Meditation 1 from Descartes

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Steven Welcome
Philosophy 100
December 14, 2009
Kelso Crastley
Assignment 4

Meditation 1

In Meditation 1, one of the main premises that Descartes uses in his proof for the existence of God comes from the evil demon argument. The purpose of Descartes evil demon is to established doubt upon his belief that God is the sole figure who puts thoughts into his mind. A God that he believes to be omnipotent and a supremely good being, not being capable of deceiving him or force falsehood upon him. In the evil demon argument Descartes does not deny the existence of God. But rather makes it seem as if the evil demon coexist with God. Therefore, when his mind is being deceived or given false information it is not from God but from the demon itself. If God were to deceive us and put us in a fake realm then our image of God is wrong.Descartes also brings out another arguments that goes hand and hand together with The evil demon argument, and that is the dream argument. The dream argument suggest that any truths based on our senses are unreliable and doubtful because our senses are not always right or are occasionally wrong. An example would be a long haired person that may look like a women from a distance, but as you get closer you realize that it is really a man. "The dream arguments 2

deals with telling if one is awake or asleep". According to Descartes there is no way for a person to know whether he or she is awake. We decide what is real and what we can sense. The problem is that our brains can trick us from distinguishing reality for a dream. What one may believe is there may not in reality be there. Dreams can many times feel quite realistic.

However, since we cannot trust our senses, there is no way we can conclude that there is no way to determine wether he or she is awake or asleep. Descartes admitted that there were some truths. Mathematics and logic are ideas that hold truth regardless of the situation according to Descartes. He says "for...
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