Descartes' Fifth Meditation This essay provides insight into Descartes' Fifth Meditation and the existence of God

Essay by farsideUniversity, Bachelor's May 2003

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In his Fifth Meditation, Descartes' attempts to once again prove the existence of God. He comes up with a number of examples that relate aspects from the material world in order to further his belief that God really does in fact exist. He states his theories favoring God's existence, most notably in his second ontological argument. At the same time he also presents several possible objections that could come into play, and refutes them. Descartes' second ontological argument effectively provides evidence supporting the existence of God, and thus is successful in its function.

The basic premise of Descartes' second ontological argument is straightforward and simple. The essence of God is that He is a perfect supreme being. Existence is one of God's perfections. Therefore, God must exist. Descartes' contends that he couldn't have the idea of God in his mind if God didn't exist. The entire belief in God relies upon the fact He is perfect.

Descartes' says that he cannot think of God in any other manner. He is incapable of thinking of God as not existing, hence God must exist. The idea of God is that of a supreme and perfect being, He is perfect in every single infinite aspect, and thus must exist, as existence is one of His perfections. Subsequently, just the thought of God, Descartes' argues, is proof enough of his existence.

In a further endeavor to prove the existence of God, Descartes' uses some material examples. First he uses an example of a triangle in order to show that the essence of God cannot be separated from His existence. The sum of the angles of a triangle adds up to 180 degrees. This is a given fact and cannot be separated from the essence of a triangle, " existence [of God] can...