Descartes 4th Meditation

Topics: Mind, Metaphysics, Theology Pages: 3 (788 words) Published: April 3, 2007
After Descartes goes over what he has previously covered, including his proving that God exists and that God is perfect, he begins his fourth meditation. In this meditation, titled Truth and falsity, Descartes contemplates how he, Descartes makes mistakes if he is a product of this perfect being. First, he knows that God would not deceive him, since the will to deceive is a sign of weakness or hatred, and God's perfection would not allow it. Second, if God created him, God is responsible for his judgment, and so his sense of judgment must be flawless as long as he uses it correctly.

The question at hand is, why does Descartes make mistakes if he is the product of God, who is a perfect being. In Descartes fourth meditation he gives some plausible reasons on why we are not perfect beings like our creator. One thought that Descartes gives is free will. Descartes explains that our will tends to come into play before we think things over. Due to this fact, we often pass judgment on things before we clearly know the right answer and also because of indifference. Along with free will comes the problem of arrogance. Free will allows us to make our own choices; therefore we think that we know best. Usually the choices we make only benefit ourselves because we are altruistic beings. This in itself makes us imperfect beings. God does not only think about Himself, if that was the case, there would not even be a population. By thinking only about ourselves, we are pulling ourselves further away from the perfection of our Creator by making ourselves less like him.

Furthermore, the next question that arises is, does God even exist? During Descartes first meditation, titled What can be called into doubt, he discusses the Dream Argument. In the Dream Argument Descartes explains that he can doubt what he sees. Therefore, if we can not see God, how can we prove His existence? This proposition beings skepticism in to play. Skepticism is the thesis that knowledge is not...

Cited: 1. Feinberg, Joel, and Shafer-Laundau, Russ. Reason and Responsibility. 12th. Belmont, CA, USA: Thomson and Wadsworth, 2005.
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