Rene Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy Essay

Better Essays
Rene Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy

Rene Descartes’ third meditation from his book Meditations on First Philosophy, examines Descartes’ arguments for the existence of God. The purpose of this essay will be to explore Descartes’ reasoning and proofs of God’s existence. In the third meditation, Descartes states two arguments attempting to prove God’s existence, the Trademark argument and the traditional Cosmological argument. Although his arguments are strong and relatively truthful, they do no prove the existence of God.

At the start of the meditation, Descartes begins by rejecting all his beliefs, so that he would not be deceived by any misconceptions from reaching the truth. Descartes acknowledges himself as, “a thing
…show more content…
Descartes is able to examine ideas and gain knowledge form them. Innate ideas mean they are present at birth, in other words we are implanted with certain ideas at our creation. He often uses ‘innate ideas’ to explain the mind’s original programming. “An infant’s mind is programmed with the rules of logic. Consider as an example the valid rule, modus ponens. Let P and Q stand for variables… the rules states that, if P then Q is true and P is true, then it follows that Q is true. We know that we are programmed with this rule because young children, who have never studied logic and have never entertained the rule, when given an argument in which the variables above are replaced by actual sentences, are able to intuit the validity of the argument.” Descartes believed our minds are programmed with eternal truths, “Whatever comes into existence must have been brought into existence by something else.” He also discovers that the idea of God is only part of his initial programming but also that God, operating through secondary sources such as his parents, is the programmer.

Adventitious ideas are created by outside objects but Descartes, “points out that, even if his adventitious ideas are produced by external objects, he has no reason for believing that his ideas resemble the objects which produced them.” Descartes believes
Get Access