Descartes's Argument For The Existence Of God

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Upon reading Pascal and Descartes, I found their stance on the existence of God very interesting, and different. Whereas Descartes follows on his notion of, “I exist, therefore I am”, and by reason he is able to understand that God exists, Pascal takes different approach, claiming that we cannot know such a finite thing. In Pascal’s Wager, he claims that we must choose to believe whether or not there is a God. In this essay, I will discuss how Descartes’s influenced Pascal’s thinking. I will first outline Descartes’s argument for the existence of God. I will then outline Pascal’s wager and argue that it is in response to Descartes’s philosophy on God. {Further, I will compare and contrast the emphasis of rhetoric between these two philosophers, and argue that Pascal moves toward a hermeneutic perspective in his Art of Persuasion.} Finally, I will discuss whether or not Pascal’s perspective and emphasis on context prove to hold more firm in his arguments than Descartes’. To begin, I will first outline Descartes’s argument for the existence of God. In “Meditations on First Philosophy”, Descartes…show more content…
He According to him, “every clear and distinct perception is surely something, and hence cannot come from nothing . . . it must necessarily have God for its author” (42). Descartes also offers some doubt into the belief that God exists, for he claims that, “I can attach existence to God, even though no God exists” (44). He raises the idea that his thoughts do not entail existence, however, he claims that existence is inseparable from God because he cannot think of God as anything other than existence. As a result, he concludes that, “the necessity of the thing itself, namely the existence of God, forces me to think this” (44). Here, it seems to me that Descartes is implying the second half of the Cartesian circle, that God existence forces him to think that is distinctly and clearly
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