God's Existence Questioned: the Pursuit to Knowledge

Topics: Ontology, Existence, René Descartes Pages: 3 (739 words) Published: December 19, 2005
God's Existence Questioned: The Pursuit to Knowledge

God generally refers to one supreme, holy, personal being; the divine unity of ultimate goodness and of ultimate reality. Throughout history, God's existence has been questioned by many. The existence of God led to the pursuit of knowledge for many philosophers, including Rene Descartes. In Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy, Descartes logically proves the existence of an infinite and truthful being. As a result, he states two arguments which ultimately vindicate God's existence: 1. God exists from the fact that I have an idea of Him and 2. Ontological argument (of or relating to essence or the nature of being). However, it is with the idea that one has of an immutable being, which leads to God's existence that evidently possesses the stronger argument.

Descartes uses his first and second meditation, in the Cogito (awareness of myself, thinking, and of existence) as a model for achieving human knowledge. Though, he uses this knowledge to question the same grounds for the undoubted truth of God's existence. The question lies in Descartes' theory of ideas, which being in it of itself, cannot be true or false. He believed that there are only three possibilities: "Among my ideas, some appear to be innate, some to be adventitious, and others to have been invented by me" (26). Descartes argues that since he himself is finite, therefore he could not create such an idea of God himself, that there is a "Natural Light" (the power that allows un-doubtable clarity and distinctness) which "cannot in any way be open to doubt" (27). So he concludes with the Cartesian Circle, that this idea must have been created and placed in him by God, which means that God must necessarily exist. The criterion for truth, which explains God's existence are as follows: 1. I know things to be true because I have clear and distinct ideas of them, 2. I have a clear and distinct idea of God; therefore God must exist, 1....

Bibliography: Descartes, Rene. Meditations on First Philosophy. University Press. Cambridge, London: 1986.
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