Mark: René Descartes and Real World Essay

Submitted By yorkshireman5
Words: 1291
Pages: 6

(C) Descartes’ Cosmological Argument
There are two main steps in Descartes’ version of the cosmological argument: firstly, a proof that we possess the idea of God, and secondly, that the cause of that idea can only be God himself. (a) The Idea of God
In the Third Meditation, Descartes considers his ideas, and finds that all of them, except the idea of God, cannot come from without. His idea of God is of an all-perfect being and he can be sure of this because he knows that he himself is imperfect. This conception could not have come from reflecting on his own attributes, so the idea of God must have been implanted from without. (b) The Cause of our Idea of God Descartes distinguishes between ‘objective reality’, which is what ideas possess as they represent objects, and ‘formal reality’, which is what things themselves possess. Since his idea of God has infinite objective reality, its cause must have infinite formal reality, and this can only be God himself, so God exists in all his infinite glory
(D) Descartes’ Ontological Argument
The ontological argument states that we can know God exists in the same way that we know that 2 + 2 = 4: through reason alone. In other words, Descartes claims to show that God exists without ever consulting experience or observation. He does this by saying that God is the most perfect being, it is more perfect to exist then to not exist, therefore God must exist.
I believe the cosmological argument is more convincing because there are problems with Descartes ontological argument. He claims that God is a “perfect being”. If God were perfect then he would hold the attribute of being unconditionally benevolent, however this is not the case since we can see injustice happening in the world all the time. The point of this being that if it is possible that God is not unconditionally benevolent then it is also possible that God fails to hold other attributes necessary for perfection. Descartes assigns existence to his concept of a perfect God, but since God might possibly be imperfect then we can claim that it is possible that God fails to hold the attribute of existence. in which case we can conclude that God does not exist.
Methodic doubt, or Cartesian doubt, is a form of methodological skepticism used in the writings of Rene Descartes. It is a systematic process of being skeptical about one’s beliefs and is widely used throughout his writings in order to determine which beliefs were true by distinguishing the false.
 Descartes method makes him question his beliefs about absolutely everything except the fact that, “I think, therefore I am”.
 In the first meditation, Descartes says he must doubt everything learned through the senses, for they can deceive him. He must also be aware that at any given moment, he cannot be know whether he is dreaming or perhaps has his mind controlled by an ‘evil genius’ which deceives him about everything. This is an example of a metaphysical or hypothetical doubt because it is a doubt that ‘may’ or ‘could’ happen. A real doubt would be a doubt that we all have, such as the fact that everything I perceive in a dream is untrue and not real.
Next, Descartes decides he must doubt all truths of reason. He feels that he knows 2+3=5, but again considers the ‘evil genius’ and how it could deceive him about the truths.
 The cogito allowed Descartes get a grip on certainty after the radical skepticism in the first meditation. In the second meditation, Descartes acknowledges the mind and explains how it ceases to be something that helps us know and connect with the world.
The wax argument is an answer to Descartes question, which is finding out what the “I”(body) is in the cogito. He considers that we know the wax by means of our senses. But when the wax is melted, the qualities change, deceiving the senses. Descartes concludes that the mind is far more important than the body. Also, Descartes says all clear and distinct perceptions come by means of intellect…