Locke And Decartes Essay, Research Paper
In comparing the argument for the existence of God there are two views, Decartes and Locke. Decartes believes there is innate knowledge that everybody already has a perfect being acquired knowledge. Locke believes that all ideas come from experience. I believe truth lies between both of these theories.
“It only remains for me to examine how I received this idea from God. For I did not acquire it from the senses; it has never come to me unexpectedly, as usually happens with the ideas of things that are perceivable by the senses, when these things present themselves to the external sense organs-or seem to do so. And it was not invented by me either; for I am plainly unable either to take away anything from it or to add anything to it. The only remaining alternative is that it is innate in me, just as the idea of myself is innate in me.”(pg255 W.p.) Decartes is telling us we know everything when we are born, the idea was already there. Decartes is saying God established a relationship with the humans to help them. Decartes theory shows God as eternal, infinite, immutable, omniscient, omnipotent, and a creator.
“Every man being conscious to himself that he thinks, and that which his mind is employed about while thinking, being the ideas that there are, it is past doubt that men have in their minds several ideas, such as those expressed by the words whiteness, hardness, sweetness, thinking, motion, man elephant, army, drunkenness and others, it is in the first place to be inquired: How he comes by them? Let us suppose the mind to be, as we say, white paper, void of all characters, without any ideas. How comes it to be furnished? When has it all the materials of reason and knowledge? To this I answer, in one word, from experience. In that all our knowledge is founded, and external sensible objects, or about the internal operations of our minds perceived the materials of thinking.”(pg31W.P.) Locke is telling us all ideas come from experience. Locke believes God could come from thinking. Locke explains you are born with white paper empty with content but have operations that go on in the mind. By filling a gap in the curiosities in people, we believe God created everything. Lockes theory shows the minds power to interpertate God as perception, thinking, acting, believing, reasoning, willing, and knowing.
I feel that both Decartes and Locke theories contribute equally. In Decartes claim of innate knowledge it is possible for a theory of reincarnation. It is evident that if knowledge exists at the start of your life, it could exist before, during, and in after life. This proves an innate knowledge. I also believe in Lockes theory because we learn about God throughout our lives adding to the knowledge. This is true since science contributes adding more ideas through technology to discover new advanced knowledge. Through this ability we learn about the starting of the world and facts further back in history. In conclusion I feel both Decartes and Locke have both contributed to the theory of God equally.