Tuesday, September 3, 2019
A Very Brief History on the Existence of God Essay -- Philosophy, Des
The subsequent essay will provide a brief overview on the existence of God from RenÃ © Descartes through Immanuel Kant. First, section (1), examines DescartesÃ¢â¬â¢ proof for the existence of God. Section (2), explores G.W. LeibnizÃ¢â¬â¢s view on GodÃ¢â¬â¢s existence in addition to his attempts to rectify the shortcomings of DescartesÃ¢â¬â¢ proofs. The remainder of the essay then examines two additional philosophers, David Hume in section (4) and Immanuel Kant in (5), who contend that GodÃ¢â¬â¢s existence cannot be rationally proven. (1) As a devout Catholic, Descartes undeniably believed in God. He makes his faith clear in the letter of dedication preceding Meditations on First Philosophy. Here, Descartes writes that we must Ã¢â¬Å"believe in GodÃ¢â¬â¢s existence because it is taught in the Holy Scriptures, and, conversely, that we must believe in the Holy Scriptures because they have come from GodÃ¢â¬ (Descartes, 1). Nevertheless, in the beginning of the Meditations, Descartes casts doubt on everything -including religion- in his search for absolute certainty. In the Third Meditation, he doubts the existence of God before providing his first rationalistic proof for the existence of God. In offering the proof, he first questions Ã¢â¬Å"whether there is a GodÃ¢â¬ (25). However, even though he questions GodÃ¢â¬â¢s very existence, Descartes maintains his innate idea of God. After some deliberation, he concludes that because he has an innate idea of God, (which is not fabricated by the mind or drawn from the senses), it must be God who endowed him with his innate idea. Descartes likens his innate idea of God to the Ã¢â¬Å"mark of a craftsmen impressed upon his workÃ¢â¬ Ã¢â¬âsimilar to a stamp which says Ã¢â¬ËMade by GodÃ¢â¬â¢. Additionally, Descartes reasons that because he exists as a thinking thing and ... ...od to exist. As the above has illustrated, both Descartes and Leibniz believed that the existence of God could be proved via reason. But, Hume and Kant, which will be subsequently covered, did not believe argumentation or reason could establish the existence of God (3) David Hume attacks both DescartesÃ¢â¬â¢ and LeibnizÃ¢â¬â¢s methodology for establishing the existence of God in the following: Ã¢â¬Å"there is an evident absurdity in pretending to demonstrate a matter of fact, or to prove it by any arguments a priori. Nothing is demonstrable, unless the contrary implies a contradiction. Nothing, that is distinctly conceivable, implies a contradiction. Whatever we conceive as existent, we can also conceive as non-existent. There is no being, therefore, whose non-existence implies a contradiction. Consequently there is no being, whose existence is demonstrableÃ¢â¬ (Bailey, 79).