I'm sorry...I am so THICK HEADED when it comes to Descartes Meditions...can anyone explain to me in simple language ...What PURPOSE does the proof (that God exists) serve in terms of the STRUCTURE of the Meditations 3 ? Thank you.© BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com December 19, 2018, 7:39 pm ad1c9bdddf
That God exists is important for Descartes for one main reason: if he cannot prove that God exists, he will not be able to 'put the world back together again' in the later Meditations. In other words, God's existence must be proven to be true so that Descartes can later show the reader that they can believe that the outside word exists and that their perceptions of the outside world can be considered true, 'indubitable', clear and distinct knowledge.
<br>Let's go through Meditation 3 together slowly. (I'll explain some important passages and follow them with clarification notes!)
<br>(A) Descartes begins Meditation 3 with a claim that he is 'a thinking thing'. After describing what he believes 'I' to be, he repeats that "... as a general rule... whatever I perceive to very clearly and distinctly is true."
<br>* At this point, if we think ahead, it is important to note that if Descartes wants to argue that his own belief in God is true, he will have to do so by following his own rule: the belief cannot be considered true knowledge unless it is 'perceived clearly and distinctly'. Another note to remember is that Descartes is writing these Meditations in order to acquire 'Knowledge'. Since much of his knowledge claims are based on religious teachings the need to prove God's existence is essential.
<br>*What types of claims might Descartes hold that are based on the existence of God? Here are some examples of the beliefs that Descartes is struggling with: God must exist and God cannot be a deceiver because:
<br>1) God created the world around me. As such, I know that the world exists
<br>2) God is not a deceiver, so I know that the world outside of me resembles the world that my senses present to me
<br>3) God would not allow me to make truth claims about the world around me (i.e. believe that the world really is as it appears to my senses) without them being true
<br>(B) Descartes reminds the reader of the many things he believed to be true, and later found to be false now that ...
Descartes'3rd Meditation's Purpose/Structure is assessed.