preview

Assignment 1: Sketch briefly Descartes’ proof for the existence of God. What possible objections can you raise against this proof?

Satisfactory Essays
1. Introduction
Descartes’ argument for the existence of God relies on the untenable notion of a substance of perfection and that it can be predicated of God. In this essay Descartes’ arguments for the existence of God will be briefly expounded, and then objections against his methodology employed in order to establish the proof of God, will be discussed.
2. Proof of God
God takes on a crucial place in Descartes’ philosophy. He was certain of his own finitude, but at the same time also aware of something infinite. There was for Descartes this confrontation between the finite imperfect mind and the sense of something beyond. Something infinite.
Descartes views himself as not having the capacity of perfection. Perfection is according to him an attribute, a feature of a being of true substance. A substance capable of not only having the power to create lesser substances, but also with the capacity of non-dependence on any other thing for its own existence (Cottingham, 2008:81).
Descartes deliberated that such a being would be of such constitution that it would possess attributes such as omnipotence, omniscient and benevolence. For Descartes there can exist only one such being and that is God, and this is what he stands to prove.
Descartes points out that in order for any effect to occur, its cause must own the effect itself, and this he calls “causality” (Tutorial for PLS3702, 2014:17)
In order to prove the existence of God, Descartes employs two arguments, the cosmological and ontological.
The cosmological argument makes inference from certain alleged facts about the world, (cosmos) about the existence of a unique and perfect being, God (Reichenbach, 2014:1). Descartes is aware of such a unique and perfect being, and this awar...

... middle of paper ...

...nal faith.

5. References
Allen, R. 2001. The New Penguin English Dictionary. New York: Penguin Group.
Atkinson, S. 2011. The Philosophy Book. London: Dorling Kindersley.
Blackburn, S. 2008. Dictionary of Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Buckingham, W et all. 2011. The Philosophy Book. London: Dorling Kindersley.
Cottingham, J. 2008. Western Philosophy, An Anthology. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.
McNeill, W & Feldman, K.S. 1998. Continental Philosophy: An Anthology. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.
Reichenbach, B. 2013. Cosmological Argument, in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2013 Edition). [Online] Available: http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2013/entries/cosmological-argument / [2014, January 11].
University of South Africa. Department of Philosophy, Practical & Systematic Theology. Tutorial for PLS3702. Pretoria.
Get Access