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Descartes Third Meditaion: Proving the Existence of God - Essay Example

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Descartes Third Meditaion: Proving the Existence of God

As Descartes states (Bonnen & Flage 1999, 73): In respect of this cause one may again inquire whether it derives its existence from itself or from another cause. If from itself, then it is clear from what has been said that it is itself God, since if it has the power of existing through its own might, then undoubtedly it also has the power of actually possessing all the perfections of which it has an idea—that is, all the perfections which I conceive to be in God. If, on the other hand, it derives its existence from another cause, then the same question may be repeated concerning this further cause, namely whether it derives its existence from itself or from another cause, until eventually the ultimate cause is reached, and this will be God. Descartes presents two evidences of that outcome. Each piece of evidence states that an identified effect can be clarified as long as an all-powerful being is present. The effects Descartes draws on are the meditator’s idea of (1) his/her life as predetermined and (2) of God. In this manner, Descartes directs the meditator to dig up his well-known rule for unraveling the truth, which is ‘clear and distinct perceptions are true’ (Cunning 2010, 62). ...
This allows him to analyze with absolute confidence that God made him, and hence that all he knows ‘clearly’ and ‘distinctly’ to be factual, is factual. God’s existence, in that case, is an external state of Descartes’s doubt (Gaukroger 2006). Apparently, God is not external with regard to taking up a space that is in some way external to the doubter: “God does not occupy space at all” (Cunning 2010, 88). Instead, God is external with regard to the premise that He is an entity different from Descartes and his conditions. Similar to God, absolute objects are ‘external’ entities with regard to the premise that they are different from the meditator and his conditions (Cunning 2010); dissimilar from God, they take up space. The premise of Descartes in the Third Meditation on the existence of God is a form of cosmological premise, progressing from a conditional basis about what exists to the final assumption that this is not likely to exist if not were ‘caused to exist by God’ (Descartes 2007, 45). Descartes in fact presents two quite divergent cosmological premises in the Third Meditation (Descartes 2007, 46): (1) investigating the source of my notion of God, and (2) the beginning of me. However, my notion of God will not be present without me, and the next premise moves on to the argument that I should have a notion of God. Hence, both premises have a similar conditional basis (Broughton 2003, 144): I exist and have an idea of God. Both arguments are powered by principles concerning causality; it is those principles that, when applied to the contingent premise, yield the conclusion that God exists. The second premise embodies ...Show more
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Name Name of Professor Descartes’ Third Meditation: Proving the Existence of God Introduction The Third Meditation is an attempt to generate a metaphysical outcome, God’s existence and truth. Descartes claims that God is self-caused…
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