Descartes' Proof of God's Existence Essay

Descartes' Proof of God's Existence Essay

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The existence of God has always been an arguable topic. Descartes’ however, believed that he had proof of God’s existence through an intense analysis of the mind. Throughout this paper I will discuss what he has provided as proof and some of the complications that arise throughout his argument.
You can find Descartes’ proof of the existence of God in the Third Meditation. Although to understand this argument you have to look at his previous meditation where he begins to build his argument with the notion that in order for him to think, he must exist. From this observation, Descartes’ sees that the idea of his existence is very clear and distinct in his mind. Based upon this clarity and the fact that he has just determined his own existence, he forms a rule. This rule states, that all the things he sees as very clear and very distinct, are all true. Descartes’ then divides thought up into four categories as the base of his proof. He states that within thought we have ideas, volitions, emotions and judgments or in more understandable terms, concepts, choices, desires and beliefs. He then breaks down these categories to discover which type or types of thoughts are subject to error. I disagree on the bases that there is no error in having an idea. The error can only occur in judgment of whether that idea is true or not. For example, I may have an idea of what it would be like to get into a fight, but that idea itself is neither right nor wrong until I judge whether to believe or disbelieve the idea. In other words, having an idea is one thing, but believing it is something different. When taking a closer look at emotions and volitions/choices and desires, these forms of thought also do not give way to any error. Since I can desire or...


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...rtes’ did not think that his judgment was as perfect as the idea of God, he would not have used it to determine the qualities that God possesses. The final difficulty that I question in his proof involves the usage of the concepts of formal and objective reality. I do not agree with the fact that in order for me to have an idea, that that idea must exist. To illustrate, I can think of a God and I can also think of a human whom is very imperfect neither of which is proof that either exists. Since Descartes holds that existence is perfection, how can this idea of an absolutely imperfect being exist? I can right now think of an idea that is an objective reality and by Descartes’ rule, it must also have a formal reality. I do not see how this is possible. Descartes was obviously a man of great intelligence, but ultimately in my opinion failed in proving God’s existence.

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