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SPINOZA: THE MAN WHO CHANGED THE GOD GAME

January 28th, 2013 | Posted by Dick in Papers | Philosophy

SPINOZA: THE MAN WHO CHANGED THE GOD GAME
By Dick DeShaw
Dedicated to Mario Bunge
‘God’ is the most contentious word in our language. This word has caused wars and built hospitals. It has reflected a Janus face of love and hate.
A 17th century scholar, Baruch de Spinoza, told us why the word, ‘God’ has such contradictory uses. He said:
“The human mind has an adequate knowledge of God’s eternal and infinite essences… but that men do not have so clear a knowledge of God as they do of the common notions, comes from the fact that they cannot imagine God, as they can bodies and that they joined the name, ‘God’ to the images of things which they are used to seeing. Men can hardly avoid this because they are continually affected by external bodies. And indeed, most errors consist only in our not rightly applying `names to things.” (Curley, pp. 482-483)

Today, neuroscience would give us a reason why Spinoza said we have an ‘adequate knowledge of God.’ The brain has three main parts; the primitive, left and right brain. The primitive brain is the source of survival, self-enhancement and most of our automatic skills.
The left brain wants to know things and the right brain wants to understand the whole of things. An adequate belief comes when the left brain informs the right brain what it knows and the right brain fits this knowledge into understanding the whole of a thing. (See McGilchrist and Damasio).
“Our mind has an adequate knowledge of God,” Spinoza said. As we will see, Spinoza called the whole of nature, ‘God.’ However, our self-seeking primitive brain (what he called the affects of the passions), seduces the left brain into believing that God is a human being just like us with our bodily passions, likes and dislikes. Except it refers to a God elevated to a superior status like a king and existing in a transcendent reality like ‘heaven.’
Thinking like this is called anthropomorphic and makes up what I call the ‘old God game.’ Spinoza, in a new God game, wanted to cure the intellect of the superstitions of anthropomorphism and transcendence in order to bring it back to adequate thinking.
To understand what he did, we need the twentieth century philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein who, like Spinoza, believed most errors are caused by giving the wrong names to things. Wittgenstein discovered the meaning of a word and the concept it signifies is its use in a language game.
He said, “Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language.” (p. 47e) This bewitchment occurs because, as Wittgenstein said: “We do not realize that we calculate, operate with words and in the course of time, translate them sometimes into one picture, sometimes into another.” (P. 131e)
The old God game, as Spinoza understood it, bewitches us and gives us the wrong picture of God. Let us examine how he came to this understanding.
Spinoza was a young Jewish scholar in Holland studying the Torah to become a rabbi. Being of great intellect and curiosity, he also read books the Jewish Diaspora had brought from Spain. As a result of his reading he refused to play the accepted transcendent, anthropomorphic language game that Western thought had inherited from the Middle East. He believed this approach brought corruption into the God game.
And so Spinoza switched the God game from religion to science. Because he made this switch, Spinoza has been called atheist, heretic and pantheist. These are labels taken from the anthropomorphic language game that still dominates Western thought today.
Wittgenstein was once asked which position he took on a religious doctrine. He replied; “I do not play that game.” Spinoza led even more radically, throwing out the entire game that religions and even atheists play. He refused to be defined by the words of contemporary religion.
Spinoza discovered in reading that there was a different game that depended on another language; mathematics. As his mentor, the ancient Greek mathematician, Euclid, said: “The laws of nature are the mathematical thoughts of God”.
In the appendix to Part I of The Ethics, Spinoza says the old God game turned nature upside down, causing nature to seem as though it existed for our selfish ends instead of what it really was, the expression of God.
He said this old game seems to show: “…only that Nature and Gods are as mad as men.” And “…would have caused the truth to be hidden from the human race to eternity if mathematics, which is concerned not with ends but only with the essences and properties of figures (forms) had not shown men another standard of truth.” (Curley p. 441)
So Spinoza substituted the language of mathematics for the language of a transcendent God. However, not being a mathematician, he only used concepts from Euclidian mathematics which he described in ordinary language (not formal mathematical language). This has caused some confusion.
He also went one step further, a step that infuriates theologians. Spinoza took their ‘sacred’ language and used the same words, like ‘God,’ ‘Son of God,’ ‘Salvation,’ ‘Creation,’ ‘Soul,’ and even ‘Born Again,’ to describe natural processes of the laws of nature.
