Term Paper: Rene Descartes on the Existence of God

Sample Term Paper

Words 1,200

This is a term paper on existence of God in view of Rene Descartes. The essence of the God that Descartes describes, as ‘omniscient, omnipotent, immutable, eternal etc.’ is a thought that he holds to be visible to everybody.

The essence of the God that Descartes describes, as ‘omniscient, omnipotent, immutable, eternal etc.’ is a thought that he holds to be visible to everybody. Descartes’ definition of a perfect being then in fact amounts to ‘a being which possesses the set of all (positive) properties to an infinite degree’. God is defined in terms of his properties as undeniably, we all are, in each other’s eyes. It is only the Cogito gives our own self a substrate. Amongst this list of perfections, Descartes numbers ‘existence’. This crucial step hinges on continuation being an essential perfection in a supreme being, and that ‘to exist’ is simply to ‘have the property of existing’. So, crucially, Descartes is utilizing existence as a predicate, a property of an object or name, in this case ‘God’. He does not believe this to be part of God’s true and immutable nature, where God is defined as a bunch of properties, one of which is existence, and another is the inseparability of those properties.

Existence is certainly functioning as a predicate in the simply grammatical sense, but it is a more complicated decision concerning whether it is valid to use it in a logical wisdom. But surely only a being, which really exists, would actually have its properties. God would only have the properties of supremacy and omniscience if he were to exist.

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