Meditations on First Philosophy

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The fourth Meditations of Descartes show that God cannot be a deceiver at all, as God is infinitely good. To judge something it is required to have understanding and will and we should know that the understanding is infinite or in other words it is the faculty, which brings us very close to God. Errors occur when will assents though it does not understand or perceive distinctly. So from this fact we can understand that error is ours and it is not committed by God. He also cannot be blamed for giving us an infinite will, as the will is nothing but a simple infinite entity. How can we perceive something distinctly and clearly? According to Descartes it was possible for God to create him with an insurmountable inclination to assent only to those things, which were distinctly and clearly perceived by him, but God is infinite and His ways are inscrutable. Descartes writes in his Meditation IV that when he tries to find out about God, he feels that in reality a positive idea of God is already present in his mind and it is a supremely perfect being. But at the same time he encounters with a negative idea which gives him a since of nothingness. This image is infinitely removed from perfection of all kinds. Then Descartes disclosed his feelings and said that due to his own experience he knew that he has some ability to judge and this ability came from God. There is no doubt that all the qualities have come from God and this quality was also from God. He was certain that God would never deceive him and thus no such ability was given to him, which may ever put him in the wrong direction. So after all these experiences he evidently concluded that there existed a God and his existence depended entirely on Him. In fact every moment of his lif...

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...r. He is benevolent and omnipotent with power to prevent all the errors. If such is the case than why are we not incapable of ever doing wrong? Descartes blames us and says that it is our errors and God has not given us defective faculties. It is the misuse of our freedom of will to assent to things, which we don’t perceive clearly or distinctly. In fact the lack or imperfection lies in the operation of the will and it is not due to the faculties, which we have received from God. Descartes proved the existence of God by saying that since existence is inseparable from God, he really exists and God can never deceive.

Works Cited

Descartes, Rene. Meditations on First Philosophy: With Selections from the Objections and Replies. Translated by John Cottingham. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge. 1996.
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