Descartes Dreaming Argument Analysis

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Descartes’ Dreaming argument and Evil Demon argument question the fundamental reality of whether we are asleep or wake and if so how do we know that even when we are awake what we understand to be true is in fact actually true. In this essay I will examine and question both arguments as to whether we can decipher reality from dreaming and whether an evil demon is manipulating us into thinking even the most simplest of things are untrue.
The Dreaming Argument from Descartes is an argument that doubts certainty in the external world as we can never fully trust our senses. Everything we know to be true we have learnt through and from our senses. However ever so often our senses have tricked us and what appears to be most true to reality can be dreamt to be the case. Since our senses have tricked us even once before trusting them could be a poor judgement ( Reason and Responsibility, Joel Feinberg and Russ Shafer-Landau, 2013, Descartes, First Meditation, page 201). Thus this leads us to
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Descartes most famous phrase “I think, therefore I am” shows that we cannot be deceived of our own existence as we cannot think if we exist if we do not in fact exist. Descartes’ second part of the hypothesis for the Evil Demon argument refutes the idea of there being such a being with the assumption of a God. With the assumption of a God who is merciful and kind the chance of an evil being deceiving and tricking us would be highly unlikely to happen. Therefore, we can be very sure that we are not being deceived by an evil demon, only for those who believe in God. Other people who do not would rather not believe in the existence of God than believe the uncertainty of everything else (Descartes first mediation, page 202). Overall, the Evil Demon argument is that of a sceptical one. It is based on idea which cannot be proven or likened to, yet it is not unthinkable to be
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