Descartes: The Existence Of Knowledge

851 Words 4 Pages
Is our universe one complicated computer game with us being mere artificial intelligence made of ones and zeros? This is a strange question, one that I believe cannot be totally disproven or proven but what can we know no matter the answer? The philosopher Descartes wrestled with similar questions. He was concerned about the nature of our reality and more specifically the nature of our knowledge. (Descartes 166-167) He wanted to form a base for knowledge and a method to prove that what we know is true. Therefore, I believe that Descartes would respond to this problem by proving we have some base knowledge and by making an argument against this idea, however I do not think his theories can prove all of our knowledge.
Descartes did not discuss
…show more content…
With that said I do not want to go over Descartes “Trademark” and “Ontotological” arguments, which argue for the existence of God, but rather his discussion of clarity and distinctness. (Descartes 168-170) Descartes says “A certain opinion of long standing has been fixed in my mind …. That there exists a God.” (Descartes 168) His belief in God gives him the idea that as long as we are perceiving reality with clarity and distinctness God, who is all good and perfect to Descartes, would not deceive us and have us exist in a false reality. (Descartes 168) Whether God exists or not, there are major problems to this theory. First, something being clear and distinct is widely general. For example, at one time everyone thought the sun revolved around the earth. To the people of that time it was very clear and distinct that the sun seemed to move in the sky around the earth making it seem like it was orbiting around it. I think this is not an example of God deceiving us but rather it is a problem with the statement that whatever we perceive clearly and distinctly is …show more content…
Perceiving something with clarity and distinctness is too general to use as a basis for knowledge even if we were sure we were not being deceived. There are certain things that may seem 100% true, and therefore clear and distinct in our minds, which could become false. Not because God is deceiving us but because our perception is not perfect. Then there is the problem that belief in God is necessary for the argument. Based on these issues I do not think Descartes argument can prove all of our knowledge beyond the cogito and therefore cannot disprove with certainty that the universe is a computer

Related Documents