Descartes Causal Principle

“Something which is more perfect – in other words, that which contains more reality in itself – cannot be made from that which is less perfect.” (Meditation III)
How does Descartes use this principle to prove the existence of God? Does his proof work?”

Descartes’ Meditations attempts to establish what is known without certainty by the strategy of doubt. He expresses the “Causal Principle” in order to prove the existence of God, i.e. that the idea we possess of a God could only exist if God created that idea himself. In this essay I will give an understanding of how Descartes came to his proof of the existence of God. I will present the argument that this proof does not work, as I believe the premise of the idea of an infinite being requiring
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Descartes introduces this by defining what an idea is; “Some thoughts are like images of things, and the term ‘idea’ applies in a strict sense to them alone: for example, when I think of a person, a chimera, the sky, an angel, or God” (Descartes, 2003: 32). Descartes conveys this concept by asserting that ideas are not true or false, and the things of which the idea is an image of does not necessarily have to exist. Descartes then proceeds to implicate that we have reason to believe that our ideas can be innate, fabricated, or acquired by external things, and these ideas of external things do not always represent how they are. Therefore, a system to differentiate ideas, the hierarchy of ideas, is presented, “Those that represent substances to me are something more and, so to speak, contain more intentional reality than those that represent only modes or non-essential features of substances.” (Descartes, 2003: 34), meaning, some ideas, such as those representing material objects, have more intentional reality than ideas that merely represent properties of those objects.

Descartes uses two types of reality, formal and intentional, to distinguish ideas, where formal reality is a property that objects possess as a result of existing, and intentional reality is a property that a thing possesses as a result of it being a representation of something. Using the concept of a hierarchy of ideas, Descartes
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It is my belief that Descartes leaves room for error in this premise, as it is plausible that an idea of something with infinite reality can come from a finite substance, but with the implication that this idea is similar to the thing with finite substance, except without any limit. To further express this notion, we may take the example of the idea of God, and presume that the idea of God has come from the idea of Ghandi, who was revered in history as an exemplar of kindness and love. In order to come to the idea of God from the idea of Ghandi, which is a finite substance, we can take Ghandi’s properties of kindness and love and try and think of them without limit, and then attribute them to God, thus allowing us to come to one of God’s

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