In Discourse on the MethodDescartes recalls, I entirely abandoned the study of letters. Resolving to seek no knowledge other than that of which could be found in myself or else in the great book of the world, I spent the rest of my youth traveling, visiting courts and armies, mixing with people of diverse temperaments and ranks, gathering various experiences, testing myself in the situations which fortune offered me, and at all times reflecting upon whatever came my way so as to derive some profit from it. Given his ambition to become a professional military officer, inDescartes joined, as a mercenarythe Protestant Dutch States Army in Breda under the command of Maurice of Nassau and undertook a formal study of military engineeringas established by Simon Stevin. Descartes, therefore, received much encouragement in Breda to advance his knowledge of mathematics.
Past and present, there has always been a different integration consisting of the believers and the non-believers of God. On the other hand, the skeptics find the existence of God somewhat puzzling and try to seek the answers through scientific methods. In terms of believers and non-believers, Descartes would be one of the believers.
Before we go any further, we must ponder upon several questions. If such God does exist, then where does this being come from?
Why do believers and non-believers hold on to their beliefs as they do? What significance does the existence of God have upon mankind?
These are only the tip of the iceberg amongst the vast array of unanswered questions related to God. Though there are so many uncertainties as we have just mentioned, the existence of all other uncertainties in our world may explain why the existence of God is so real to many people.
For the believers, God provides a convenient answer to all these questions except for the answers regarding God itself. The following are some of the general arguments for the existence of God.
Secondly, the existence of God explains the arguments regarding the efficient causality; as the world exhibits orderly causal sequences, something had to start it all up. Thirdly but not the least, God provides an answer to the question of the origin of life and its destination after death.
For the sake of convenience, we shall borrow some theological ideas from Christianity, the Christian God, to exemplify our comparisons. As an example, God is the creator of all, and there is a place in heaven, a kingdom of God, for those who have faith in God. This helps believers understand their identity and alleviate the fear of death.
Now then, let us look upon how Descartes responds to the question of what God is? In his earlier Meditations, he claims that God may be a deceiver; he, however, concludes later that God is a non-deceiver because an act of deceit would be an attribute of moral imperfection.
According to Descartes, this idea of a supremely intelligent and supremely powerful being, who created everything that exists, can not and does not come from within him who is imperfect.
Moreover, this perception did not originate from the experiences of the world, nor was this drawn from the senses. Rather, he believes that this perception of God is prior to his own perception, and it could only actually arise from a perfect being.
Thus Descartes concludes the only remaining option to be that this perception was innate in him. Yet, Descartes claims that God gave humans no faculty for making mistakes, and we are constituted as a mediator between God and nothingness.
On the other hand, free will is a freedom to choose which is infinite. Furthermore, he implies that the fact that the boundaries of will extending further than the finite intellect is the very source of human error. From this discussion, it is clear that humans do have the capacity to err.
Then this imbalance can be accounted as a defect no matter what the justification may be; moreover, this implies that God did indeed make a mistake by creating a being that has faculties that lack perfection.
He begins this theory by mentioning that ideas of certain things which are outside of him have their own truth and natures. These ideas were not fabricated by him, and they have not entered him through the sense experience.
Since he knows these ideas clearly, he claims that they are something and are true. Descartes states that those that he can clearly and distinctly perceive are the only things that fully convince him as being true. From this concept, he constructs a logic which supposedly proves his hypothesis; the clear and distinct perception of the undoubted existence of God means that existence is inseparable from God.
From this assumption, Descartes jumps to the conclusion that God does indeed exist; however, can this be considered as a legitimate reasoning and be accepted as a proof beyond reasonable doubt?
Must everything that Descartes perceives be true as long as it is clear and distinct? Let us ponder upon what Descartes has said before for the sake of argument.
He also stated that the faculty of choosing, his will, is finite. If this is so, then the faculty of knowing the truth, his intellect, must be also be finite.
Furthermore, Descartes himself acknowledges the fact that he is not perfect. From these premises, I believe that we have the grounds to speculate that the perceptions based on his finite faculties of knowledge hold the potential of having mistakes.A summary of Descartes, Spinoza, and Locke in Jostein Gaarder's Sophie's World.
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Descartes’ however, believed that he had proof of God’s existence through an intense analysis of the mind. Throughout this paper I will discuss what he has provided as proof and some of the complications that arise throughout his argument.
Descartes effectively reduced verifiable reality to the thinking self, though he eventually accepted the objective reality of the external world and the existence of God. Meditations on First Philosophy in which the existence of God and the immortality of the soul are demonstrated (Latin: Meditationes de Prima Philosophia, in qua Dei existentia et animæ immortalitas demonstratur) is a philosophical treatise by René Descartes first published in Latin in A summary of Third Meditation, part 3: the existence of God and the Cartesian Circle in Rene Descartes's Meditations on First Philosophy.
Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Meditations on First Philosophy and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. Descartes' ontological (or a priori) argument is both one of the most fascinating and poorly understood aspects of his regardbouddhiste.comation with the argument stems from the effort to prove God's existence from simple but powerful premises.
Existence is derived immediately from the clear and distinct idea of a supremely perfect being.