Rene Descartes In Proving the Existence of God.

Essay by JedikimgirlUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, May 2003

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René Descartes tried using reason alone to prove the existence of God, and that the soul is separate from the body. In the

Meditations, he starts out by doubting completely everything and then progressively explains human existence, and then the

existence of God. By using reason, he also attempts to prove that the soul is separate from the body. Although Descartes

had some very excellent points, it is impossible to prove the existence of God by using reason, and it is near futile to

deduce that the human existence is separable into two different parts.

The first argument Descartes gives for the proof of God's existence relies on the content and cause of ideas. He contends

that ideas have to come from somewhere. Do they come from within oneself, from the outside world, or are they innate? Since

his idea of God was an infinite being, the cause of the idea must also be infinite.

The more Descartes reflected on how

all-powerful and omniscient God is, the more convinced he was that the idea did not originate from within himself or the

outside world. The ideas, then, must be innate; which means they were put there by God. So, according to Descartes, God


The problem with this argument is that it doesn't really "prove" anything. I could think of a really huge apple as big as

Massachusetts. In my imagination, this apple would be very red and very beautiful and delicious above all other apples.

Just because I'm thinking of something really great doesn't mean that it exists or that the idea was put in my mind by God.

Descartes seems to equate the concept of imagination directly to the proof of the existence of God. This first proof was not

very successful, at least not to other...