Descartes Meditation Four

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22 Apr 2012
Department
Course
Intro to Philosophy October 12th
Granted that I exist now do I have the power to insure that I will continue to exist a
minute later?
Argument for existence of God: God must exist because he has the power to keep
things in existence, to originate their existence.
How many times do we have to keep repeating to ourselves “Cogito Ergo Sum”
Everytime you want to prove your own existence, you have to say to yourself, I think
therefore I am.
“I thought, therefore I was” – doesn’t work, it works in memory. When we think we
remembered something, but our memory plays tricks and false.
“I will think therefore I will exist” – You can’t guarantee your existence in the future.
Four colour theorem (example of proof): colour a map with four colours and never
have two adjacent countries being the same colour.
Meditation 4
In med 3, we have proved the existence of a good, non-decietful God. How can we
explain that we as human beings go bad ever? A good god would ensure that we
always go right, never do wrong. Possibility of the existence of error.
People fall into error: key lies between 1)faculty of understanding: we are deficient
in knowledge and understanding 2) faculty of will: descarte says we know that our
understanding is finite, limited and subject to error. Infinite will. What is that? There
is nothing in principle that we cannot will. **Will and desire are related, but not the
same thing.
****
Distinguish between the power of understanding and the power of will.
Is it possible to have a faulty mistaken understanding of something? Yes.
To give our assent to the proposition. To avoid error/mistakes, we can simply
refrain from assenting to any proposition that we’re not absolutely certain of.
If we had infinite understanding and infinite will, we would be God.
We are finite everything the one exception (according to Descartes) is infinite will.
Evil in the world:
Acts of nature TB, hurricanes these things would still happen even if
didn’t have free well.
Acts of human decision/action why do we hurt others? Our will leads us to
do bad things. We know it’s wrong but we do it all the same. Why did God
give us this will?
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