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Dialectic Spiritualism | VI British Empiricism | John Locke (1632-1704)

Hayagriva dasa: In Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Locke writes: “This argument of universal consent, which is made use of to prove innate principles, seems to me a demonstration that there are none such because there are none to which all mankind give a universal con­sent.” That is, it cannot be argued that all people have […]

Dialectic Spiritualism | V Rationalism | Benedict Spinoza (1632-1677)

Hayagriva dasa: Spinoza asserts that God cannot be a remote cause of the creation. He sees the creation flowing from God just as conclusions flow from principles in mathematics. God is free to create, but He is the immanent cause; the creation is but an extension. Srila Prabhupada: Yes, because He creates through His energy. […]

Dialectic Spiritualism | V Rationalism | Blaise Pascal (1623-1666)

Hayagriva dasa: Pascal saw man situated in the universe between two extremes: infinity and nothingness. Man has a body like the animals, and an intellect like the angels or demigods. As such, he is neither a demigod nor an animal but somewhere between the two. He is intelligent enough to know that he is in […]

Dialectic Spiritualism | V Rationalism | Rene Descartes (1596-1650)

Hayagriva dasa: In Meditations on First Philosophy, Descartes writes: “The power of forming a good judgement and of distinguishing the true from the false, which is called good sense or reason, is by nature equal in all men…. God has given to each of us some light with which to distinguish truth from error.” Is […]

Dialectic Spiritualism | IV Renaissance Thought | Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)

Syamasundara dasa: It is Hobbes who declared, “Whatever exists is matter, and whatever changes is motion. ” For him, mental or spiritual entities are not realities in their own right, but are merely by-products of matter. Spirit and mind perish when the material basis is destroyed. Srila Prabhupada: Spirit is not a combination of material […]

Dialectic Spiritualism | IV Renaissance Thought | Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

Hayagriva dasa: Francis Bacon is generally acknowledged as the founding father of modern science in England, and although he did not work in a modern laboratory like today’s scientists, he inspired what has become known as the scientific method. He believed that science could give man a mastery over nature that would improve his life […]

Dialectic Spiritualism | III SCHOLAS TICISM | Thomas Aquinas (1225?-1274)

Hayagriva dasa: Thomas Aquinas compiled the entire Church doctrine in Summa Theologiae, which constitutes the official philosophy of the Roman Catholic Church. Aquinas did not make Augustine’s sharp distinction between the material and spiritual worlds, or between secular society and the city of God. For him, both material and spiritual creations have their origin in […]

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