In Descartes’ second meditation, he offers up an argument for Defective Nature Doubt that brings forth the idea that we can’t be certain of anything we perceive being actual and real (153). Descartes thinks that there is a possibility that we are constantly being deceived due to the fact that we don’t know, with perfect certainty, know where our ideas originate from (154). He tries to describe a method in order to dispel this Defective Nature Doubt by giving an argument for the existence of God. I think that the argument he gives for the existence of God is valid, yet I find it to be unsound due to the fact that a few of his premises are can easily be debated. In order to express this opinion, I will first provide explanations of the premises and conclusions of the argument, and then I will critique the premises that I find to be inadequate in order to support my opinion that Descartes’ argument is valid but unsound.
Descartes’ argument for the existence of God begins with him describing himself as a thinking thing (157). Descartes casted doubt on almost everything that he could, but one of the only things that he claimed he could be sure of was that he was a being capable of producing thoughts and ideas; he was a thinking thing (157). I believe this idea is the first premise of his argument, and it is also the base for how he will be arguing for his conclusion. Descartes needs to make this known so that he can introduce his own ideas into the argument, building off of this statement, Descartes goes on to say that some of his thoughts did not originate within himself, and because of this, something else must have created those ideas and placed them into his mind (157). Descartes beli...
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...statement made in the premise is not logical. In my opinion, all of these things undermine the fifth premise and it makes the argument unsound.
My other big problem with this argument that I feel contributes to it being unsound is in the third premise that I have given. In that premise, I feel as if Descartes is giving his own opinion for what his idea of God is. The problem with this is that various other people could disagree with the face that God is an infinite and all-powerful being. There is a vast array of religious people who would not agree with this claim. Also we can’t be for sure that this is the right idea of God either considering that this is only from Descartes’ point of view. Descartes relies on people believing that his definition of God is correct, and I think that this aspect of the argument does nothing but make it unsound and hard to believe.
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