A Critical Analysis Of One Of Descartes Arguments For The Existence Of God

1078 Words Nov 6th, 2016 5 Pages
Give a critical analysis of one of Descartes arguments for the existence of God.

In Meditation V, Descartes presents what is now considered the Ontological argument for the existence of God. Descartes claims that as the idea of a “supremely perfect being [God], is one which I find within me just as surely as the idea of any shape or number”, the essence of this idea itself is evidence of God, as for something to be perfect it must exist. Of course, this argument is open to many attacks from those such as Kant, Leibniz, Aquinas and Gaunilo. Furthermore, Descartes undermines himself with his previous meditations, for instance, in Meditation II, he claims we must question “what is reasonable”, as we do not already know. If we cannot appreciate the definition http://www.ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/GODIS.htmof reasonable, how are we to understand or even fathom what is “perfect”? Ultimately, whilst Descartes makes a logical argument using his definitions, axioms, premise and demonstration, the premises of which he draws the conclusion are presumed, making his argument flawed. Focussing initially on Aquinas’s criticism of Descartes argument, we start by focussing on what we define as God. Aquinas argues that “Perhaps not everyone who hears this word "God" understands it to signify something than which nothing greater can be thought”, thus Descartes’ argument is only plausible for those who view God in the same light that he does. Nevertheless, this criticism is easy to solve. If…

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