Through Descartes’s Meditations, he sought to reconstruct his life and the beliefs he had. He wanted to end up with beliefs that were completely justified and conclusively proven. In order to obtain his goal, Descartes had to doubt all of his foundational beliefs so that he could start over. This left Descartes doubting the reality of the world around him and even his own existence. In order to build up to new conclusively proven and justified true beliefs, Descartes needed a fixed and undeniable starting point. This starting point was his cogito, “I think, therefore I am.” In this paper I will argue that Descartes’s argument that he is definite of his own existence, is unsound.
Descartes' Proof of the Existence of God in Meditation Three
This paper is intended to explain and evaluate Descartes' proof for the existence of god in Meditation Three. It shall show the weaknesses in the proof, but also give credit to the strengths in his proof. It will give a background of what Descartes has already accepted as what he truly knows. The paper will also state Descartes two major points for the existence of God and why the points can easily be proven false.
In this paper, I will show how Descartes moves through doubt to certainty. I will explain how Descartes uses the cogito, proves the existence of God and what that means to his existence. I will also discuss the general rules of truth that Descartes establishes. In the First Meditation Descartes begins to examine what is certain and what is doubtful.
In this paper, I will explain how Descartes uses the existence of himself to prove the existence of God. The “idea of God is in my mind” is based on “I think, therefore I am”, so there is a question arises: “do I derive my existence? Why, from myself, or from my parents, or from whatever other things there are that are less perfect than God. For nothing more perfect than God, or even as perfect as God, can be thought or imagined.” (Descartes 32, 48) Descartes investigates his reasons to show that he, his parents and other causes cannot cause the existence of himself.
He argues that if he does not solve God’s existence, he will not be certain about anything else. Thus, Descartes says that he has an idea of God and, therefore, God exists. However, in order to be certain of His existence, Descartes provides proofs that will illustrate his reasoning. The four proofs include formal reality vs. objective reality, something can’t arise from nothing, Descartes cannot be the cause of himself, and therefore, the bigger cause is God. Now that Descartes knows God is real, he must solve another aspect, which is if God can be a deceiver. Descartes believes “it is clear enough from this that he cannot be a deceiver, since it is manifest by the natural light that all fraud and deception depend on some defect” (89). In other words, God possesses all of the perfections that Descartes cannot have but those perfections that are in his thoughts, concluding that God has no defects whatsoever according to the natural
Descartes' Proof for the Existence of God
Many readers follow Descartes with fascination and pleasure as he descends into the pit of skepticism in the first two Meditations, defeats the skeptics by finding the a version of the cogito, his nature, and that of bodies, only to find them selves baffled and repulsed when they come to his proof for the existence of God in Meditation III. In large measure this change of attitude results from a number of factors. One is that the proof is complicated in ways which the earlier discourse is not. Second is that the complications include the use of scholastic machinery for which the reader is generally quite unprepared -- including such doctrines as a Cartesian version of the Great Chain of Being, the Heirloom theory of causaltiy, and confusi ng terms such as "eminent," "objective" and "formal reality" used in technical ways which require explanation.
Rene Descartes meditations on the existence of God are very profound, thought-provoking, and engaging. From the meditations focused specifically on the existence of God, Descartes uses the argument that based on his clear and distinct perception that cannot be treated with doubt, God does exist. In the beginning of the third meditation, Descartes proclaims that he is certain he is a thinking thing based on his clear and distinct perception, and he couldn’t be certain unless all clear and distinct perceptions are true. Before diving into the existence of God, Descartes introduces smaller arguments to prove the existence of God. For example, Descartes introduces in his argument that there are ideas in which he possess that exists outside of him. Utilizing the objective versus formal reality, Descartes states “If the objective reality of any of my ideas turns out to be so great that I am sure the same reality does not reside in me, either formally or eminently, and hence that I myself cannot be its cause, it will necessarily follow that I am not alone in the world, but that some other thing which is the cause of this idea exists” (29). In other words, the ideas of objective reality that resides in Descartes can potentially only come from a supreme being, which is God; God possess more objective reality than he does formal reality. We as humans, as Descartes states, are finite substance, and God is the only infinite substance. The only way for us as a finite substance to think of an infinite substance is possible if, and only if, there is an infinite substance that grants us the idea of substance in first place. After these smaller arguments, Descartes states that while we can doubt the existence of many things, due to the fact that ...
Descartes argues that we can know the external world because of God, and God is not a deceiver. Descartes’ core foundation for understanding what is important comes from three points: our thoughts about the world and the things in it could be deceptive, our power of reasoning has found ideas that are indubitable, and certainty come by way of reasoning. Once we have a certainty of God, and ourselves then we are easily able to distinguish reality from dreams, and so on. God created us and gave us reason, which tells us that our ideas of the external world come from God. God has directly provided us with the idea of the external world. The concept of existence, the self, and doubt could not have existed on its own; therefore they had to be created by someone to have put them in our mind. That creator is God, who is omnipotent and perfect. God is not a deceiver to me; God is good, so therefore what I perceive really does exist. God without existence is like a mountain without a valley. A valley does not exist if there is no mountain, and vice versa a mountain is not a mountain with out a valley. We cannot believe or think of God without existence. We know the idea of God, and that idea inevitably contains his existence. My thought on god is clear and distinct that he is existent. Descartes’ now has ‘rebuilt’ the world, solely because of his power and reasoning. Descartes’ is only able...
Up until the Third Meditation, Descartes arguments made sense with minor flaws, but not every argument is perfect. Trying to prove God’s existence… I believe that people should not being trying to prove whether or not God is real. As Pascal said, “If there is a God, he is infinitely beyond our comprehension, since, being indivisible and without limits, he bears no relation to us… That being so, who would dare to attempt an answer to the question? Certainly not we, who bear no relation to him” (Pascal
Descartes began his argument in the First Meditation by questioning or calling into doubt everything that he knew. After examining all the things he thought he knew about himself and the world he concluded (the details of that argument are beyond the scope of this essay) that the only thing he knew with absolute certainty is that I am, I exist (Section 25). Having established the fact that he has a real existence of some kind he then said But I do not yet understand...