He said we live in Nature and Nature (God) lives in us. So all truth and reality is
immanent in us and not transcendent. He rejected Plato’s transcendent forms and said things in Nature (including human beings) think the essence of God into existence.
So rocks, trees, cows and to a lesser extent, humans (because we are so prone to be illogical), think what we call God into existence. As information theorists say, all things receive and send information. Information (mathematical) which Spinoza called intellect, is the son of God because it incarnates the thoughts and actions of the whole of reality and truth into existence.
Human beings do not even have a major role in this incarnation. We are removed from the center of the universe where humanists place us.
Spinoza would deny that the ‘anthropic principle’ of some physicists, “…requires the law of nature to be consistent with the existence of intellectual life.” (Leonard Susskind, The Cosmic Landscape p. 383). It is part of that kind of old God game that made “…Nature and Gods as mad as men,” and makes nature only for our use.
It is no wonder that Spinoza was hated but what is more surprising is that the changes he made to the God game are still not understood today. I would blame philosophers for this fact.
Before we look at the damage philosophers did to Spinoza, let us examine why he was hated. Spinoza said we are finite creatures in an infinite reality and would not know anything if things did not force their essence and existence on us. God is just one of these things albeit the whole of things (nature) whereas other things are just parts.
If that did not require burning at the stake by the Inquisition, I do not know what else would! But Spinoza went further. He said, ‘creation’ never happened but existence was only generated out of the essence of the thing we call God (the whole of things (nature) or what we could call ‘boundless possibility.’)
Today we call generation by the term, ‘evolution,’ but this is only a subset of the larger set that Spinoza called generation. Can you imagine the screams of fundamentalist Christians? When my wife attended Bible School in the sixties, the school library had a section of books considered heretical, separated by a velvet rope, much like those used in movie theatres. Students were not even allowed to stand at the rope and read the authors names on the spines. Only teachers were allowed in that section. She was told there was a man named Spinoza whose writings were included in this forbidden part of the library.
Spinoza said the ‘soul’ is only our brain being informed by things in nature that exist and have essence (that which makes a thing what it is). The body is the chief object of our soul.
He was very fond of Jesus of Nazareth. Spinoza said Jesus’ description of the whole duty of man, to love God with all your heart, mind and soul and your neighbor as yourself is the essence of ethics. He was also fond of the truth of ‘incarnation’ which Jesus espoused. Consequently, Spinoza said, as Jesus modeled, ‘incarnation’ means the two ways the essence of God is brought into existence as Intellect (thought) and Motion (extension in action). He called these two ways, ‘the son of God.’ Because we all share this incarnation, we are eternally in God and God in us. So the ‘now’ in which we live and our essence as thought and action are contained in God: the whole of nature.
Spinoza said we know things as ‘actual’ in two ways: (1 As relative knowledge in ‘time and place’ which are only ‘beings of reason.’ Or all we can know as finite beings in the place or now where we exist. Space and time do not really exist but are only places where we co-ordinate our now.
2) As contained in God, (the divine nature), the whole of things are immanent in us and are the true, real and eternal. The ancient Greeks had a word, ‘demonstration,’ which meant truth dwelling in us, not knowledge external to us. Spinoza said this indwelling truth is ‘science’ which reason can lead us to as a guidepost which in turn leads us to the science of understanding.
Ludwig Wittgenstein described understanding as, ‘now I know how to go on.” (p. 61e) Spinoza has been called a ‘rationalist,’ by philosophers (one of the damages they did to him). However, for Spinoza, knowing how to go on in our life by adequate thinking which understands the whole, is much like breathing.
Reason, (true belief) is a necessary stepping stone that should lead us out of inadequate thinking. Spinoza said, ‘good’ and ‘evil’ are only ‘beings of reason’ and the only evil is not thinking the thing we call God, or inadequate thinking.
It is much like humans trying to breathe under water which leads to death by drowning and it is caused by the fact we do not know ourselves and God. For Spinoza, God is our milieu or the whole of truth and reality, out of which thought and action arise.
In mathematics we would call this ‘the power set’.
This is, Spinoza said, “our salvation” and discovering the truth is being born again. He also said human beings existed before we were born but only in a different form. Science says we are all stardust. Spinoza says that when we die, we all continue in another form.
I do not know what this really means but it goes along with the scientific understanding that all things are condensed energy, including human beings, waiting to be liberated into the universe.
