Descartes attempts to prove the existence of a supreme, all knowing being, he calls "God", in several different ways. Each attempt, however, seems to revolve around the notion that what we clearly and distinctly perceive to be true is true. This underlying notion of clear and distinct thinking is what takes Descartes the furthest in his meditations and at the same time is what takes his critics the furthest in their arguments against him.
Descartes outlines a process in order to come to the conclusion that God does necessarily exist. His most striking point is his concept of cause and effect. Descartes states that in a cause and effect relationship, the cause must have at least, if not more, reality than the effect it governs. He concludes two equally important concepts from this. First, Descartes introduces the notion that something cannot come from nothing. And second, he shows us that which is more perfect cannot be the result of something less perfect. What follows from this is that I am obviously not a perfect being, thus the notion of a perfect being, and more simply that of perfection, that I have in my mind cannot originate from my own thought. Furthermore, the notion of a perfect thing must have come from something perfect which we now know must be outside of me. .
The argument provided above seems very logical and capable of being true, but one problem may arise. What makes this notion of perfection any more capable of being looked at in the cause and effect manner than a fabricated idea? That is to say, what leads Descartes to believe this idea of perfection must come from something outside him, thus possessing more truth, rather than a fabricated idea? The answer is Descartes" saving grace, as well as the most important principle of all his meditation; this, the notion of a supreme being who is in and of itself perfect, is the most clear and distinct of any idea we could ever fathom.