Descartes's Meditations: Argument for God's Existence

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An ontological argument is one that attempts to prove the existence of god using reason and intuition alone. In his book, Meditations, Descartes provides his own argument for God’s existence and was the first person to do so since Anselm of Canterbury, due to St. Thomas Aquinas’ critique. Descartes later provides two objections to his argument and resolves both of them. In this paper, I will provide an explanation of Descartes argument for God and explore how he resolves each of these objections he raises against his own argument. Descartes believed the existence of God could be derived from his nature similar to how a geometric idea can be derived from the observation of shapes. Descartes explained that his idea of God, or rather the essence of God (in the medieval definition, something can have essence yet not exist) is that of a perfect being, similarly to how he thinks of a triangle in his head as containing two right angles. However, in order for something to be perfect, it must have always existed, as existence is a integral part of perfection. Descartes then came to the conclusion that the existence of God and the essence of God go hand in hand. Descartes describes it as “Hence it is just as much of a contradiction to think of God ….lacking existence (that is, lacking a perfection), as it is to think of a mountain without a valley” (Pg. 46). Descartes admits that this is not a undeniable logic for the existence of God, just as sound as his previous arguments for mathematical truths. Immediately after finishing his argument for the existence of God, Descartes presents his first objection. He returns to the metaphor of the mountain and the valley, stating that just because he has never seen a mountain without a valley, doesn’t necessarily mean one does not exist. Likewise, just because he thinks that God exists does not necessarily mean that he does. His begins his rebuttal to the objection by stating “...I cannot think of a mountain without a...
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