From the foregoing, you can understand why religious dogmatists hated Spinoza. His own synagogue excommunicated him. This was a nasty piece of business that caused a relative of Spinoza’s, (who was also excommunicated) to take his life. Spinoza was forbidden to have any relations with other Jews, even his family. Obviously he had to stop working in the family business.
There is even a story that Jewish leaders sent a hit man to kill Spinoza. The hit man tried to stab him but a heavy coat deflected the blow. Whether or not the story is true, it was obvious that Spinoza became paranoid about enemies. He wore a ring depicting a rose with a thorn and the Latin word, ‘caute.’ The rest of his life Spinoza was a very cautious man.
Deprived of the friendship and company of Jews, Spinoza took up with freethinkers and a Quaker sect, the Collegiates that was frowned upon by the Calvinists who controlled the old God game in Holland.
Deprived of his income, Spinoza took up lens grinding and became so expert at it that scientists came to him for telescopic lenses. Ultimately the ground glass collected in his lungs and he died at the age of 45 on February 21, 1677.
The freethinkers with whom Spinoza associated were reading science writers of that time; Bacon, Hobbes and especially Descartes. Although Spinoza was mentored by Euclid all his life and had a love/hate relationship with Aristotle, he added these new writers to his arsenal of intellect. He especially loved Descartes methodology. He also studied Maimonides, the Jewish scholar.
Spinoza became a scholar on Rene Descartes work and even published a book about him: ‘Descartes, Principles of Philosophy,’ (Cartesian Meditations). While theoretically writing about Descartes’ philosophy, Spinoza subtly undermined Descartes adherence to the old God game while introducing his new one. Cartesians then became his enemy and probably remain so today.
In 1673, Spinoza travelled to The Hague to publish The Ethics but turned back because he said…
”a rumor was spread everywhere that a book of mine about God was in the press and that in it I endeavored to show there is no God. This rumor was believed by many. Therefore certain theologians (perhaps the authors of this rumor), seized the opportunity of bringing complaints against me before the Prince and the Magistrates, moreover the dull-witted Cartesians, because they are believed to be in my favor, and in order to free themselves from suspicion, continued and even now continue to denounce my opinions and writing everywhere.” (quoted in Spinoza Selections by John Wild, pxx).

When Spinoza died, the Inquisition sent an agent to find and destroy all of Spinoza’s books. Fortunately the agent was unsuccessful. Spinoza’s works were on the Catholic Index of prohibited works.
So it is evident Spinoza was hated by dogmatists of the old God game. But why have philosophers obscured the new God game instituted by Spinoza so that it is still not really understood today?
The first reason is obvious. Some philosophers adhere to the old God game and interpret Spinoza by it. There are two other reasons. One is absurd though the other is more complex.
First the absurd reason: philosophers say Spinoza’s early writings are immature including Emendation of the Intellect, The Short Treatise on God, Man and His Well-Being, and The Cartesian Meditations. They say only The Ethics is his mature thinking while particularly dismissing The Short Treatise, (which was not written for public consumption but only for close friends and followers who would not report Spinoza to religious authorities (including the soldiers of the Inquisition).
Ignoring The Short Treatise by calling it immature because it is his early work is as absurd as applying the same criteria to Russell and Whitehead’s Principia Mathematica or Einstein’s early writings that led to his discovery of relativity theory, telling us that only their later writings are important.
As I have noted already, neuroscience tells us our conceptual brain is split into two halves with different functions. The left brain wants to know the parts of things while the right brain wants to understand how parts of things fit into the whole.
The left brain is most powerful in our youth, beginning to diminish by middle age. However, the right brain gets stronger as we grow older. This produces what we call, ‘wisdom.’ In youth we plant the garden of knowledge in our brain. In old age we are weed whackers, cutting down inadequate ideas that clutter up the brain which by then is a tangled garden.
Like Russell, Whitehead and Einstein, Spinoza did brilliant left brain work in his youth, expressing this more maturely in The Ethics. He never departed from it. Spinoza did not live long enough to do much weed whacking and that may be why he is so often misunderstood.
We must remember that The Ethics was originally intended for public consumption and so the sharp notes of his new God game were underscored in The Ethics until he reached his ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ of Part V.
