Rene Descartes Discourse

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Like Augustine, Rene Descartes, in his Discourse on Method, is completely devoted to finding truth. Descartes begins his discourse by stating that "it is not enough to have a good mind; it is important to use it as well" (Descartes 5). Here Descartes illustrates the importance he places on using one's mind to discover reality and truth. To Descartes, it is not acceptable to simply believe what other people think as true to be actually true. This drives him to find a way that he can determine truth in and of itself by himself. According to Richard Tarnas, Descartes "set[s] out to discover an irrefutable basis for certain knowledge" (Tarnas 276). Descartes constantly goes over how he is unsatisfied with current ideas of truth, even going…show more content…
However, unlike in Confessions where Augustine hears a voice and God finds him, Descartes must use his rational process that he developed to conclude the existence of God. As Descartes reasons through different ideas, he realizes that he still has the ability to doubt. He argues that "the very fact that I was thinking of doubting" created a certainty of his own existence (Descartes 24). However, he quickly qualifies this idea by stating that he himself is "not completely perfect", and that he could think of something more perfect (Descartes 25). The next logical step in his process is that, since he has an understanding of God, a God must exist, because the idea of a perfect being must have "had to be from some nature that was in fact more perfect" (Descartes 25). An idea that may seem illogical to some now, remains a logical extent of Descartes earlier provisions. The major crux here in Descartes thinking is that, since he can think of something perfect, there must have been something to place this idea within him. This idea of imperfection, Descartes argues, cannot be rationalized out in to one's own creativity or something gained through experience (Descartes 26). By eliminating any earthly way of the idea of imperfection entering into Descartes mind, he has only one author to give ownership. Therefore, since only one being could "even [have] in itself all the perfections of which I could have some idea", Rene Descartes, mathematically and logically proves the existence of God (Descartes 26). A result of the self-evident process that Descartes created by using his own intellect and logic, this proof, at least to Descartes, is unavoidable and certain. No matter what experiences Descartes encounters, the purely logical reasoning that he proves God will continually verify his certain existence. Instead of God finding Augustine,

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