Descartesâ€™ Proof of the Existence of God
Rene Descartes, the father of philosophy, used his writings in Meditations on First Philosophy to delve into the pit of skepticism. In the first two Meditations one is fascinated by his proofs and his finding the version of the cogito, or his nature, only to find their selves confused and not fully satisfied when it comes to his proof of the existence of God in Meditation III. Two factors cause this sudden change in the view of Descartesâ€™ argument; one is that the proof is more complicated than in the earlier meditations. The second reason is that we live in an age where people are skeptical about giving proofs on the existence of God because then faith would be useless.
The intention of this paper will be to examine Descartesâ€™ proof of the existence of God and to critique his argument, pointing out some of the difficulties and problems that arise from his theories.
Using his methods of doubt and analysis, he has examined all his beliefs and set aside those which he could call into to doubt until he reached a belief that he could not doubt. That belief is that the evil genius could not trick him into thinking that he did not exist when in fact he did. Descartes has also determined that he is a thinking thing and he knows for certain that various ideas appear before him. He builds his entire argument upon his proof that in order for him to think, he must exist. From this single observation, Descartes notices that the idea of his existence is very clear and distant in his mind and that all things that he sees as clear and distinct are true.
Descartes starts his proof by dividing thought into categories, namely ideas, volitions, and judgments. Having making this distinction between different levels of thought, Descartes attempts to figure out which of these thoughts can have errors. Descartes believed that an idea could not have error and that error