Spinoza, Leibniz, Orson Pratt

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Spinoza, Leibniz, Orson Pratt - Quiz

Assignment 6


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    Why does Spinoza say that there is no free will for mankind as we normally think of it?

    • A.

      Because everything which happens in the world is a consequence of the divine will of God, who is everything.

    • B.

      Because man is a cog in the mechanistic universe, set in motion by a detached creator.

    • C.

      Because man is controlled by the influence of reason and reason is the same in all people and must be followed by all people.

    • D.

      Because God created man to fulfill His purpose, and Man's only purpose is to perform the tasks set for Him by God.

    Correct Answer
    A. Because everything which happens in the world is a consequence of the divine will of God, who is everything.
    Explanation
    Spinoza argues that there is no free will for mankind as we normally think of it because everything that occurs in the world is a result of God's divine will. According to Spinoza, God is everything and therefore controls all events and actions. This suggests that human beings do not have the ability to make independent choices or decisions, as everything is predetermined by God's will. Thus, Spinoza rejects the idea of free will and emphasizes the deterministic nature of the universe.

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  • 2. 

    Orson Pratt compares a human soul to a bar of iron in what way?

    • A.

      Souls are like iron bars because they experience attractions to good and to evil, with one pole being refined spirit and the other the natural man.

    • B.

      Souls are like iron bars because they are made up of innumerable pieces which all act together when they are combined and yet if not organized in that pattern do not behave identically.

    • C.

      Souls are like iron bars because they are made up of innumerable pieces which act in unison because they are in close association with each other and have the same make-up.

    • D.

      Souls are like iron bars because they are uniform and yet made up of separable parts.

    Correct Answer
    B. Souls are like iron bars because they are made up of innumerable pieces which all act together when they are combined and yet if not organized in that pattern do not behave identically.
    Explanation
    Orson Pratt compares a human soul to a bar of iron because both are made up of innumerable pieces that work together when they are combined. However, if these pieces are not organized in a specific pattern, they do not behave in the same way. This comparison suggests that just like an iron bar, a soul's behavior and actions are influenced by its internal composition and organization.

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  • 3. 

    According to Leibniz, God, when choosing to actualize a world, would choose the “best” one, which would be the universe that combines _____________ with _____________.

    • A.

      The greatest amount of matter; the greatest simplicity of elements

    • B.

      The least amount of monads; the greatest complexity of elements

    • C.

      The most potentiality; the greatest complexity of laws

    • D.

      The most actuality; the greatest simplicity of laws

    Correct Answer
    D. The most actuality; the greatest simplicity of laws
    Explanation
    Leibniz believed that God, in choosing to actualize a world, would select the one that has the most actuality, meaning the one that is most fully realized or actualized. Additionally, God would choose a world that has the greatest simplicity of laws, meaning that the laws governing the universe would be simple and elegant. This combination of actuality and simplicity of laws would create the "best" world according to Leibniz.

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  • 4. 

    According to Elder Pratt what are thoughts?

    • A.

      Spiritual matter.

    • B.

      A state or affection of a single individual substance.

    • C.

      A result of a collection of matter.

    • D.

      A result from the brain.

    Correct Answer
    B. A state or affection of a single individual substance.
    Explanation
    According to Elder Pratt, thoughts are described as a state or affection of a single individual substance. This suggests that thoughts are not physical entities but rather intangible states or experiences that occur within an individual. It implies that thoughts are deeply personal and unique to each individual, reflecting their own consciousness and inner world. This perspective aligns with the idea that thoughts are more than just the result of physical matter or brain activity, but rather a manifestation of the individual's spiritual essence.

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  • 5. 

    Which of the following is NOT a belief about freedom postulated by Spinoza?

    • A.

      Freedom is merely the power to act from one’s own nature

    • B.

      God/nature is the only completely free being

    • C.

      There is no free will in the ordinary sense because everything that happens is a necessary expression of the immutable divine nature

    • D.

      In order for a person to truly be free he/she must adopt the ideas and views of God

    Correct Answer
    D. In order for a person to truly be free he/she must adopt the ideas and views of God
    Explanation
    Spinoza believed that freedom is merely the power to act from one's own nature. He also believed that God/nature is the only completely free being and that there is no free will in the ordinary sense because everything that happens is a necessary expression of the immutable divine nature. However, he did not believe that in order for a person to truly be free, they must adopt the ideas and views of God.

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  • 6. 

    According to Leibniz, how would a change in one monad affect the other monads?

    • A.

      A change in one monad would necessitate a change in all of the others.

    • B.

      A change in one monad has no effect on the other monads.

    • C.

      A change in one monad only affects the monads to which it is related.

    • D.

      Multiple changes in a monad are required to create a change in another monad.

    Correct Answer
    A. A change in one monad would necessitate a change in all of the others.
    Explanation
    According to Leibniz, a change in one monad would necessitate a change in all of the others. This is because Leibniz believed that all monads are interconnected and reflect the entire universe within themselves. Therefore, any change in one monad would have a ripple effect on all other monads, as they are all part of the same interconnected system.

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  • 7. 

    What did Leibniz believe about the world we live in?

    • A.

      That it was not real, simply a projection of how we perceived existence.

    • B.

      That it was morally defunct and a breeding ground of corruption.

    • C.

      That it was the best of all possible worlds.

    • D.

      That actuality propelled it towards perfection.

    Correct Answer
    C. That it was the best of all possible worlds.
    Explanation
    Leibniz believed that the world we live in is the best of all possible worlds. This means that out of all the potential worlds that could exist, the one we inhabit is the most optimal. Leibniz argued that God, who is all-knowing and all-powerful, created this world with the perfect balance of good and evil, allowing for the greatest amount of happiness and fulfillment for its inhabitants. This belief is based on the idea that God, being perfect, would not create anything less than the best possible world.

