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Descartes’ two proofs of God’s existence

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 Descartes’ two proofs of God’s existence

single-spaced and in 2 pages. The Topic is ” First, Analyze and evaluate Descartes’ two proofs of God’s existence. How are they different? Is one more convincing than the other? And secondly: How does Descartes explain how we humans make mistakes (errors)? Do not just state that a perfect creator made imperfect humans, this is NOT his answer. Descartes has several ideas on why we make mistakes and how we go wrong. Are Descartes’ arguments convincing to you? Why or why not?

Descartes’ two proofs of God’s existence

Descartes’s argument on his first proof is that based on evidence is that he is a being that is imperfect and has a reality that is objective, which includes a notion about the existence of perfection, therefore, having an idea that is distinct of a being who is perfect. Besides, the realization that he is less real in form compared to the reality of the perfections objective hence has to become a being who is perfect who exists the formally whose natural idea of a being who is perfect derives, which enables him to create ideas on every substance, except that of God. The other proof is based on the question on then who is it who keeps him, having the idea of a being who is perfect in existence, which eliminates any possibility that makes him able to do it himself(Immerwahr,1982). He manifests this by pointing out that he would be indebted to himself if he would have been the one who made his existence to have granted himself perfections of all sorts. His imperfections prove the evidence that he is not responsible for his existence. He also believed that his parents could not cause his existence because they were also imperfect beings and so they did not have the ability to create within him the perfection idea. In eliminating these possibilities leaves only one being who is perfect, God, who had to be in existence for his creation and constant recreation.

Descartes’s proofs put their reliance on a belief that existence and being born as a being who is imperfect, but with a spirit and a soul, it is important to accept and acknowledge our creation was by something that had more reality formally than us. Our existence and ability to have ideas and think means that we were created by something. In the Second proof, the idea of a perfect being who is responsible for the creation of human beings is acknowledged as Descartes finds no other way to explain his existence having being born by parents who were imperfect beings and he himself turning out to be imperfect and prone to making errors. The second proof is more convincing than the first one because it clarifies the subject of having someone who is perfect and who is responsible for the existence of human beings as opposed to the first proof, which raises more questions than the answers provides. Descartes tried to solve the problem that arose due to two conflicting facts, one of them being the existence of an infinite creator, all perfect and benevolent, and on the other hand, the existence of a human being who is his creation and who make errors often. These notions brought about tensions because if human beings came from God, it was difficult to explain how humans’ error capacity originated from flawlessness. He reasoned that if the cause of errors was not due to some God-given capacity that we are correct in our operations, other reasons had to exist, which would cause humans to error. He found out that the reason for errors was due to how humans made their decisions. According to Descartes, human beings have two major capacities which are involved when making decisions, wrong or right. The two capacities that were explained by Descartes in his suggestions are will and intellect. In examining the two capacities, he concluded that intellect only provides ideas to be used in imposing judgment. He suggested that there was no room for error in intellect, so it is without error essentially. However, he pointed out that intellect does not provide human beings with ideas on every matter possible. This means that human beings do not have possession of all ideas that they may need. This gives human beings limited capacity due to limited ideas, while God’s ideas are infinite. In the other capacity, will, Descartes suggests that God gives human beings free will, enabling them to make decisions without being pressured by external forces. He asserts that natural inclinations in human beings are caused by divine revelations. The knowledge that they have does not impede free will as they only assist in decision making. In his conclusion, Descartes states that errors are caused by the fact that will is limitless as compared to our intellect, which is limited(Ragland,2007). This means that mistakes arise due to human beings trying to exercise their will in issues without having the possession of enough knowledge.

Therefore, our flawed capacity of nature does not bring up the possibility of mistakes, but they are caused by differences evident in their scopes. Descartes model on how human beings make errors suggests that when we shed light on our intellect when a particular problem faces us and having a distinct and clear understanding on a situation under consideration, we can form a belief that is true or make a decision that is right by using our will. Descartes concluded that errors are not caused by human flaws in their nature but by the reason that humans’ will is way stronger than in scope than the human intellect. Descartes’s arguments about human errors are not convincing because the criteria suggested by him are psychological. According to Descartes’s principles, the only instances when errors appear are when judgments are formed on perceptions that are not distinct and clear. He assumes that if human beings assent to distinct and clear perceptions, they will never make mistakes. This assumption does not apply in all decisions that humans are involved in making hence may be irrelevant to a certain extent which involves making decision on information and knowledge that is not true but which is believed to be true by the party making a particular decision. This may be true for most problems, but it may not be applicable in situations guided by distinct and clear knowledge, which is false. This may be misleading considering a situation where the knowledge possessed by a person is coherent, but at the same time, it is false, which will lead to making mistakes unknowingly.

References

Immerwahr, J. (1982). Descartes’ Two Cosmological Proofs. The New Scholasticism, 56(3), 346-354.

Ragland, C. P. (2007). Descartes’s theodicy. Religious studies, 43(2), 125-144.

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