Bruno Latour’s recent analysis of Spinoza’s asymmetric treatment of religion and science was anticipated by fellow ontological pluralist Paul Feyerabend:
“I cannot stand it when so-called thinkers not only presume to know things better than
their fellow human beings – that would be simple conceit, and conceit I don’t fmd at all objectionable – but put them on a lower level of existence. Here philosophers led the way – at least in the West; just read Heraclitus, Parmenides, Xenophanes and, of course, Plato. Spinoza, gentle, modest, lovable Spinoza argues somewhat as follows: god spoke to the prophets in images because they were not sufficiently intelligent to understand His True Message. Philosophers, having concepts, are. They are therefore entitled to remove the incoherent muttering and shouting of the prophets. I find such an attitude …
A: Where does Spinoza say that?
B: In his theological-political treatise. Well, I find such an attitude contemptible”.
From “Concluding Unphilosophical Conversation” in BEYOND REASON, page 496)