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Ryan--Essay #1 - much else if a deceiver might exist Even a...

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Daniel Zauderer Early Modern Philosophy René Descartes: The Existence and Goodness of God Throughout his Meditations on First Philosophy , René Descartes engages in “radical doubt”; he rids himself of all prior prejudices and begins anew in order to determine a certainty. In Descartes’ case, doubt is sufficient to retain if there is any reason for doubting whatsoever. Yet by the end of the “Second Meditation,” even amidst arguments such as the possibility that there exists an evil demon that deceives him of everything, Descartes encounters one certainty: that because he “is,” because he thinks, he must exist. Although Descartes has proven that he exists beyond doubt, he can not prove
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Unformatted text preview: much else if a deceiver might exist. Even a simple concept such as “3+5=8” is doubtful if there exists an all-powerful demon that engages in constant trickery. For this reason, Descartes must dispel such a possibility. He must prove that something all-powerful, all-knowing, and all good exists. Essentially, Descartes must prove the existence of God (something which is all-powerful and all-knowing), and he must prove that God is good. Before Descartes tackles the issue of God’s goodness, he must first argue that God exists. Descartes offers two proofs on God’s existence. The first, known as the “Trademark Argument,” is found in the “Third Meditation.”...
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