Now let’s turn to the complex reason why philosophers have ignored or misinterpreted the way Spinoza changed the God game: textual integrity. Spinoza laid the foundations for his new God game in The Treatise on God, Man and His Well-Being, and, as Edwin Curley says, “…the work bristles with difficulties.” (Curley, p. 47)
While we have evidence this manuscript existed, two copies of it were not found till the middle of the 19th century. Moreover, these copies may not be the originals which might have been written in Latin. They could be translations into Dutch by someone other than Spinoza.
There are copious notes written on the manuscripts themselves, which may or may not have been made by Spinoza. In his introduction to The Short Treatise in the Collected Works of Spinoza, (pp. 46-53), Curley discusses the problems of textual integrity. He says the, “…two main theories of the composition of this work.” (by Gebhardt and Mignini), have different views on its integrity. (p. 50)
Gebhardt sees the document as flawed but Curley says: “If Mignini’s theory is correct, our manuscript would be a considerably more trustworthy account of Spinoza’s thoughts.” (p. 50)
Then Curley goes on to describe the main damage philosophers have done to Spinoza: “In the face of all these difficulties, it is not surprising that some scholars have doubted the value of studying this work.” (p. 51) So some philosophers have described the main work in which Spinoza laid the foundations of his new God game as immature and irrelevant.
But Curley says the last criticism is an overreaction, (p. 51). He gives two reasons and then expands it to three. I paraphrase them:
1) There are topics in The Short Treatise which are not in The Ethics (p. 51)
2) While perhaps, ‘sketchy or immature,’ the topics in The Short Treatise are interesting to study in relation to their more mature later development in The Ethics. (p. 51)
3) The Short Treatise demonstrates Spinoza’s relation to Christianity. (p. 51)
Curley then makes a comment which is very relevant to this thesis that Spinoza changed the God game: “At any rate, the Pleiade editors argue in their preface and notes that the traditional religious language is designed to gradually lead susceptible minds away from anthropomorphic conceptions.” (p. 52)
While I am deeply indebted to Curley as any Spinoza scholar must be, I believe Curley is on the fence between Gebhardt and Mignini. Curley, in his own footnotes all too often falls off on Gebhardt’s side. In spite of his scholarly work on Spinoza, I suspect Curley is still a Cartesian at heart.
There is no disgrace in being a Cartesian but it does mean that Curley either does not accept or understand Spinoza’s new God game. As I say, I am indebted to Curley. It was while reading his translation of Spinoza that I moved from an ‘algorithmic knowledge view’ of Spinoza to a “way leading to freedom and understanding with which Spinoza begins Part V of The Ethics.
Be that as it may, let us go back to the textual integrity of The Short Treatise. If Spinoza laid the foundations of his new God game in The Treatise, how do we deal with the textual difficulties in this work?
My suggestion would be that we dismiss academic quibbling and just examine whether or not this work (as Curley has masterfully translated it), stands on its own merit.
I believe it does. In The Emendation of the Intellect and The Short Treatise, Spinoza’s youthful left brain explored the foundations of his new God game in all its stark reality.
This was before he got caught up in philosophy’s, ‘being of reason’ games, later manifested in the Appendix to The Short Treatise and Part I of The Ethics.
George Boole tried to demonstrate in The Laws of Thought that the argument in Part I was illogical. Maybe that is the reason why some philosophers seem to find an ‘Ontological Argument for God’s Existence in Part I. In Part V, Spinoza says his philosophy in Part I was a ‘being of reason’ and superseded by our knowledge of things.
Yes, Spinoza’s discussion of emotions was immature in this Short Treatise as it is in the minds of most young people. His discussion of emotions is much more mature in The Ethics and here is the reason why:
A traumatic event occurred in Spinoza’s life as he was playing the academic game in Part I of The Ethics. This traumatic event returned Spinoza cautiously to his new God game in the final section of Part I, The Appendix to Part I; The Theological Treatise, the rest of The Ethics and his other works.
The Appendix to Part I is Spinoza’s statement of his return to the new God game and why. As was previously stated, this new God game was based on the language of mathematics and not the transcendental/anthropomorphic language of the old God game. He stopped playing philosophy and got practical.
Charles Saunders Peirce said Spinoza’s philosophy game was a ‘dung heap.’ But he later said Spinoza, Kant and Berkeley were the individuals after whom he modeled his pragmatism. Peirce included Spinoza because of the traumatic turn in his life that made him practical.
