The Existence of God: According to Descartes Essays

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Once Descartes has "proved" his existence by way of the Cogito argument, and has determined what it is that belongs to his essence of being a thinking thing, he must move to examining questions about the world around him. However, before doing this, he thinks it better to examine the question of the existence of God. If he can prove that he was created by a perfectly benevolent creator, then his innate ideas must carry some semblance of truth, as God is not a deceiver and has placed these ideas in Descartes. Knowledge of God will allow the possibility of achieving understanding of the fundamental principles of the universe.1 Descartes offers two arguments for the existence of God. The first, considered in Meditation Three, is known as…show more content…
In the "Principles of Philosophy," Descartes puts forward the example of a person who has the idea of a highly sophisticated and intricate machine; all the intricacy that is contained in the idea that the person has must be reflected in the source of that idea, whether it be a skilled designer, or the imagination of the person themselves. Taking these three premises, Descartes arrives at the existence of God as follows: as I have an idea of a perfect being, it must contain in reality all the features that are contained merely objectively in my idea. Descartes himself cannot be the cause of the idea, as he has acknowledged that he is imperfect and ignorant of many things. Neither can the idea have come from an amalgamation of various other ideas that he has, for there would have to be an infinite regress that would in any event trace back to an original cause of the idea, which will contain formally all the perfection present only objectively in Descartes' idea. Hence, the ultimate cause of Descartes' idea of God must possess all the attributes that Descartes perceives it to have, and therefore it can be concluded that God necessarily exists. The Causal Adequacy Feature is open to counterexamples. Its weakness is that it suggests that there can be no cases of objects being "greater than the sum of their parts." For example, the strength inherent in a bridge must, according to Descartes, be contained in the girders and rivets that make it up. If
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