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Rene Descartes and George Berkeley on God Essay

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Rene Descartes builds his epistemic views in his meditations. In Meditation 1, he set out to rid himself of the false knowledge which was the foundation for which he built his life. If there was any doubt to these foundational beliefs, he threw the idea out. Descartes broke down his beliefs in Mediation 2 and found that he is a thinking thing and because he thinks, he exists. That is, he knew he is at least a mind. By Meditation 3, Descartes built upon the foundations of the two previous meditations and defined substances. First, there are modes which are the property of objects like green, smoothness, cherry-flavored. Then he said there are finite substances which are things like cups, trees, and bodies. He also recognized that his mind was a finite substance. God, however, is an infinite substances. Then Descartes went on to describe formal and objective reality. Formal reality is the reality an object has. Through this reasoning, modes depend on finite substances and finite substances depend on infinite substances. Objective reality is the reality the idea the object has. Through this reasoning, the idea of modes depends on the idea of finite substances and the idea of finite substances depends on the idea of infinite substances. By following that logic Descartes came to know that ideas about material things could originate from him, but the idea of God, perfect and infinite, could not originate from him because he is imperfect and finite. Additionally, Descartes reasoned that the idea of God (the highest objective reality) could only have come from God therefore God exists. In Meditation 4 Descartes determined that there was no evil demon deceiving him because that being would be imperfect. God, on the other...


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...saying that all things exist in God’s mind, then God’s mind allows for evil to happen in this world. Berkeley said that if God is responsible for evil in Berkeley’s Idealist view, then God is also responsible for evil from a Dualistic view. He makes a claim that the argument for God being responsible for evil is tu quoque, that is, if it is a problem for me, then it is also a problem for you. Berkeley’s argument is a red herring and does not refute the original worry that God is responsible for evil. This tactic is a misdirection from the original worry that God is responsible for evil and does not explain anything at all. It arguably makes Berkeley’s argument weaker through its non-explanation.
In conclusion, I have explained Descartes’ and Berkeley’s views on what we can epistemically know, the metaphysical nature of reality, God, and how they are connected.


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