Custom «Descartes’ Proof of God’s Existence» Essay Paper Sample
Descartes used a system of doubt and analysis to find out which of the theories that he had heard about the existence of God were true and which were not. This approach helped him to convince that nobody could persuade him to stray from what he would gather from his research.
The first proof of God's existence that has been given by Descartes is known as the causal argument. Here he entertains the notion that God is a perfect being, despite the fact that he does not believe in this affirmation (Nelson 1056-1059). However, he looks into certain ideologies that can help persuade himself of this fact, since he cannot come up with such ideologies that can be convincing enough by himself. According to his understanding and explanations of these views, as a human is an imperfect being, there must be one that is perfect and is therefore being used to measure the degree of a person or thing perfectibility. This, therefore, means that human beings, considered to be not perfect, look up to God and use his understanding and existence to measure their own degree of perfectness.
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The only way in which this argument can be dismissed is by denying the very fact that God is perfect and that one sees him to be perfect. This, therefore, means that in this sense the human does not have a standard measurement of his perfectness and, consequently, will not need to consider God perfect. Once the idea of God being perfect is dismissed, it would mean that the idea of cause and effect would not need to be followed (Sadowsky 127-128). According to this argument, God becomes the only explanation that human beings can give for why they are not perfect and how they can distinguish what is perfect from what is not.
The second theory of the existence of God given by Descartes is known as the ontological argument. This argument is almost similar to the first one because it still addresses the perfectness of God and human beings or lack of it.. In this assertion he states that if human beings, including himself, were given a chance to make themselves to be anything they wanted, most of them would have taken that opportunity. However, nobody possesses this power because it was given to someone else who is perceived to be more supreme and is by all definitions of the word, perfect. The people who influence our lives, such as relatives, are not able to explain our existence rightly, since they were not capable of making us perfect. This, therefore, means that there is one who is more superior to us and who is perfect (Sadowsky 128).
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The main difference that exists between the two proofs is that the first one uses the theory of existence of God to explain their existence by stating that there is a supreme being who is the one who came up with the ideologies by which human beings live and measure themselves. The second one uses the theory to explain why human beings are not perfect. The reason given by this theory is that God is the one who is perfect and, therefore, he is the ultimate measure of the perfectness of human beings (Nelson 1057). The second proof is more convincing than the first one. The reason of this is that it gives the proof of the facts that are presented, unlike the first proof that is based on the ideology that is held only by few people.
Using such reasoning as the one that has been provided by Descartes, human beings are able to make mistakes because of the simple reason that they are not perfect. This means that there is a certain level that they cannot reach. God, the perfect being, is capable of equipping human beings with only those skills that they require in order to live. However, because humans are seen as not perfect, they keep making mistakes out of inability to know better before they commit those errors (Nelson 1058). Therefore, every time they make a mistake, and are able to recognize what they have done and redeem it, they move closer to perfection. Nevertheless, Descartes does not think that this evolution can ever lead the humans to being completely perfect. He is of the opinion that one of the best explanations of why human beings often make mistakes is that they were given free will by God. He gave them rules to understand what is right and what is wrong, but at the end of the day, he still allowed them to behave the way they want.
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The arguments that Descartes gives are not convincing. The reason of this is that he starts by giving a statement that is not particularly applicable to all human beings since it is not a general belief. Many people usually have different opinions about God and whether he is really present or not. Therefore, Descartes assumes that everybody trusts in God but it is wrong. When he starts to convince people whether to believe or not in the fact that God is existent, he should start his argument from a point that all the people are able to agree with. His first argument is particularly false. The reason of this is that according to the theory that Descartes presents, he is not able to tie all the loose ends in his argument, and presents something that is able to stop the argument without necessary solutions or plausible explanations (Sadowsky 128).
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However, a good argument is the one that is able to tie all the pending ends using statements and explanations that are enough satisfactory. It therefore means that Descartes main argument is that God exists just because he must. The human race has been unable to reason out a lot of things about life and thus will look for a scapegoat that will offer them the comfort that they need. Consequently, the existence of God was therefore not been backed up by enough proofs and yet a good argument and declaration should be based on substantial background.
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