Rene Descartes - Existence of God

1978 words 8 pages
Rene Descartes' third meditation from his book Meditations on First Philosophy, examines Descartes' arguments for the existence of God. The purpose of this essay will be to explore Descartes' reasoning and proofs of God's existence. In the third meditation, Descartes states two arguments attempting to prove God's existence, the Trademark argument and the traditional Cosmological argument. Although his arguments are strong and relatively truthful, they do no prove the existence of God.
At the start of the meditation, Descartes begins by rejecting all his beliefs, so that he would not be deceived by any misconceptions from reaching the truth. Descartes acknowledges himself as, "a thing that thinks: that is, a thing that doubts, affirms,
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Anyone can have the idea of God but they lack the details of the existence of God. Descartes defines God as an infinite being and states that people are finite beings. A problem with the argument is Descartes says that the infiniteness can never be fully understood by a finite being, but yet God exists and gave us the idea of him. To suggest that the idea of God is innate and too difficult for people to invent themselves does not remove any doubt. Descartes proof does not allow us to be 100% certain that God exists. I may believe he exists, that God implanted the idea of him in me, but there still remains a fraction of a doubt that it is wrong.
Descartes expanded his argument for the existence of God stating ideas should be observed as modes of consciousness. Since the idea is an effect, the cause of the effect must possess as much reality as the effect. Descartes uses the example of a stone, "which previously did not exist, and could not begin to exist unless it was produced by something which contains, either formally or eminently everything to be found in the stone" When this principle is applied to the idea of God, Descartes declared that the cause, God, must have as much reality and perfection as the idea of God. It is of the nature of perfection that a thing is perfect only if it exists. Therefore, a perfect God must exist.
Objective reality cannot exist


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