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. [...]
[...] Mackie simplifies the problem by listing three propositions: is omnipotent; God is wholly good; and yet evil exists” (Mackie 25). Mackie proposes two solutions to this dilemma; either God is not omnipotent, or God is not wholly good. If God was not omnipotent, then he would not be powerful enough to stop evil from occurring, which would explain why evil exists. On the other hand, if God was not wholly good, then for some reason of his own choosing, he allows evil to occur, because he is not fully looking out for the interest of man. [...]
[...] Pike argues that God has a morally sufficient reason to allow evil to happen in the world. He comes to this conclusion by describing Philo's three propositions. First, Philo proposes, world contains instances of suffering,” which is certainly true (Pike 41). Next, he has the proposition that exists- and is omnipotent, omniscient, and perfectly good” (Pike 41). Finally, Philo proposes, omnipotent and omniscient being would have no morally sufficient reason for allowing instances of suffering” (Pike 41). Pike, after much debate, proposes that an omnipotent and omniscient being would have to have a morally sufficient reason to allow suffering instead of not having a morally sufficient reason as proposed by Pike. [...]
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