There seems to be a problem with Axiom VII from Spinoza's Ethics:
VII. If a thing can be conceived as non—existing, its essence does not involve existence.
- How can this be axiomatic? God can be conceived as non-existing, so by this Axiom, His essence should not involve existence. Yet, the author is striving to prove God's existence as the one and only substance. Moreover, we can hardly conceive a tesseract as existing, but that does not mean that it cannot exist in a metaphysical ontological space. In other words, how can we prove the non-existence of things that we cannot conceive?
On the other hand,
By Definition VI, God has unlimited attributes:
VI. By God, I mean a being absolutely infinite—that is, a substance consisting in infinite attributes, of which each expresses eternal and infinite essentiality.
By Prop. XIV, only God exists.
PROP. XIV. Besides God no substance can be granted or conceived.
Therefore, if only God has unlimited attributes, only He has unlimited power of understanding, in other words, only He could conceive anything as existing, and thus give existence to anything. On the other hand, He can also conceive anything as non-existing, and thus anything may not exist.
So, can this axiom be reconciled in any way?