Why God Cannot Exist Using Descartes' Arguements

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Why God Cannot Exist Using Descartes' Arguements Descartes sets about proving the existence of God through his meditations on knowledge in an effort to prove the skeptics of his time wrong. He first determines that human knowledge is based entirely too much on unproved presuppositions. He argues that this makes it difficult to distinguish between truth and error, since we cannot recognize true knowledge. Descartes proposes that the quest for knowledge must be based upon universal doubt. Specifically, he proposes the following in relation to his universal methodic doubt: 1. In order to seek truth, it is necessary once in the course of our life, to doubt, as far as possible, of all things. 2. We ought also to consider as false all that is doubtful. 3. We ought not meanwhile to make use of doubt in the conduct of life… 4. Why we may doubt of sensible things. 5. Why we may also doubt of mathematical demonstrations. 6. We cannot doubt of our existence while we doubt, and this is the first knowledge we acquire when we philosophize in order. Descartes proceeded to strip away his knowledge base in order to determine the one indubitable fact, "Cogito, ergo sum". From this absolute knowledge of his own existence, he set about deducing the existence of God through ontological argument. § In our minds, the idea of God is one of an infinitely perfect Being § An infinitely perfect being must have existence, otherwise it would not be infinitely perfect. § Therefore, God exists. In proving the existence of God, Descartes set the groundwork for determining that God created man. He further postulated that God, being infinitely perfect and not a deceiver, could not have provided man with the deceptive powers of knowledge. Therefore, man's mental faculties are determined to be trustworthy provided we separate what there is of clear and distinct in the knowledge from what is obscure and confused. Using this reasoning, man must discard all previous knowledge which is doubt-ridden, all sensory-based knowledge (as perceptions can be misleading), and all intellection. As a result, skepticism is removed and valid knowledge possible. Descartes primary purpose was the defense of human knowledge against the attacks of the skeptics. He was justified in excluding preconceived notions, presuppositions, and traditions in determining the limits of knowledge. Descartes discarded the ability of the mind to know truth and the human abilities of contradiction and sufficient reason.

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