Descartes's Causal Argument.docx - Brennan Confer PHI-106 24 January 2020 Argument Analysis o P1 If the idea of God represents something infinite and

Descartes's Causal Argument.docx - Brennan Confer PHI-106...

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Brennan Confer PHI-106 24 January 2020 Argument Analysis o P1: If the idea of God represents something infinite and maximally perfect, then it was caused by something infinite and maximally perfect. (premise) o P2: The idea of God represents something infinite and maximally perfect. (premise) o C1: Therefore, the idea of God was caused by something infinite and maximally perfect. (from P1, P2 by Modus Ponens ) o P3: If the idea of God was caused by something infinite and maximally perfect, then if humans are the cause of the idea of God, then humans are infinite and maximally perfect. (premise) o C2: If humans are the cause of the idea of God, then humans are infinite and maximally perfect. (from C1 and P3 by Modus Ponens ) o P4: Either humans are the cause of the idea of God, or humans are not the cause of the idea of God. (premise) o P5: If humans are not the cause of the idea of God, then God is the cause of the idea of God. (premise) o C3: Therefore, either humans are infinite and maximally perfect, or God is the cause of the idea of God. (from C2, P4, P5 by constructive dilemma) o P6: Humans are not infinite and maximally perfect. (premise) o C4: Therefore, God is the cause of the idea of God. (from C3, P6 by disjunctive syllogism) o P6: If God is the cause of the idea of God, then God exists. (premise) o C5: Therefore, God exists. (from C4, P6 by modus ponens)
Confer 2 Descartes’s causal argument seeks to establish the existence of God through the existence of the idea of God. To get to premise 1, Descartes posits that “the total cause of something must contain at least as much reality as does the effect” based on the natural light (which reveals necessarily true facts) (Meditations, 12). From this premise and his previously established notion that everything must have a cause, he concludes that those causes must contain at least as much perfection (equating perfection to containing reality) as their results (Meditations , 12). This equivalence of perfection and reality contains

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