Baruch Spinoza is considered one of the three great rationalist philosophers of 17th-century philosophy, along with the older René Descartes (b. 1596) and younger Gottfried Leibniz (b. 1646). His great work was the Ethics. Spinoza's God was pantheist, a modern version of the God of the Stoics, for whom God was essentially the same as the laws of Nature. And these laws were necessarily completely determined by God. Nothing is possible but the actions of God, so there are no alternative possibilities to choose between. There is no chance
“in nature there is nothing contingent, but all things have been determined from the necessity of the divine nature to exist and produce an effect in a certain way” (EIp29) “things could have been produced by God in no other way, and in no other order than they have been produced” (EIp33). blockquote>The Stoics had misinterpreted Epicurus on free will, mistakenly claiming that he had identified free will with chance. For Epicurus (and for Aristotle), free will was a third way, neither chance nor necessity, something that is "up to us" Spinoza was called "God-intoxicated" and his belief in a complete determinism, that everything that happens was ordained by a God without intellect or will, working through inviolable laws of nature, was a great model for Albert Einstein. Spinoza's God is not one who could be prayed to or revered. By contrast, our Ergod is to be appreciated as a sort of divine providence and the ultimate source of everything good. The intuition of a providential cosmic creation process may be the reason so many humans independently come up with the idea of God. But a sense of reverence or worship may not extend to a divine agency that has no power to change anything in the world. Like Spinoza's God, it is not someone to be prayed to.