Descartes and Knowing with Certainty of God's Existence Essay

777 Words 4 Pages
Descartes and Knowing with Certainty of God's Existence

Descartes, Pascal, and the Rationalist Credo Pascal asserts that we can know only by the heart, whereas Descartes would have us believe through his truths that we can know with certainty of Gods existence. The factors that go into their views on reason will be compared and accented within this essay. The order of the universe is knowable to Descartes. He proves these by using certain truths. To arrive at these truths Descartes doubted everything and especially could not trust authoritarian knowledge. This was known in the four "D's" as doctrine. The other three "D's" included the deceiving senses (empiricism), dreams (intuition), and demons (innate putting wrong ideas into
…show more content…
The second certainty is that god exists. The third certainty is that the perfect God would not deceive. So the senses that God has given us can be trusted. He ties together the innate idea and certainty of "I" with empirical sense data that must apply and be subject to Gods reason, thus giving him a mixed epistemology. As shown here, reason can know God and give us an understanding of the universe. Descartes would say we can know the world best ! through God. He sums this up in his statement, "Certainty and truth of all knowledge depend alone on the knowledge of the true God. Without this knowledge we cannot have a perfect knowledge of any other thing."Pascal views the universe as knowable but in a very limited sense. As he says, we are lost between two infinites that of the microscopic and that of astronomy, or the telescopic. Pascal had a respect for reason, but reason alone does not go far enough because of its imitations. Pascal has a positive outlook on reason in that he sees thought is our glory. He views us as thinking reeds. Pascal trusts and uses reason though he sees another side to reason, there is the deception and trickery that occurs between our reason and our senses. Pascal would say that to know the universe is to know God, and this we cannot know through reason. In this case whether God exists or not, reason is absolutely useless. Pascal states this again in the Pensees, "According to reason, you can do neither the one
Open Document