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The Importance Of God In Descartes' Philosophy

1299 words - 5 pages

God, in all of his/her perfection, is very important in Descartes' philosophy. Reality and deception are big parts of Descartes philosophy, and to verify what reality is, God needs to be considered. God needs to be taken out of a religious context and be proven to exist in a way that we cannot be deceived into only thinking he's real. Religion had to be discarded completely during this proof so that Descartes can undoubtedly state that God does exist and that religious teaching had no influence in the proof. Descartes uses this proof to establish the legitimacy and validity of his future principles. Once Descartes establishes the existence of God, he leads on to 'rank' us within the hierarchy of living and non-living creatures. Descartes 'ranked' us between God, being the greatest, and nothing, being the least.When Descartes philosophy deals with reality and what is deception, God enters the picture. God, being an all powerful being is considered when the idea of something perfect is thought of. Since every idea must have some relevance to reality, the thought of perfection must have come from somewhere (Ex nihilo nihil fit; nothing comes from nothing). The idea of perfection must have been placed in our minds by a perfect being. Therefore God exists. The proof of God's existence is explained in different terms because the translation cannot always be correct. The main components of the proof are always present.In Descartes meditation III, Descartes uses the idea of perfection to prove that God exists. This is one interpretation of Descartes proof of the existence of God.1) I think, therefore I am.2) I cannot be mistaken about the ideas that I have.3) There can never be more objective reality in the effect (i.e., the idea) than there is formal reality in the cause (i.e., object of the idea).4) I have an idea of perfection or infinite substance.5) My idea of perfection is the most objectively real idea that I have.6) The only possible formal cause of that idea is infinite substance. [...]Premises 1 and 2 are incorrigible. That is, they cannot be doubted. Premise number 3 rests upon the principle of sufficient reason. [...] Premise number 4 is Descartes' fourth innate idea. The idea is already there, for it is innate. [...] Premise number 5 is not quite as easy. [...] my idea of an infinite substance has more objective reality than my idea of a finite substance, and these are the only possible things that can cause an idea to emerge in my mind.[...] Premise 6 says that this idea could only have come from God. Since I cannot derive the more perfect from the less perfect, then the idea had to have come from God because everything else in the world is imperfect. [...]Therefore, God exists. (http://csunx4.bsc.edu/bmyers/3MEDPRF.htm )Descartes uses this proof to finalize the existence of God.From Descartes' Meditation III, Descartes concludes that God exists. Descartes knows that he has an idea of perfection. Thoughts cannot be deceived and therefore,...

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