In the Ethics, Spinoza directly challenged the main tenets of Judaism in particular and organised religion in general:
– God is not a person who stands outside of nature
– There is no one to hear our prayers
– Or to create miracles
– Or to punish us for misdeeds
– There is no afterlife
– Man is not God’s chosen creature
– The Bible was only written by ordinary people
– God is not a craftsman or an architect. Nor is he a king or a military strategist who calls for believers to take up the Holy Sword. God does not see anything, nor does he expect anything. He does not judge. He does not even reward the virtuous person with a life after death. Every representation of God as a person is a projection of the imagination.
– Everything in the traditional liturgical calendar is pure superstition and mumbo-jumbo
However, despite all this, remarkably, Spinoza did not declare himself an atheist.