Ren Descartes Essay, Research Paper
Prove It I dare YOUProve It, I Dare YouFor many years philosophers have disputed argued, dissected and used countless of other devices in order to prove God’s existence. Is there someone or something that has been there since time started? All my life I was raised to believe that God exists. As I grew older, wiser, and take philosophy classes, I have heard about different beliefs that could of possibly persuaded me to lean towards the opposite beliefs that I have originally believe in. In school and in books I learn about philosophers like Socrates, Plato, Humes, Ren Descartes, and plenty of other philosophers. Philosophers like these shape concepts and open up new possibilities.One of these philosophers, namely Ren Descartes, published “Meditations on First Philosophy” in 1641. In his Meditations, he proposes a view of man, the universe, and God. That’s where I will begin and to analyze Descartes’ ontological argument. In order for me to prove that God exists I will get an excerpt from the fifth meditation. Certainly I discover within me an idea of God, that is, the idea of a supremely perfect being, is one that I discover to be no less within me than the idea of any figure or number. And that it belongs to God’s nature that he always exists is something I understand no less clearly and distinctly than is the case when I demonstrated in regard to some figure or number that something also belongs to the nature of that figure or number. Thus even if not every thing that I have meditated during these past few days were true, the existence of God has some degree of certainty as to truths in mathematics.Ren Descartes, Meditation 5, marg.pg#65-66. To paraphrase: 1.God is a supremely perfect being. 2.God has all the perfections. 3.It is in nature that a supremely perfect being exists. 4.Therefore, God, who is a supremely perfect being, exists. Descartes uses analogies to prove the existence of God and to give a clearer perception of his argument. Descartes starts off by using a triangle. A triangles’ nature is such that the sum off it’s angles equals to two right angles. In the case of a triangle, we begin with some properties of a triangle and make a conclusion about other properties. The important thing about the triangle case is that nothing is said of existence, the conclusion is not about existence. There may be no right triangles that exists anywhere but there is only the nature of a triangle. Another example that Descartes uses is that the natureof the mountain is such that it is next to a valley. Once again, this is the inference from properties to properties. Now in the case of God, existence is the conclusion we draw. These analogies make it that existence can’t be separated from the essence of God. Perfection is the key property of God that Descartes exploits. Another key feature that Descartes is saying is that nonexistence is an imperfection. Hence, it is just as much of a contradiction to think of God, a supremely perfect being, lacking existence, or lacking perfection, as to think of a mountain without a valley.
For many, many years, students as well as full time philosophers have studied Descartes and his “Meditation of First Philosophy” and they have analyzed and criticized his viewpoints. Many have brought up objections to his philosophy and many others have defended him also. In this paper, I will try to bring up a couple of objections to his version of the ontological argument. The first argument that I bring up is that Descartes didn’t need to have asserted that God has all of the perfections. Well Descartes would start to defend his argument by saying that since the idea of God is an image of “true and immutable nature”, the idea of God is implanted in Descartes and he didn’t make it up. As I have stated from above, to be perfect is to exist. Descartes would have to say that the only being that he could think of whose essence includes existence is God. Furthermore, there are other things in the idea of God that we can’t remove or change, so he must be perfect. Descartes would finish off by saying that God is eternal and that there is no way that there is another one of him floating somewhere (meditation V,marginal pg#68). Another objection you can raise is that you can also say that the proof of God in Meditation three works and the fifth one doesn’t work. Well, Descartes would of replied that the idea of God is not just an idea. It represents a “true and immutable nature”, just like above. Descartes would also follow that the idea has a reality of it’s own and that it would not be an imaginary thing. He also can say that his idea of God can only originated from God. Since God is perfect in every way. His existence can not be imaginary. Well I have tried to explain Descartes’ ontological argument and I also have tried to raise up a couple of objections in this paper. It mainly gives an explanation that uses logic and reason as tools to decipher his argument. It also makes Descartes seem like a sophist, but he is trying his best to prove that God exists. Whether you consider God exist or doesn’t, I still believe that he does exist and he is up there watching over all of us. His existence is what makes my existence possible.