Descartes: Proofs of God/Deception and Error

Topics: Omnipotence, God, Theology Pages: 3 (1107 words) Published: April 29, 2012
Descartes: Proofs of God/Deception and Error


First: Analyze and evaluate the two proofs of God's existence. How are they different? Is one more convincing than the other? Why did Descartes think he needed two proofs? Do they do different work for him? And secondly: Does Descartes give a satisfactory account of human error, given a perfect and divine creator? Are Descartes' arguments convincing, or does it still seem unnecessary and less than perfect that God created us with flaws? Attachments


Name: Augustina Ossimetha
Danny Brown
Phil 1301
Nov 10, 2010.
Descartes: Proofs of God / Deception and Error
From the beginning of the third meditation, Descartes seeks to establish the existence of God using his initial concept of self awareness. Descartes argued that because he thought, then he lived. Thinking ability at this time was linked to being alive and thought that there must be a god who puts the thoughts in his mind. In his quest for indubitable truth, Descartes came up with the theory of ideas, which classified those things that he considered distinct and clear to be true. Descartes argued that the idea of god should be coming from within him since he cannot experience god himself directly or find any perfection in himself. Firstly, Descartes in the third meditation sets out to prove that God does indeed exist. To begin with, he considered that the source of an idea must be as real as the idea itself. He thought that since his idea of God had overwhelmingly unlimited content, then the one who caused the idea must be infinite and that it must be god, and thus asserted that what is more perfect cannot arise from what is imperfect. In his conclusion, Descartes says that God is a substance that is omnipotent, omniscient, independent and infinite. He argued that if the objective reality of an idea could not come from him, then it could have come from something else. The basis for the arguments he put forward lies in the...

Cited: Descartes, R, Murdoch, D. & Cottingham, and J. Descartes: selected philosophical writings Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988.
Descartes, R, Murdoch, D. & Cottingham, J.The philosophical writings of Descartes, Volume 2. Reprint. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985.
Doney Willis. The Cartesian circle. Journal of the History of ideas. Retrieved, November 4, 2010 from,
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