So what was the traumatic event that occurred? The leader of free Holland, Jan de Witt and his brother were butchered by religious and political foes. Their remains were hung on a gate for everyone to see. Spinoza, who apparently idolized Jan de Witt, made a sign denouncing these murders. Heading to the streets with his sign to protest, Spinoza’s artist landlord grabbed him, locked him into his house and would not let him out.
Spinoza was a stress-damaged individual who was pushed over the edge of an adrenaline free fall by these murders. Today psychology calls this reaction, ‘Post Trauma Stress Disorder,’ ignoring all the stress damage that builds up to such an event. Consider how damaged Spinoza was by his excommunication:
PTSD is the cumulative result of years of stress damage, where one event finally causes the body and brain to say, “This is enough!” Adrenaline takes over the body in alternating fight and flight modes. The body is permanently damaged. This damage explains why so many soldiers returning from war commit suicide.
For Spinoza, the DeWitt’s graphic deaths was the trauma for his body and brain. Thus his irrational reaction. If the artist had not locked Spinoza in the house, we likely would not have had the complete Ethics today and later works. We owe this artist a debt of gratitude.
But as a reasonable man, Spinoza found a practical way to fight the adrenaline damage. He sat down and wrote The Theological Treatise in barely disguised fight mode. Today this treatise is considered the beginning of modern biblical criticism.
Spinoza also made an aborted attempt to seek peace between France and Holland. Then he went into a cautious retreat mode where he dealt with his stress disease. He had matured in his emotions in Part III and Part IV of The Ethics.
Spinoza expressed the practice of his new God game in Part II of The Ethics, centering it around Euclid’s Common Notions of Equality and The Whole Is Greater Than The Part. He ends Part IV by stating the truth of the Common Notions: “I am part of the whole of nature whose order I follow.”
In Part V, Spinoza describes, ‘The way to freedom.” He shows it is the only cure for stress disease caused by inadequate thinking. He completes what he set out to do in The Emendations. This was to find a way to cure the intellect. He said this solution is the supreme good, “…the knowledge of the union which the mind has with the whole of nature.” The beginning of The Emendations reminds us of St Augustine’s Confessions.
Spinoza discusses how inadequate thinking can destroy us. He shows us the only answer to the stress disease of inadequate thinking and action is to know we are part of the Intellect which nature expresses (and we call, ‘God.’ )
It is also to realize that nature does not exist for our own selfish use but rather in obeying the laws of nature, we do divine service. What psychologists call PTSD is a natural result of circumstances (affects), that cause stress disease. It results in inadequate thinking of fight or flight.
In his new God game, we know ourselves through nature (God) and realize that nature (God) lives in us. This gives us the adequate thinking and actions of a cured intellect and the way to go on.
A cured intellect frees us from the passions of the primitive brain that cause inadequate thinking. In the first half of Part V of The Ethics, Spinoza shows us how we are freed. In the second part he shows us how this freedom continues on after the body dies. Because eternity, as Spinoza says, is not time or duration, we have joy in living freely now. For Spinoza, nature/God is our milieu just as the air we breathe. It is eternal.
Spinoza’s whole project of ‘curing the intellect was about how we can avoid the seduction of the primitive brain and bring the left brain (reason) into harmony with the right brain by understanding the whole of nature’s truth and reality. We call this harmony, ‘God.’
Thus The Emendation and the new God game are completed. Though we may not agree with Spinoza’s new God game of 2+2 =4, the language of mathematics, we must not dismiss it with philosophic sophistry but credit him for its formulation.
APPENDIX
Using modern neuroscience to examine Spinoza’s thinking could be considered reification but there are two reasons why this is appropriate: 1) Spinoza believed abstract concepts were, “beings of reason” and only things exist in nature. So we are being faithful to Spinoza’s nominalism. 2) Spinoza’s new God game was based on mathematics and the indwelling truth in us (demonstration) which he called science.
Spinoza would have considered his new God game, as it is expressed in all true discoveries of science, (which have developed after he lived), to be helping us think God adequately. His new God game will continue for eternity. True science will always be thinking God.
Spinoza would have loved modern neuroscience. I also suspect he would tell physicists looking for a TOEhold (Theory of Everything), that this is absurd since we are finite creatures of infinity.
SOURCES
DeShaw, Dick
Blog: Spinoza On Science & Stress, http://dickdeshaw.com/cateogry/blog
Euclid
Heath, Thomas L. trans. The Thirteen Books of Euclid’s Elements, Dover: NY, 1956, 2nd ed.
