• The Meditations by Descartes: The Existence of God and the Argument From Evil
    132 replies, posted
I'm a philosophy minor, and lately, as it usually happens in these philosophy classes involving early modern philosophy, we've been discussing "The Meditations". Descartes' claim to fame, philosophically anyways, was the meditations, which helped him to become known as the "Father of modern philosophy." In the meditations, he discusses how one cannot trust the senses, and that you can be more sure of the existence of the soul and of God than of the existence of your own hand. However, I have found his argument to be quite shaky, especially when compared to Anselm's argument. To simplify Anselm's argument, which is more or less Descartes' argument: 1) God is perfect in every way including existence [U]2) Therefore God exists.[/U] The argument seems stupid and flawed to the untrained observer, so I shall provide some background on the argument. The theological and the philosophical God are a bit different. The theological God is based mostly on the Bible, while the philosophical God is more the idea of a perfect being, or "That of which none greater can be conceived." So God is more an idea than anything else in philosophy. So assuming that God is an idea that is self-causing (which is freaking ridiculous, but we'll avoid that topic for another thread) and is considered to be the triple O God, or [B]Omniscient, Omnipotent, Omnibenevolent[/B]. The Argument of Evil is one of the main sources of opposition to the existence of the triple O God. It draws upon the point that if God is perfect, why does he allow evil in the world? If God is perfect, why did he let someone be raped, or let those people be killed, or even just let me fail that exam? I'm curious as to your opinions on these topics Facepunch. Links for those who want to look at these arguments a bit more: [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meditations_on_First_Philosophy[/url] [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anselm%27s_argument#Anselm.27s_argument[/url] [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem_of_evil[/url]
despite his impact at the time, descartes is just a historical figure these days, the ideas of his that weren't subsumed entirely into later philosophies aren't taken seriously at all. it would be like continuing on with aristotelian physics
[QUOTE=DainBramageStudios;34480407]despite his impact at the time, descartes is just a historical figure these days, the ideas of his that weren't subsumed entirely into later philosophies aren't taken seriously at all. it would be like continuing on with aristotelian physics[/QUOTE] Have you ever heard of the Cartesian coordinate system? That was Descartes.
[QUOTE=fluke42;34480673]Have you ever heard of the Cartesian coordinate system? That was Descartes.[/QUOTE] hence "ideas that weren't subsumed into later philosophies"
[QUOTE=DainBramageStudios;34480786]hence "ideas that weren't subsumed into later philosophies"[/QUOTE] His ideas spawned thousands of arguments and were the focus of thousands of philosophical papers, and still are today.
sturgeon's law
[QUOTE=DainBramageStudios;34480849]sturgeon's law[/QUOTE] That's mainly true for the internet and the news. Don't try to discredit my research by using mostly unheard of quips.
no really, 99.5% of philosophy is complete shit
If you're not going to even talk about what I posted, and only try to deny the whole thing without providing any evidence, then just leave.
if you're actually having trouble disproving the ontological argument, or with the three Os in general, then you are the 99.5%
I think the Meditations are a good thing to read but they don't really hold any Philosophical ground in modern times. There are bits which are interesting (I liked the First and Second with the whole untrusting of the senses) but as a whole the Meditations shouldn't really be used in modern philosophy.
[QUOTE=icemaz;34481014]I think the Meditations are a good thing to read but they don't really hold any Philosophical ground in modern times. There are bits which are interesting (I liked the First and Second with the whole untrusting of the senses) but as a whole the Meditations shouldn't really be used in modern philosophy.[/QUOTE] I agree, they shouldn't be used in today's society, but they did help pave the way for a new era of philosophy.
[QUOTE=fluke42;34481065]I agree, they shouldn't be used in today's society, but they did help pave the way for a new era of philosophy.[/QUOTE] Oh no yeah there's no doubt and I would definitely tell anyone interested in Philosophy to read them because it does help you understand the history of Philosophy.
I think bacon had more to do with that
Anselm's argument doesn't work because existence isn't a property. Kant demolished this argument ages ago.
[QUOTE=Noble;34482557]Anselm's argument doesn't work because existence isn't a property. Kant demolished this argument ages ago.[/QUOTE] Good point. Indeed he did.
This topic is broken. You can't say this: [QUOTE=fluke42;34480023]1) God is perfect in every way including existence [U]2) Therefore God exists.[/U] The argument seems stupid and flawed to the untrained observer, so I shall provide some background on the argument. The theological and the philosophical God are a bit different. The theological God is based mostly on the Bible, while the philosophical God is more the idea of a perfect being, or "That of which none greater can be conceived." [b]So God is more an idea than anything else in philosophy[/b][/QUOTE] And then draw up the question: [QUOTE]It draws upon the point that if God is perfect, why does he allow evil in the world? If God is perfect, why did he let someone be raped, or let those people be killed, or even just let me fail that exam?[/QUOTE] As if Decartes' theory [i]DID[/i] prove that there's a man in the sky who makes things happen.
