Essay on The Evil Deceiver By Descartes

Essay on The Evil Deceiver By Descartes

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In his quest for absolute, firm knowledge, Descartes eventually reaches a standstill that could prevent him from moving forward on his journey. This obstacle manifests itself in the form of an evil deceiver, a malicious entity with the ability to distort Descartes’ perceptions and trick him into believing a false claim to be truthful. The evil deceiver would endlessly mislead Descartes into thinking that an aspect of life were true. Given the power of this evil deceiver, Descartes would never know if the truths that he is reaching are in fact truthful. This conundrum in which Descartes finds himself encourages him to find some mechanism to counter the idea of an evil deceiver. Descartes realizes that the existence of God will eradicate the fear and reality of the existence of an evil deceiver. In addition to the issue of the evil deceiver, the existence of God will help Descartes to be completely certain of anything else (such as the existence of other minds) and that can he trust his senses. The problem of the evil deceiver leads Descartes into determining where God exists, who Descartes believes will discredit the notion of an evil deceiver. Descartes does not only have to prove the existence of God, but must attribute one essential quality to God: omnibenevolence. For God to trump this evil deceiver, God must possess the highest quality of goodness. Thus, the existence of God as an omnibenevolent entity voids the existence of an evil deceiver, for an all-good God would not deceive humans. In turn, by proving the existence of God, Descartes disproves the existence of the evil deceiver and solidifies Descartes understandings of truth. After discussing the necessity of assuring God’s existence, Descartes follows his piece with t...


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... the ideas of formal reality. While the formal reality exists concretely in the three-dimensional world, ideas exist only as theories and concepts. In order for something to exist as a conceptual idea, Descartes claims that it must be based off of some formal reality or actual existence. Thus, the idea of God must be based off of the actual reality of God, and God, as an infinite being, must have been the one to impart the existence of God to Descartes. Although several questions to Descartes’ claims exist, the idea of formal reality and presentational idea aids in rebutting these claims. In sufficiently providing an argument for the existence of God, Descartes accomplishes a task that is essential to Descartes’ philosophy. Without a real God in the world, Descartes - and the rest of humanity - would not be able to trust their senses, their judgements, or each other.

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