Tile Waterlooplein 205: Spinoza

You must not deride, bewail or execrate human actions, but understand them. (1677)

(This tile is temporarily invisible because the Mozes and Aaronchurch is in renovation!)

The quote shows that Spinoza saw mankind as part of the whole of nature. In the same way that objects have causes, so does human behavior. First trying to understand the causes, will get you further than to immediately judge, mock or regret behavior. You can also approach your own behavior this way. If you understand the causes of your behavior, you can accept this better. Like Jan Knol says: ‘There is freedom, but you will only get it by seeing the necessity of everything.’ This doesn’t mean that Spinoza thinks everything is permitted. The state and the rule of law should maintain the safety of all individuals in the state. The power of the state can never be entrusted to an individual: he will abuse it. That is why Spinoza promoted democracy.