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Descarte's Journey To Prove Existence This Essay Is An Exploration Of Descates' Examples And Ideas That Prove God's Existence

1522 words - 7 pages


Descartes' Journey to Prove Existence

In his preface, Descartes declares that the intention of his book is to prove God's existence without the aid of theology, but rather through natural reason. His argument is successful in doing so seeing as he is able to disregard all solutions before embarking on his mission to prove God's existence. He does this by using process of mathematics, deductive reasoning and personal thought. His extreme emphasis on the issue of mathematics to prove God's existence is a simpler way for non-believers to get a grasp on the concept of God actually existing. Descartes essentially breaks everything down into Layman's terms ...view middle of the document...

Essentially, Descartes is looking to the non-believers when saying this. This simple concept is something a non-believer could easily get a grasp on. It demonstrates simple truths that build up on each other to prove a true concept or notion. There is a specific unchangeable formal reality regarding triangles. They all have three sides; all have angles that add up to one hundred eighty degrees. These facts will never change. By using these mathematical principles, Descartes craftily gives proof for God's existence. In the same way a triangle has essence, God also has this said essence. His essence is purely related to his existence because; you cannot separate essence from existence. That would be like separating the third side from a triangle. If this was done, it would not be a triangle anymore.

Descartes illustrates this notion beautifully when he using deductive reasoning to write; "…that existence can no more be separated from God's essence than its having three angles equal to two right angles can be separated from the essence of a triangle, or than that the idea of a valley can be separated from the idea of a mountain" (Descartes 46). In a figurative way, Descartes is saying that God's essence and God's existence cannot be separated, the same way a mountain cannot be separated from a valley. It simply cannot be done. This proposal does not force a mountain and valley to exist. Rather, it is purely by definition that a mountain must exist next to a valley. Also by definition, God is an all-powerful perfect being. However, if he did not exist, he would not be perfect. This simply deduces the fact that he must in fact exist. In another sense of the idea, I can deduct that I exist. I have the essence of my own thoughts and ideas. These thoughts and ideas are not separate from me. So if they exist, I must exist.

Another strategy Descartes employs is deeply connected to him and his belief because he utilizes his own personal thoughts. In his heart of hearts, Descartes knows that God is perfect. Perfection is the most ideal thing anyone can strive for in this world. However, perfection is directly linked to existence. Perfection is nothing without someone or something acting as the driving force to lead to perfection. He writes; "…when I realize existence is a perfection, I rightly conclude that a first and supreme being exists" (Descartes 45). By definition, God is a perfect being. To lack existence would be to lack perfection. So by this thought...

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