Descartes Vs. Pascal Essay

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Descartes vs. Pascal      For centuries, human beings have been debating over the validity of the use of reason. This is a very, very difficult subject to discuss, as one is forced to study something which is at that moment being used in their study. Two classic thinkers who contrasted on their view of reason were Descartes and Pascal. Though both saw reason as the primary source of knowledge, they disagreed over the competence of human reason. Descartes, the skeptic, said that we could use reason to find certain truth if we used it correctly, while Pascal said that we can't know certain truth, but reason is the best source of knowledge that we have. Descartes:      Reason is the tool…show more content…
This is a very useful step, because I can take my idea that a perfect being (God) exists. Since this idea is greater than myself, there must be a perfect being who has caused this idea in me. Continuing on, if there is a perfect God, than I can logically deduce that a perfect being would not give me a deceptive faculty. If we do not have deceptive faculties, than we can know for certain that we can trust our senses with certainty.      The certainties that I have arrived at by starting with the one certainty can be known with complete certainty because they were arrived at using rational, logical reasoning. It is true that we can doubt that God exists, yet this skepticism is superseded by rationality. We used a rational argument which is based upon certainties; therefore, we know with 100% certainty that God exists. Pascal: Rene Descartes must realize that our world is not like mathematics. As I have stated, “Let man consider what he is in comparison with all existence; let him regard himself as lost in this remote corner . . . What is a man in the infinite?” (Pascal, #72). How can we expect to gain a grip on certain knowledge when we cannot even grasp where we are in relation to all of reality. Descartes was right in saying that reason is the basis of all of our knowledge, but he must realize that we have severe limitations in our use of reason.      We have been

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