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Descartes: Ontology or Cosmology?

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Descartes: Ontology or Cosmology?

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Descartes: Ontology or Cosmology?Descartes' argument for the existence of God, which he proposed in the Third Meditation, is more like the ontological argument than the cosmological argument for a number of reasons. The argument that Descartes put forth to prove the existence of God can be found in his work entitled Meditations, which was written in order to introduce the ideas of physics to religious peoples of the 17th century. Out of fear of the Inquisition, Descartes attempted to hide his scientific ideas and theories behind a veil of religion, slowly introducing religious institutions to science. Nonetheless, his ideas, no matter how hard he tried to mask them, were scientific to the core. In order to prove the existence of god, Descartes offers two proofs to his argument. Both of the arguments are simple and concise, which allows the author to achieve his goal that much easier. The first argument goes as follows:[E]xistence can no more be separated from the essence of God thancan having its three angles equal to two right angles be separated fromthe essence of a [rectilinear] triangle, or the idea of a mountain from theidea of a valley; and so there is not any less repugnance to our conceivinga God (that is, a Being supremely perfect) to whom existence is lacking),than to conceive of a mountain which has no valley. (204) (Palmer 168)In that statement, Descartes not only outlines his first argument, but also defines what God is—a Being supremely perfect. Descartes compares his argument to a geometric demonstration, stating that the mere existence of God cannot be removed from the idea of God in the exactly the same way that thefact that the sum of all three angles of a triangle equal the sum of two right angles. Though this analogy, Descartes emphasizes the incredible simplicity of the argument. He claims that God's existence is simply as obvious and self-evident as the most basic mathematical truth. The second argument, which author Donald Palmer broke down...