Disproving Descart's Existence Of God. Essay

1468 words - 6 pages

Seventeenth century philosopher René Descartes was a rational thinker. He sought to prove theories using only reason because he viewed the senses as unreliable. While many other philosophical thinkers of the seventeenth century were using both reason and the senses to prove their theories, Descartes' rationalist mind lead him to prove the existence of God through reason alone. His thoughts resulted in a chain of causation that begins with the existence of himself and ends with the existence of God. However, many atheists (who do not believe in the existence of God) question the validity of Descartes' reasoning. Even those who do believe that God exists can find weaknesses in Descartes' arguments and often do not base their belief in God on Descartes' "Meditation on First Philosophy." I believe that Descartes' conclusion that God exists is weak and does not prove the existence of God to either atheists or Christians. However, I will attempt to disprove my thesis by presenting Descartes' chain of rational thoughts that lead him to believe in the existence of God, and then I will offer my own attempt to disprove Descartes as I argue that the existence of God cannot be proven by using his chain of causation in "Meditation on First Philosophy."The basis of Descartes' "Meditation One: Concerning Those Things That Can Be Called into Doubt" is his uncertainty that everything he once believed to be true and existing is actually false and does not exist. Descartes comes to believe that if he has any reason at all to doubt something, than he is to reject it and believe that it does not exist. Descartes disregards his senses because he believes that if they have ever deceived him (even once), than he has no way to prove that they are not deceiving him now and all the time. He tells us "never to place our complete trust in those who have deceived us even once (460)." Descartes goes on to theorize that he is dreaming and not actually awake. This gives him reason to doubt that he actually is sitting in a chair, wearing a robe, and holding a pen. He now rejects all certainty that he is awake. Descartes' third source of doubt is in God. He was once sure of the certainty of math and science, but these ideas would remain constant in his dreams, so now he doubts that math and science are proof of his existence. Descartes states, "For whether I am awake or asleep, two plus three make five, and a square does not have more than four sides (461)." He had previously believed that God had created math and science and had given him the ability to understand them and perform their various functions, but now that Descartes has reason to doubt math and science, he also has reason to doubt the existence of God. However, after further thought, Descartes uses "Meditation Two: Concerning the Nature of the Human Mind: That It Is Better Known Then the Body" and "Meditation Three: Concerning God, That He Exists" to refute many of these conclusions and eventually prove to...

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