards to religion and the state as a whole. (16:4) By the right and ordinance of nature I merely mean those natural laws wherewith we conceive every individual to be conditioned by nature so as to live and act in a given way. (5) For instance fishes are naturally conditioned for swimming and the greater for devouring the less; therefore fishes enjoy the water and the greater devour the less by sovereign natural right. [16:1] (6) For it is certain that nature taken in the abstract has sovereign right to do anything she can; in other words her right is co- extensive with her power. (7) The power of nature is the power of God which has sovereign right over all things; and inasmuch as the power of nature is simply the aggregate of the powers of all her individual components it follows that every individual has sovereign right to do all that he can; in other words the rights of an individual extend to the utmost limits of his power as it has been conditioned. (8) Now it is the sovereign law and right of nature that each individual should endeavour to preserve itself as it is without regard to anything but itself ; therefore this sovereign law and right belongs to every individual namely to exist and act according to its natural conditions. (9) We do not here acknowledge any difference between mankind and other individual natural entities nor between men endowed with reason and those to whom reason is unknown; nor between fools madmen and sane men. (10) Whatsoever an individual does by the laws of its nature it has a sovereign right to do inasmuch as it acts as it was conditioned by nature and cannot act otherwise. [16:2] (11) Wherefore among men so long as they are considered as living under the sway of nature he who does not yet know reason or who has not yet acquired the habit of virtue acts solely according to the laws of his desire with as sovereign a right as he who orders his life entirely by the laws of reason. (16:12) That is as the wise man has sovereign right to do all that reason dictates or to live according to the laws of reason so also the ignorant and foolish man has sovereign right to do all that desire dictates or to live according to the laws of desire. (13) This is identical with the teaching of Paul who acknowledges that previous to the law - that is so long as men are considered of as living under the sway of nature there is no sin. (16:14) The natural right of the individual man is thus determined not by sound reason but by desire and power. (15) All are not naturally conditioned so as to act according to the laws and rules of reason; nay on the contrary all men are born ignorant and before they can learn the right way of life and acquire the habit of virtue the greater part of their life even if they have been well brought up has passed away. (16) Nevertheless they are in the meanwhile bound to live and preserve themselves as far as they can by the unaided impulses of desire. (17) Nature has given them no other guide and has denied them the present power of living according to sound reason; so that they are no more bound to live by the dictates of an enlightened mind than a cat is bound to live by the laws of the nature of a lion. (16:18) Whatsoever therefore an individual (considered as under the sway of nature) thinks useful for himself whether led by sound reason or impelled by the passions that he has a sovereign right to seek and to take for himself as he best can whether by force cunning entreaty or any other means; consequently he may regard as an enemy anyone who hinders the accomplishment of his purpose. (16:19) It follows from what we have said that the right and ordinance of nature under which all men are born and under which they mostly live only prohibits such things as no one desires and no one can attain: it does not forbid strife nor hatred nor anger nor deceit nor indeed any of the means suggested by desire. ...