The Role of God in Descarte's Epistemology

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The presence of God, and more so the role god plays in our lives, has forever troubled philosophers. Some completely neglect the existence of god, others toy with the idea, and some use religion as the basis of their epistemology. Throughout this essay, I aim to critically examine the role of God in Descartes’ epistemology. René Descartes’ epistemological contribution to western philosophy attempted to inaugurate a coherent method of questioning whereby knowledge of the world is attained independently of the authority of the Church or Bible. Strangely enough this separation had no intention on removing god from our lives or minds. Descartes’ project was to prove the existence of God, and to establish that only God can guarantee true knowledge (Skirry, 2011). Through critical observation of Descartes’ most prominent writings: Meditations on First Philosophy, focusing on his ideals concerning existence of God and the role God plays in the acquisition of certain knowledge, we are able to see that although Descartes’ belief in independent attainment of knowledge is extremely commendable, the occurrence of numerous philosophical discrepancies and presumptive speculation debilitated its legitimacy. Establishing the existence of god is critical within Descartes’ epistemology. Abiding by his own method of systematic doubt and absolute rejection of the products of sense experience, Descartes’ establishes God’s existence without referring to the perceptual evidence the world

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