Descartes Third Meditation: Proof of Gods Existence Essay

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Descartes' Third Meditation: Proof of God's Existence
In Rene Descartes Meditations on First Philosophy, Descartes is seeking to find a system of stable, lasting and certain knowledge, which he can ultimately regard as the Truth. In his methodical quest to carry out his task, Descartes eventually arrives at the proverbial fork in the road: how to bridge the knowledge of self with that of the rest of the world. Descartes’ answer to this is to prove the existence of God. The purpose of this essay will be to state and explain Descartes' Third Meditation: Proof of God's Existence by identifying relevant concepts and terminology and their relationship to each other and examining each premise as well as the conclusion of the proof and finally
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The highest degree of reality involves the infinite. The infinite represents substances that are unbounded and possess no conceivable or tangible limits in any of their aspects or qualities. The only example of this for Descartes would be an entity of omnipotence, who would be all knowing, all powerful, and that of which no greater can be conceived, in other words God.
The next concept that must be explained is in fact the very first premise for Descartes' Third Meditation Proof for the Existence of God, that of the Causal Adequacy Principle. Descartes reasons that "as the idea contains one particular subjective reality rather than another, it must get this reality from a cause having at least as much formal reality as the idea has subjective reality" (p 58). In this, Descartes attempts to tie together the concepts on kinds of reality and degrees of reality. Returning to the example using the ceiling, Descartes would argue that the thing causing or bringing into existence the idea of the ceiling (a mind dependent entity) could only be another finite substance (i.e. the actual ceiling) or an infinite substance (i.e. God), either of which would be of formal (mind independent) reality. In saying this I eliminate the notion that the idea of the ceiling could be sustained by the holes and markings (accidents and modifications) because according to Descartes they are of a lower degree of reality,
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