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Rene Descartes In Proving The Existence Of God.

1332 words - 5 pages

René Descartes tried using reason alone to prove the existence of God, and that the soul is separate from the body. In theMeditations, he starts out by doubting completely everything and then progressively explains human existence, and then theexistence of God. By using reason, he also attempts to prove that the soul is separate from the body. Although Descarteshad some very excellent points, it is impossible to prove the existence of God by using reason, and it is near futile todeduce that the human existence is separable into two different parts.The first argument Descartes gives for the proof of God's existence relies on the content and cause of ideas. He contendsthat ideas have to come from somewhere. Do they come from within oneself, from the outside world, or are they innate? Sincehis idea of God was an infinite being, the cause of the idea must also be infinite. The more Descartes reflected on howall-powerful and omniscient God is, the more convinced he was that the idea did not originate from within himself or theoutside world. The ideas, then, must be innate; which means they were put there by God. So, according to Descartes, Godexists!The problem with this argument is that it doesn't really "prove" anything. I could think of a really huge apple as big asMassachusetts. In my imagination, this apple would be very red and very beautiful and delicious above all other apples.Just because I'm thinking of something really great doesn't mean that it exists or that the idea was put in my mind by God.Descartes seems to equate the concept of imagination directly to the proof of the existence of God. This first proof was notvery successful, at least not to other people.On the other hand, I believe that Descartes has proved to himself that there is a God. It is kind of hard to believe insomeone else's Weltanschauung about God's existence. However, if you are the one proving it, is much easier to believe.Descartes sincerely believes that he has proved the existence of God. He knows that he's a thinking thing who has this"clear and distinct" notion of the existence of God. Perhaps it is something that Descartes "innately" knows. So, while thefirst argument does not really hold with other people that strongly, to Descartes, he has indeed discovered a breakthrough.The second proof Descartes gives of God's existence is a cosmological argument. In this, Descartes explains that somethinggreater must have caused his existence, and even if it was just his parents, something must have caused their existence goingback until the first event of causes which must have happened because of God. Either there is an infinite regression ofcauses, or there is a first uncaused cause that brought forth in motion this earthly chain of events. Since an infiniteregression of causes is impossible, there therefore must have been a first uncaused cause which is God. So, therefore,according to Descartes, God exists!The problem with this argument is that it does not make...

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