An analysis of the existence of god by descartes

descartes argument for the existence of the material world

Although it is often overlooked, many of the best known criticisms of the ontological argument were put to Descartes by official objectors to the Meditations. Newman, Lex, and Alan Nelson, Or does he think one thing can be more of a thing than another?

Since such a being does not depend on anything else for its existence, he has neither a beginning nor an end, but is eternal.

arguments against descartes existence of god

Paris: J. To attempt to exclude any or all perfections from the idea of a supremely being, Descartes observes, involves one in a contradiction and is akin to conceiving a mountain without a valley or, better, an up-slope without a down-slope. Norman Kemp Smith.

Rather, he believes that this perception of God is prior to his own perception, and it could only actually arise from a perfect being. He should be able to dismiss most objections in one neat trick by insisting on the non-logical nature of the demonstration.

Descartes fifth meditation

I-XII, revised edition. In order to redress this issue himself, Leibniz formulates a different version of the ontological argument see Adams , f. It is important to realise that Descartes is not saying that the material world does not exist, but that its existence is radically unlike that of the mind. Objective reality Its the reality that the idea of the thing represents. Again, the idea that gives me my understanding of a supreme God…certainly has in it more objective reality than the ideas that represent finite substances. For where, I ask, could the effect get its reality from, if not from the cause? Basically, because we exist and are able to think ideas, something must have created us. The previous objection is related to another difficulty raised by Caterus. The second proof cant be established without presuming that God exists, which makes this proof weak. Although Descartes sometimes uses formal versions of the ontological argument to achieve his aims, he consistently affirms that God's existence is ultimately known through clear and distinct perception. In the case of a right-angled triangle, for example, the fact that the square on the hypotenuse is equal to the square on the other two sides is not so readily apparent as the fact that the hypotenuse subtends the largest angle; but once one has seen it, one believes it just as strongly. One problem then with the theory of real distinction, at least as espoused by many of Aquinas' followers, was that it reified essence and existence, treating them as real beings in addition to the created entity that they compose. Second, when responding to objections to the ontological argument such as the ones considered above, Descartes typically does more than insist dogmatically on a unique set of clear and distinct ideas. Ideas, however, also have another kind of reality, unique to them.

In the eyes of many Thomists, this view was considered to be quite radical, especially as an interpretation of Aquinas' original position. Plantinga, Alvin ed.

descartes metaphysics

Past and present, there has always been a different integration consisting of the believers and the non-believers of God. It exists by its own power: [2] when we attend to immense power of this being, we shall be unable to think of its existence as possible without also recognizing that it can exist by its own power; and we shall infer from this that this being does really exist and has existed from eternity, since it is quite evident by the natural light that what can exist by its own power always exists.

Descartes causal argument

But IF we can conceive of God as God, that is to say, having the attributes of perfection attributed to Him by Anselm and Descartes, then God, IF he exists in any possible world must exist in all possible worlds. Another intuition underlying the claim that existence is not a property is that there is more intimate connection between an individual and its existence than the traditional one between a substance and a property, especially if the property in question is conceived as something accidental. Fictional ideas, too, could have clearly been created by Descartes himself. This must mean that there is a greater, unbounded, power which precedes me. After considering various options Descartes concludes that it must come from a substance that has at least the same level of formal reality. The first two cannot be said to be true or false, as they do not pretend to represent the way things are. Norman Kemp Smith. Needless to say, proponents of this theory were forced to distinguish purely spiritual entities from God on grounds other than real composition. In the eyes of many Thomists, this view was considered to be quite radical, especially as an interpretation of Aquinas' original position. Now, adventitious ideas could have been created by Descartes himself. Although the reality in my ideas is merely objective reality what ultimately causes those ideas must contain the same formal reality.
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Descartes’ Ontological Argument (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)