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essay2 - 1 Sara Levine Humanities Core Mr Hitchner How Rene...

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1 Sara Levine 10-7-07 Humanities Core Mr. Hitchner How Rene Descartes Perceives God The word God can have many meanings to different people. One religious group may have a different meaning of God then another religious group. Some religions have more then one God. Everyone has a different perspective of God and what he represents to him or her. Back in the time of Rene Descartes during the Reformation a feeling of doubt and uncertainty of what religious belief to follow ran through most of the population. Many philosophical works were written in that time period one of which was Descartes Meditations on First Philosophy ; Descartes specifically doubted everything, even his existence and the existence of God. God is an important figure to Descartes and the meditations he specifically uses a Christian God as an infinite substance, creator of all that exists, and something that is incapable of error. Descartes states at the beginning of the meditations that he is going to discard all past beliefs from his mind and start over. This figure of God he creates, however, is a very Christianized way of thinking of him. God, he says, is the ultimate creator who made him who he is today. that shows that he will always be influenced by the culture he was brought up in. God, to Descartes, is an infinite, all-powerful being. He states, “By the name God I understand a substance that is infinite [eternal, immutable], independent, all- knowing, all-powerful, and by which I myself and everything else, if anything else does
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2 exist, have been created”(56). This understanding of God being infinite helps him come to the conclusion that he really does exist. Descartes feels that if the idea of God was put
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