Descartes Causal Proof Of The Existence Of God Analysis

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This essay will evaluate Descartes causal proof of the existence of God presented in Meditation 3. First, the essay will outline the proof itself. Then, by considering objections and subsequent responses, it will evaluate whether Descartes has been successful in his proof for the existence of God. This essay concludes that the objections are not overcome by Descartes and his argument fails
In previous Meditations, Descartes established the distinction between ideas and judgements. Ideas themselves cannot be true or false, whereas judgements can be mistaken and Descartes proposes the most common mistake is that I judge my ideas to resemble something in the external world. Furthermore, I know that I have a clear and distinct idea in myself of
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We did not receive the idea through our senses as it didn’t come to us unexpectedly like most of the ideas we get when we touch, see and hear things do. It is also not something we invented because we cannot add anything to or take anything away from the idea. The only remaining possibility is that the idea is innate, just as the idea of myself is innate in me. Therefore, if there is not any idea of God, and it hasn’t been proved there is, then the entire argument collapses. As for the idea of myself, if ‘myself’ refers to my body then the idea arises from eyesight but if it refers to my soul then there is not any idea of it because we infer through reason that there is something in the human body that causes sensations and movements – we refer to this something as the soul without having any idea of it. Descartes’ response to this objection is brief, he says that if there is an idea of God then this entire objection collapses. Overall, this response is inadequate. Firstly, it leaves us with two possibilities, either that the idea of God exists and this objection is wrong or that there is no idea of God and the entire argument collapses. However, as Hobbes said, there is no proof for the idea of God. Also, we did not get the idea through our senses nor did we invent it, if we did invent it then the cause would not have as much reality as the effect of the idea so proving the argument wrong. Therefore, the idea of God must be innate, but how did we get this idea? Descartes fails to answer this question adequately so arguably, we cannot accept his argument until he provides us with a more detailed

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