The Ethics (Paperback)
The first part of the book addresses the relationship between God and the universe. Tradition held that God exists outside of the universe, created it for a reason, and could have created a different universe if he so chose. Spinoza denies each point. According to Spinoza, God is the natural world. As with many of Spinoza's claims, what this means is a matter of dispute. Spinoza claims that the things that make up the universe, including human beings, are God's "modes". This means that we and everything else are, in some sense, dependent upon God.