Why Was God Important to Descartes?

Topics: Metaphysics, Philosophy, Mind Pages: 4 (1278 words) Published: April 16, 2013
Why is God so important to Descartes’ philosophical project in the Meditations? Answer with reference to Descartes’ attempts to prove the existence of God in Meditation 3.

The existence of God has an extreme influence on the majority of philosophical debate and questioning and no more so than with Descartes and his meditations. His meditations and his method of approaching philosophical questioning all derive from a rationalist ideology. Therefore he argues that all humans are thinking beings and have ideas prior to experience due to their intellectual existence and not of a sensual one. His meditations are primarily to dismiss Empiricism and to reveal that doubt is necessary to our life. Perhaps even to warn us of the dangers of our own deceitfulness and not to trust anything forced upon us by our perceptions. That is why God is so important to his meditations; as Descartes believes God is perfect and cannot be deceived and cannot fail us therefore in his trust we do not need to doubt.

Descartes believes the starting point of anything is in the thinkers mind. In his third meditation he uses the thinker’s first starting point of idea to suggest the existence of God. If they have the idea of God, then the features and attributes we have of him, he must have and therefore exist. His line of thought is evidently anti- empiricism, proven further by his statement:

“The existence of God would be obvious if we weren’t distracted by life in the sensory world. And the knowledge of God saves us from doubt about other things we are certain of.”

This gives an insight into why Descartes relies so heavily on the God in his meditations. It seems he uses God to support his meditations and uses God as a solution to his philosophy of doubt. God is vital as he is the answer to Descartes’ most complex ideas on doubt and enables him to preach God’s ability to relieve us of doubt but further more he want to reveal to us that God is the reason for all matter , for our...

Bibliography: Starting with Descartes, Prado, C.G. (Continuum International Publishing,06/2009),
[ 5 ]. Starting with Descartes, Prado, C.G. (Continuum International Publishing,06/2009), p.g86
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[ 7 ]. A VIEW OF THE PHILOSOPHY OF DESCARTES, The Journal of Speculative Philosophy, Vol. 18, No. E. H. (Penn State University PressStable 3 July, 1884),p.g 230
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[ 9 ]. Starting with Descartes, Prado, C.G. (Continuum International Publishing,06/2009), p.g110
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