What a door and what a sad reminder that we do not tolerate free thinking, or freedom of religion as a society in whole. I only need mention the current plight of the Christian Woman, Meriam Yeyha Ibrahim, condemned to 100 lashes as soon as she finishes nursing her new-born child. Her crime? Not giving up her faith and accepting Islam.
We have not learned tolerance as a species. Here we have Spinoza born 1632 in Amsterdam, born to a family of means, a family that had been driven out from Portugal for their faith, finally finding refuge in Holland. He was a great thinker, wether or not you agree with his thoughts. But when you try to exercise your beliefs and they are not of the common man, then you must either silence yourself, or become a blind follower.
It takes a supreme form of courage to go against religious zealots. Change the group name to whatever time we are in history and it is the same story. Believe what we say, or you will perish. Bullying, quite simply put.
This is the door of house arrest when Spinoza was excommunicated from his community for his “monstrous deeds.” Those can be found in his writings where he denies the immortality of the soul and where he strongly rejects the notion of a providential God.
I always question- if your God ( insert name) cannot withstand questioning from mere mortal man, then how powerful is that being?
You might excuse the intolerance of 1632, but what excuses our intolerance in 2014, where a woman can suffer a whip’s rip 100 times, and then death by hanging. Her crime? Not accepting the current dominate group’s faith. I applaud Meriam’s tremendous courage to stand true to her beliefs, just as I admire Spinoza for his determination to remain true to himself.