Swamped with your writing assignments? Take the weight off your shoulder!
Descartes seems to need God to get him from the certainty he thinks he’s found for his own personal, individual existence, to the whole wide world beyond his own individual mind. Descartes thinks of God as a Being that has what were call the “perfections” of existence: that is, God is conceived as a Being that is all knowing, all loving, all powerful, ever-present, etc. God is the reason and ultimate explanation for all things, and for existence itself — God is the “ground” upon which all things “move and have their being” (to quote a famous Christian formula that comes from the Bible). In this view, no God = nothing at all.
Yet, even after thinking of God in these terms, Descartes refuses to allow God’s existence to be merely a matter of private, personal “faith”. Descartes seeks to prove in some rational way that God exists; God can be known through and by reason, not just by faith!
Do you think that, today, this idea of God as an infinitely “perfect” being is still alive? What does this concept mean to you — even if you personally don’t believe it? Do you think that the concept of “proof” makes sense here? If not, then is it all just “faith”? What’s the difference between “faith” and “reason”? Must faith and reason remain separate?