|Descartes' Thoughts On Religion
Descartes gives us extensive
material on God, unlike his views on morality and society. In the Discourse he praises,
the constitution of the true Religion whose ordinances are of God alone. God
to Descartes is, a substance that is infinite [eternal, immutable], independent,
all-knowing, all-powerful, and by which everything else, if anything else does exist,
[must] have been created.
Descartes presents to us an argument for Gods existence, in Meditations, which
Kant later renames the ontological argument. This argument starts with the idea of
God as the idea of a supremely perfect Being. But a supremely
perfect Being, by definition, possesses every sort of perfection,: including
that of existence, since existence is one of these. If one was to separate
existence from the idea of God, by definition that person is no longer thinking of God.
For it is not within my power to think of God without existence. And
this necessity suffices to make me conclude (after having recognized that existence is a
perfection) that these first and sovereign Being really exists. And so I very
clearly recognize that the certainty recognize that the certainty and truth of all
knowledge depends alone on the knowledge of the true God, insomuch that, before I knew
Him, I could not have a perfect knowledge of any other thing.