An Analysis Of George Berkeley And Descartes

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In Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous and Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy, philosophers George Berkeley and René Descartes use reasoning to prove the existence of God in order to debunk the arguments skeptics or atheists pose. While Berkeley and Descartes utilize on several of the same elements to build their argument, the method in which they use to draw the conclusion of God’s existence are completely different. Descartes argues that because one has the idea of a perfect, infinite being, that being, which is God therefore exists. In Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous, Berkeley opposes the methodology of Descartes and asserts that God’s existence is not dependent on thought, but on the senses and…show more content…
According to Descartes, “because our senses sometimes deceive us, I wanted to suppose that nothing was exactly as they led us to imagine (Descartes 18).” In order to extinguish his uncertainty and find incontrovertible truth, he chooses to “raze everything to the ground and begin again from the original foundations (Descartes 59).” This foundation, which Descartes is certain to be the absolute truth, is “I think, therefore I am (Descartes 18).” Descartes argues that truth and proof of reality lies in the human mind, rather than the senses. In other words, he claims that the existence of material objects are not based on the senses because of human imperfection. In fact, he argues that humans, similarly to Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, are incapable of sensing the true essence or existence of material objects. However, what makes an object real is human thought and the idea of that object, thus paving the way for Descartes’ proof of God’s existence. Because the senses are easily deceived and because Descartes understands that the senses can be deceived, Descartes is aware of his own imperfection. He…show more content…
Although their methods and reasoning contrasted one another, both philosophers methodically argued to come to a solid, irrefutable proof of God, which was a subject of great uncertainty and skepticism. Through Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous and Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy, Descartes and Berkeley paved the way towards an age of confidence and faith in the truth of God’s perfect existence actively influencing the lives of

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