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Discussion on Descartes’ meditations

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Jeff S.
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  1. Introduction
  2. Problem to Descartes' argument
  3. Mackie's notions of God
  4. Philo's three propositions
  5. Conclusion
  6. Works cited

Descartes comes to the conclusion ?that the mere fact that I [Descartes] exist and have within me an idea of a most perfect being, that is, God, provides a very clear proof that God exists? (Descartes 51). He comes to this conclusion through a series of steps. First, Descartes believes that as a thinking thing, he does not possess the ability to bring about himself, which means something else brought him about. He disproves the notion that he was brought about by something other than God. He argues that neither his parents nor a less than perfect God brought him about. Since Descartes is a thinking thing, ?what caused me is itself a thinking thing and possesses the idea of all the perfections which I attribute to God? (Descartes 50).

[...] Descartes goes on to argue that his ?perception of the infinite, that is God, is in some way prior to my perception of the finite? (Descartes 46). He asks could I understand that I doubted or desired- that is, lacked something- and that I was not wholly perfect, unless there were in me some idea of a more perfect being which enabled me to recognize my own defect by comparison?? (Descartes 46). Once again, if Mackie is correct in saying that God is not wholly good and infinite, than Descartes would have no infinite being for comparison. [...]


[...] This perfect God would still be omnipotent and wholly good, because as mentioned in paragraph 51 and 52 of Meditations on First Philosophy, a perfect God cannot be both perfect and have defects caused by not being wholly good or omnipotent. If Descartes' arguments are true than God is still wholly good and omnipotent, which means God is still perfect. A perfect God would be able to give indubitable intellectual ideas, because he himself is perfect and omnipotent and therefore knows indubitably about certain ideas. [...]

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