The reason that the ontological argument cannot work is because it treats the existential verb i. It was later developed by Islamic thinkers such as Avicenna. Descartes satisfies such expectations, presenting not one but at least two separate versions of the ontological argument.
Recall the view discussed in section 2 that there is merely a rational distinction between a substance and its existence, or between the essence and existence of a substance. 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.
It is not that the relation between essence and existence is any different in God than it is in finite things. Secondly, the existence of God explains the arguments regarding the efficient causality; as the world exhibits orderly causal sequences, something had to start it all up.
Crocker, Sylvia Fleming, But the issue did not become a major philosophical problem until it was taken up by Aquinas in the thirteenth century. Though there are so many uncertainties as we have just mentioned, the existence of all other uncertainties in our world may explain why the existence of God is so real to many people.
Members of religious groups hold up their holy books as evidence of a divine power. It is important to recall that in the Third Meditation, in the midst of the causal argument for the existence of God, the meditator already discovered many of these perfections — omnipotence, omniscience, immutability, eternality, simplicity, etc.
Religious texts cannot be said to act as adequate proof that God exists, but cannot be used to disprove its existence either. These two doctrines inoculate Descartes from the charge made against Anselm, for example, that the ontological argument attempts to define God into existence by arbitrarily building existence into the concept of a supremely perfect being.
Needless to say, proponents of this theory were forced to distinguish purely spiritual entities from God on grounds other than real composition. The following are some of the general arguments for the existence of God.
So how are we to understand the claim that a finite substance is merely rationally distinct from its possible existence? Without an ontological argument, explanation must either end in some brute, unexplained fact, or turn into an infinite regress, where the there is no end to explanation.
These proofs, however, are stunningly brief and betray his true intentions. According to Descartes, this idea of a supremely intelligent and supremely powerful being, who created everything that exists, can not and does not come from within him who is imperfect.
At times, Descartes appears to support this interpretation of the ontological argument. Whenever we think of anything, we regard it as existing, even if the thing in question does not actually exist. The clear and distinct ideas of all finite things contain merely contingent or dependent existence, whereas the clear and distinct idea of God uniquely contains necessary or wholly independent existence ibid.
In reality they are identical. Certainly, the idea of God, or a supremely perfect being, is one that I find within me just as surely as the idea of any shape or number. I clearly and distinctly perceive that necessary existence is contained in the idea of God.
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. The seventeenth-century empiricist Pierre Gassendi confronted Descartes with this criticism in the Fifth Set of Objections and deserves credit for being the first to enunciate it: Then this imbalance can be accounted as a defect no matter what the justification may be; moreover, this implies that God did indeed make a mistake by creating a being that has faculties that lack perfection.
Now, when Descartes says that a substance be it finite or infinite is merely rationally distinct from its existence, he always means an actually existing substance.
Descartes was dead long before Leibniz articulated this criticism but it was familiar to him from the Second Set of Objectors Marin Mersenne et al.
In the Gnostic version of early Christianity for example it was believed that the world and our bodies were created by an incompetent lesser god.
It is not a matter of assigning predicates to subjects but of determining whether the idea of a supremely perfect being can be clearly and distinctly perceived while excluding necessary existence from it through a purely intellectual operation.
From this discussion, it is clear that humans do have the capacity to err. And my understanding that it belongs to his nature that he always exists is no less clear and distinct than is the case when I prove of any shape or number that some property belongs to its nature AT 7: Johannes Caterus, the author of the First Set of Objections to the Meditations, puts the point as follows: Perhaps we can clearly and distinctly perceive something that he could not.
Let us return for a moment to the objection that the ontological argument slides illicitly from the mental to the extramental realm. Accordingly I say that shape and other similar modes are strictly speaking modally distinct from the substance whose modes they are; but there is a lesser distinction between the other attributes ….
It is also possible that these books have been corrupted over a period of time, but still have elements of truth in them.Is it Possible to Prove the Existence of God?
The likelihood of a supreme being creating Earth and judging the deeds of humankind has been a topic of debate since the dawn of humanity.
Atheists frequently state the fact that there is no factual proof that God is real is itself the evidence that no such being exists.
Descartes’ First Proof of the Existence of God in Meditation III: Axiom: There is at least as much reality in the efficient and total cause as in the effect of that cause.
Axiom: Something cannot arise from nothing. Axiom: What is more perfect cannot arise from what is less perfect. Definition: The nature of an idea is such that, of itself, it requires no. The existence of God to Descartes is a necessity and a crucial matter especially after he established that in order to exist as finite beings, an.
This comes on the heels of an earlier causal argument for God's existence in the Third Meditation, raising questions about the order and relation between these two distinct proofs. Descartes repeats the ontological argument in a few other central texts including the Principles of Philosophy.
He also defends it in the First, Second, and Fifth Replies.
- Descartes' Trademark Argument for God's Existence The trademark argument (also known as the causal argument) tries to prove Gods existence through the fact that we have an idea of him. This argument rests on Descartes' definition of cause and effect, which he considers a priori.
Descartes Proof for the Existence of God Essay example Words | 7 Pages. Descartes Proof for the Existence of God The purpose of my essay will be to examine Descartes' argument for the existence of God.
First, I will review Descartes' proof for the existence of God.Download