Essay about Descartes First Meditation

924 Words Sep 24th, 1999 4 Pages
Descartes’ first meditation, his main objective is to present three skeptical arguments to bring doubt upon what he considers his basic beliefs. Descartes believes this to be an intricate part of his complete epistemological argument. Descartes skeptical arguments are not intended to be a denial of his basic beliefs. On the contrary, he uses these arguments to help prove one of his main theses, which is the existence of God. One of the main premises that Descartes uses in his proof for the existence of God comes from the evil demon argument, which he proposed, in the first meditation. It is this evil demon argument, which will be the topic of the following discussion. The purpose of Descartes’ evil demon argument is to …show more content…
Therefore meaning that the world that we live in, the external world, is non-existent and merely a mirage placed into our minds by an evil demon. Obviously, to any sane person, this would sound irrational, but this is the possible world that Descartes presents to establish doubt in his common beliefs, mainly his belief that there exists an external world. One of the questions that needs to be raised when discussing Descartes’ first meditation and his skeptical arguments is; is it possible to completely separate one’s self from all their current beliefs? For this is what Descartes sets out to do in the first meditation. This question is highly relevant in terms of Descartes evil demon argument, for it appears no matter what, he is not able to separate himself from his belief in God. Descartes’ argument is not that the evil demon is replacing God, which would seem to be the logical view. Instead, Descartes says that the evil demon is coexisting with God. Therefore, even though Descartes claims to be starting at ground zero and proceeding to prove that his common beliefs are true, he never actually denies the existence of God. In the later meditations, he reveals his belief in innate ideas and the existence of God is one of them. Yet as far as Descartes evil demon argument is concerned, the fact that he maintains this belief in God throughout