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Proving It Isnt Believing It The question of whether God exists is an issue that has been debated by scholars scientists and philosophers for centuries In his Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy Rene Descartes ultimately attempts to prove God in fact does exist By dismissing everything he has learned from the beginning of his life and rebuilding his belief structure through science and reason Descartes is able to build groundwork to base his own arguments upon and refute non-believers Likewise he constructs all his arguments on the idea that a perfect being is present in the universe If Descartes cannot confirm the existence of God then all his ideas and conclusions can be criticized and disproven The proof of Gods existence is imperative to Descartes Meditations He tells us I should at the first opportunity inquire whether there is a God For if I am ignorant of this it appears I am never capable of being completely certain about anything else P 71 If Descartes cannot prove that God exists he cannot be sure of anything His idea that he exists is no longer clear and distinct Descartes is insinuating that if God does not exist then we may not truly exist and cannot declare any of our thoughts beliefs or desires to be true Similarly Descartes testimony for the existence of God is extremely methodical and prudent He begins by saying never accept anything as true that I did not plainly know to be such Include nothing more in my judgments than what presented itself to my mind so clearly and so distinctly that I had no occasion to call it in doubt P 11 By doubting everything Descartes ensures that he will not be deluded by any fallacies which could prevent him from reaching the truth and is therefore able to prove his own existence He tells us I have persuaded myself
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