Spinoza, Benedict De
Curley, Edwin, ed. & trans. The Collected Works of Spinoza, Vol I, Princeton U Press: NJ, 1985
Shirley, Samuel, trans., Michael L. Morgan ed., Spinoza, Complete Works, Hackett: Indianapolis/Cambridge, 2002
White, W. Hale, trans., Stirling, Amelia Hutchison, revised, Ethics of Benedict De Spinoza, 4th ed., Oxford: London: Humphrey Milford 1910/1937
Wittgenstein, Ludwig
Anscombe, G.E.M. trans., Philosophical Investigations, 3rd Ed., Macmillan: NY, 1953/1958
Neuroscience
Changeux, Jean-Pierre: Garey, Laurence, trans./ Neuronal Man: The Biology of Mind, Oxford: NY/Oxford, 1985
Damasio, Antonio R.
Descarte’s Error; Emotion, Reason & the Human Brain, Harper Collins: NY, 1994
The Feeling Of What Happens: Body, Emotion and the Making of Consciousness, Random House: London, 2001
Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow and the Feeling Brain, Harcourt: Orlando, 2003
Self Comes To Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain, Pantheon: NY, 2010
McGilchrist, Iain
The Master and his Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World, Yale: New Haven/London, 2009
NOTE 1
Although I read everything I could get my hands on, the last three authors have been mostly influential in my understanding of neuroscience. Thus, Changeux’s pioneer and classic work introduced me to this subject.
Damasio has been my main guide in the scientific understanding. McGilchrist introduced me to the wonders of the right brain.
However I believe McGilchrist’s understanding and discussion of the left brain is sorely lacking in substance. He needs a strong dose of Spinoza’s idea that the left brain or reason is a stepping stone to the understanding of the right brain.
Listing Damasio and McGilchrist as two of the three most influential people in my understanding of neuroscience is rather ironic. After all, they had a rather polemic ‘dust up’ in a neuroscience journal.
Actually the polemic was McGilchrist’s, leaving Damasio to defend himself, bewildered over the fuss. However, to me, the issue was very clear; McGilchrist operates out of the prejudices of the old God game and Damasio practices the new God game.
Scientists, no mater what their personal religious beliefs, are daily practitioners of the new God game. Philosophers, on the other hand, are mostly still caught in the old one. Or as W. V. Quine described it, The Web of Belief.
McGilchrist is a classicist, a philosopher, a psychologist and a neuroscientist but his prejudice are formed by the first two skills. What is this prejudice? The belief that science is undermining our humanity. I disagree but nevertheless, McGilchrist’s discussion of the right brain has been a great blessing in understanding myself.

NOTE 2
How the Old God Game’s Prejudice Towards Science Affected My Life
Let me get personal. I played the old God game seriously as a once fundamentalist Christian. However my left brain made me dissatisfied with the difference between the practices of religion and the bible.
Then I discovered philosophy. It was as if the heavens had opened!
However, with an inability to retain algorithms, I avoided mathematics wherever I could. Consequently, my philosophical likes were tailored to phenomenology, existentialism and hermeneutics, except for Charles Saunders Peirce who somehow crept into my brain.
After three years of practical experience as a child abuse investigator, I returned to university and got an M.A. in sociology. My department was divided into two halves. One tried to be scientific while the other was hermeneutic. I began to pursue a PhD in social and political thought, again in a divided department. I chose the hermeneutic side.
The chairman of my PhD committee introduced me to Spinoza, Kant and Hegel. My dissertation was hermeneutical and I ran into problems with the other side of the department. They wanted a formal organization paper.
Instead of doing as they asked, I put my dissertation into a shoebox and took employment as a prison guard. While reading on midnight shift, I discovered Mario Bunge’s Semantics. His work taught me that in spite of my algorithm deficiency, I could read and understand symbolic mathematical language.
I began to read source work in mathematics like Abraham Fraenkel’s Abstract Set Theory. I read work in science, quantum theory and Einstein. Then I returned to Charles Saunders Peirce.
When my PhD chairman, visiting in my home, discovered I was reading mathematics and science, he said: “You have gone over to the enemy.”
All the way in my journey through philosophy of the old God game, this is how my hermeneutic professors treated science – as the enemy. All these professors enriched my thinking but I could not accept their prejudice. Spinoza freed me from it with his new God game.

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