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  • 8. 

    How did Spinoza solve Descartes’ mind-body problem?

    • A.

      A. He denies that the human body is a union of two substances; mind and body are two different expressions of one and the same thing: the person.

    • B.

      B. He states that since there is but one substance, the mind and the body are one and the same.

    • C.

      C. He states that for every human body, there is an idea; and for every idea, there is a mind.

    • D.

      D. He states that God is in all of us because we are all one substance and therefore mind and body are one.

    Correct Answer
    C. C. He states that for every human body, there is an idea; and for every idea, there is a mind.
    Explanation
    Spinoza solved Descartes' mind-body problem by stating that for every human body, there is an idea, and for every idea, there is a mind. This suggests that the mind and body are interconnected and dependent on each other. This explanation implies that the mind and body are not separate substances but rather different aspects of the same entity.

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  • 9. 

    According to Leibniz the nature of monads entails that the sum total of all the substances that are possible along with a given monad--mirrored in it--constitute a possible world.  Thus, he concludes (in opposition to Spinoza), that:

    • A.

      The actual universe does not exist of necessity because there are many possible worlds associated with the many families of possible monads.

    • B.

      The universe is an essentially random in origin and nature despite mechanistic laws that operate within it.

    • C.

      The basic substance of the universe is intrinsically complicated.

    • D.

      Complete knowledge of the basic substance of the universe (to Leibniz, the monad) would reveal little about the actual universe.

    Correct Answer
    A. The actual universe does not exist of necessity because there are many possible worlds associated with the many families of possible monads.
    Explanation
    Leibniz believes that the nature of monads implies that there are many possible worlds associated with different families of possible monads. Therefore, he concludes that the actual universe does not exist out of necessity, meaning that it is not the only possible world. This is in opposition to Spinoza's view that the universe exists necessarily. Leibniz's argument suggests that the existence of multiple possible worlds is a result of the diversity and multiplicity of monads.

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  • 10. 

    Leibniz poses that there are many states of matter, or worlds. Why does Leibniz believe we live in the best of all possible worlds?

    • A.

      This is the world we live in, so it is by definition the best, all others are irrelevant to us.

    • B.

      God chose this one to exist, because it is the best possible one.

    • C.

      Matter has a natural tendency toward order, so with or without God, this world is naturally best.

    • D.

      Leibniz did not believe this is the best possible world

    Correct Answer
    B. God chose this one to exist, because it is the best possible one.
    Explanation
    Leibniz believes that we live in the best of all possible worlds because he argues that God, being all-knowing and all-powerful, chose this world to exist out of all the possible worlds. According to Leibniz, God, being perfectly good, would only choose the best possible world to create. Therefore, the fact that this world exists is evidence that it is the best possible one.

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  • 11. 

    Pratt stated that every conceivable part of substance possesses the same property as the whole. The unity of substance, therefore, must consist of all of the following characteristics except:

    • A.

      The parts may have distinct, individual properties so long as the others are aware and sympathetic to those properties

    • B.

      The parts must be closely connected and related to each other

    • C.

      The parts must be immediately notified of whatever state or affection one may happen to be in

    • D.

      The parts must be conscious of all the others, regardless of whether it is affected with pain or pleasure

    Correct Answer
    A. The parts may have distinct, individual properties so long as the others are aware and sympathetic to those properties
    Explanation
    According to Pratt, the unity of substance consists of all the characteristics mentioned except for the parts having distinct, individual properties. Pratt argues that the parts must possess the same property as the whole, indicating that they should not have distinct, individual properties. This suggests that the parts should be unified and share the same characteristics, rather than having separate identities.

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  • 12. 

    Spinoza states that all human beings are in “bondage” since we are so controlled by our emotions. The way we free ourselves is by

    • A.

      Freeing ourselves from the ideas of the world

    • B.

      Learning about our true nature as human beings

    • C.

      Coming to see the necessities of the world as God sees them

    • D.

      Having a government authority overseeing the population

    Correct Answer
    C. Coming to see the necessities of the world as God sees them
  • 13. 

    What is Orson Pratt’s view of the interaction of the Godhead and man on Earth?

    • A.

      The Father can do all things but allows the Son and Holy Ghost the opportunity to progress

    • B.

      The Father and Son acts through the Holy Ghost, an omnipresent substance, to be at all places on earth at the same time

    • C.

      God the Father is an omnipresent person and has power to do all things and be in all places

    • D.

      God is actually a council of three beings and requires the combination of all three to constitute a fullness of power and glory.

    Correct Answer
    B. The Father and Son acts through the Holy Ghost, an omnipresent substance, to be at all places on earth at the same time
    Explanation
    Orson Pratt's view is that the Father and Son act through the Holy Ghost, which is an omnipresent substance, allowing them to be present at all places on Earth simultaneously. This suggests that the Holy Ghost serves as a means of interaction between the Godhead and humanity, enabling their presence and influence to be felt everywhere.

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  • 14. 

    Leibniz postulated that something was substance if it possessed which of the following characteristics.

    • A.

      Being qualitative and quantitative.

    • B.

      Being dynamic.

    • C.

      Being capable of being acted upon.

    • D.

      Being capable of action.

    Correct Answer
    D. Being capable of action.
    Explanation
    Leibniz postulated that something was substance if it possessed the characteristic of being capable of action. This means that a substance is considered to be a substance if it has the ability to act or exert influence on other things. It implies that substances have the power to cause changes or effects in the world around them. This characteristic distinguishes substances from other entities that may be qualitative, quantitative, or dynamic but lack the capacity to initiate action.

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