The rebuke I like to use for Anselm is [quote]'The Shittest Thing Ever' is defined as "that than which no shittier can be conceived" It exists in imagination. It would be even worse if it existed in real life Therefore the entire Universe is tiled with shit.[/quote]
Yeah, one of my first year modules literally used the Meditations as philosophy target practice. Substance Dualism is full of problems in its most charitable modern form, and in Descartes' form, laughable. [editline]31st January 2012[/editline] I think people even give his scepticism too much credit. Hume's scepticism is infinitely more sophisticated. Most of the arguments in the Meditations are purely intuitive, and even then they only work on someone who's already assumed the conclusion.
I agree, I quite enjoyed reading Hume's arguments as well. [editline]31st January 2012[/editline] [QUOTE=Splarg!;34483240]This topic is broken. You can't say this: And then draw up the question: As if Decartes' theory [i]DID[/i] prove that there's a man in the sky who makes things happen.[/QUOTE] I'm posting what Descartes said. I'm an atheist as well, I'm simply trying to have a logical debate about this.
there isn't a logical debate, just move on
I'm not religious, but I always thought that the existence of evil argument is flawed, at least in terms of theism. If God existed, the existence of evil wouldn't necessarily disprove him - God very well may just be a dick, or the idea of evil may play into machinations greater than ours.
[QUOTE=BagMinge104;34505759]I'm not religious, but I always thought that the existence of evil argument is flawed, at least in terms of theism. If God existed, the existence of evil wouldn't necessarily disprove him - God very well may just be a dick, or the idea of evil may play into machinations greater than ours.[/QUOTE] But that would require the assumption that such an entity does exist, for which there is no concrete evidence. Almost all theists I've seen resort to a variation on the argument that god is outside time/logic/reason/etc. This, I think, takes the improbability of a god to a higher level.
[QUOTE=BagMinge104;34505759]I'm not religious, but I always thought that the existence of evil argument is flawed, at least in terms of theism. If God existed, the existence of evil wouldn't necessarily disprove him - God very well may just be a dick, or the idea of evil may play into machinations greater than ours.[/QUOTE] The problem of evil only applies to the idea of an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent god. Naturally if you want to worship an evil god, then the problem of evil does not apply. As far as the "idea of evil may play into machinations greater than ours" claim, that is just drifting out into "god is above human reasoning" territory. And like I said in the other thread, if god works outside of logic, then we can't use logic to try to prove he exists in the first place.
[QUOTE=BagMinge104;34505759]I'm not religious, but I always thought that the existence of evil argument is flawed, at least in terms of theism. If God existed, the existence of evil wouldn't necessarily disprove him - God very well may just be a dick, or the idea of evil may play into machinations greater than ours.[/QUOTE] Descartes was into the whole "God as a perfect being" and as such him being a perfect being in our minds requires the property of existence, ergo God exists. For something to be evil would to not be perfect in our eyes which throws that whole idea out the window.
[QUOTE=fluke42;34480023]If God is perfect, why did he let someone be raped, or let those people be killed, or even just let me fail that exam?[/QUOTE] You said it yourself, and it doesn't take an entire another thread to say: [QUOTE=fluke42;34480023]God is more an idea than anything.[/quote] And that's that. So what does the idea "God" mean? Absolutely good, reasonable, ruthless, loving..? Not necessarily just Omnipotent and Omniscient and Omnibenevolent, because YOU are the next best thing TO God.
[QUOTE=Gekkosan;34519506]You said it yourself, and it doesn't take an entire another thread to say: Not necessarily just Omnipotent and Omniscient and Omnibenevolent, because YOU are the next best thing TO God.[/QUOTE] Descartes thought the same thing.
[QUOTE=icemaz;34516939]Descartes was into the whole "God as a perfect being" and as such him being a perfect being in our minds requires the property of existence, ergo God exists. For something to be evil would to not be perfect in our eyes which throws that whole idea out the window.[/QUOTE] So Descartes' argument was essentially if we can imagine something then it must exist?
[QUOTE=kidwithsword;34527098]So Descartes' argument was essentially if we can imagine something then it must exist?[/QUOTE] It was originally Anselm of Canterbury's argument, called the ontological argument. The general idea is that a being that does not exist is less perfect than a being that does exist, therefore if god is the most perfect being imaginable, he must exist. The argument actually appears sound when it's laid out in the form of a logical argument. The problem with it lies in the fact that existence is not a property, as demonstrated by Kant.
dainbramage studios you need to shut the fuck up fag [highlight](User was banned for this post ("Flaming" - Orkel))[/highlight]
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