Rene descartes proof of gods existence acritical exposition essay

The primary interest of his theory for our purposes, however, is that it led to a lively debate among his successors both as to how to interpret the master and about the true nature of the relation between essence and existence in created things.

Rene Descartes - Existence of God

Through the theory of innate ideas, Descartes believed that God, "eternal, infinite, omniscient, omnipotent, and the Creator of all things which are in addition to Himself" caused the idea of God in his mind.

This debate produced three main positions: Descartes was dead long before Leibniz articulated this criticism but it was familiar to him from the Second Set of Objectors Marin Mersenne et al. According to this principle, for which he argues in the Fourth Meditation, whatever one clearly and distinctly perceives or understands is true — true not just of ideas but of things in the real world represented by those ideas.

Whatever I clearly and distinctly perceive to be contained in the idea of something is true of that thing.

Descartes' Ontological Argument

When confronted with this criticism by a contemporary objector, Descartes tries to find common ground: If the Meditator could exist without God, he would have come to be out of herself, or from his parents, or from some other being less perfect than God.

Since this idea is not clear and distinct, the method of demonstration employed in the ontological argument does not apply to it. Cambridge University Press, — It is easy to see how this traditional distinction could be exploited by a defender of the ontological argument.

In order to illustrate that the inference from the mental to the extra-mental commits a logical error, critics have observed that if such inferences were legitimate then we could proliferate ontological arguments for supremely perfect islands, existing lions, and all sorts of things which either do not exist or whose existence is contingent and thus should not follow a priori from their concept.

He should be able to dismiss most objections in one neat trick by insisting on the non-logical nature of the demonstration. But as we saw already with the case of necessary existence, Descartes does not intend these terms in their logical or modal senses.

Understanding this view requires a more careful investigation of the distinction between essence and existence as it appears in medieval sources.

Descartes cannot be saved entirely from this charge, but two important points can be made in his defense. Although his arguments are strong and relatively truthful, they do no prove the existence of God. Since thought and extension constitute the essence of mind and body, respectively, a mind is merely rationally distinct from its thinking and a body is merely rationally distinct from its extension 1: If he derived his existence from himself, there is no reason that he should have doubts and desires.

Given our earlier discussion concerning the non-logical status of the ontological argument, it may seem surprising that Descartes would take objections to it seriously.

So how are we to understand the claim that a finite substance is merely rationally distinct from its possible existence?

Critical Essays, Vere Chappell ed. This is especially true of objection that the ontological argument begs the question.

Third Meditation, part 3: Descartes proposes a general rule, "that whatever one perceives very clearly and very distinctly is true" Descartes discovers, "that he can doubt what he clearly and distinctly perceives is true led to the realization that his first immediate priority should be to remove the doubt" because, "no organized body of knowledge is possible unless the doubt is removed" The best probable way to remove the doubt is prove that God exists, that he is not a deceiver and "will always guarantee that any clear and distinct ideas that enter our minds will be true.

But it is clear from the discussion in section 2 that he had the resources for addressing this objection in a systematic manner. These proofs, however, are stunningly brief and betray his true intentions.

A Posteriori or Reason vs. Nolan, Lawrence and Alan Nelson, We cannot produce ontological arguments for finite things for the simple reason that the clear and distinct ideas of them contain merely dependent existence. God is an infinite substance whereas he is only a finite substance.

At times, Descartes appears to support this interpretation of the ontological argument. The formal versions of the argument are merely heuristic devices, to be jettisoned once has attained the requisite intuition of a supremely perfect being.rene descartes proof of god's existence: acritical exposition essay lies on the one who affirms the existence of God to explain who or what this God is and to prove his existence.

The subject of God may have being difficult to explain because the term God does not refer to any physical entity in the universe. In the same context, Descartes also characterizes the ontological argument as a proof from the “essence” or “nature” of God, arguing that necessary existence cannot be separated from the essence of a supremely perfect being without contradiction.

Descartes' Third Meditation: Proof of God's Existence In Rene Descartes Meditations on First Philosophy, Descartes is seeking to find a system of stable, lasting and certain knowledge, which he can ultimately regard as the Truth.

Furthermore, Descartes saw that there is no reason to doubt the existence of God since his perception and understanding of God is an infinite reality and therefore is more likely to be authentic than other conceptions. Descartes' Proof of the Existence of God in Meditation Three This paper is intended to explain and evaluate Descartes' proof for the existence of god in Meditation Three.

It shall show the weaknesses in the proof, but also give credit to the strengths in his proof.

Descartes' Proof for the Existence of God and its Importance Alex Nichamin Descartes’ Proof for the Existence of God and its Importance In Meditations on First Philosophy, Descartes describes his philosophical quest to find absolute, certain knowledge.

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Rene descartes proof of gods existence acritical exposition essay
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