descartes ontological argument and Kants response

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  • Descartes Ontological Argument
    • 1) God has placed in every person the idea of God
    • 2) there are truths like in math's which cannot be doubted, Gods existence is a truth which is a similar thing; it cannot be doubted once its been clearly demonstrated.
    • 3) his argument is about showing there is no reason to ever doubt that God exists.
    • Descartes and triangles
      • triangles all have 3 sides which add to 180
      • triangles are immutable meaning they're incapable of being different.
        • God has an immutable nature, he is what he is
          • god existing is a fundamental to the nature of god as the interior angles of a triangle add up to 180
      • for Descartes the essence of God is that he exists and existence is a predicate of God.
    • god is a supremely perfect being, a property of perfection is existence therefore god exists.
      • if you have an idea of a perfect car it is only an idea; its not perfect unless it exists in reality.
        • you cannot talk about God unless he exists because god is perfect and part of perfection is existence.
          • you cant think of a mountain existing without the concept of a valley that goes with it.
  • Kant's objections
    • existence is not a predicate
    • you can have an idea of what a unicorn is but that does not mean it exists.
    • existence is part of the concept of god but it does not prove he exists in reality.
    • for Kant statements about existence are synthetic they need to be verified as true or false
    • gods existence is synthetic and needs to be verified
  • other criticisms suggest that something either exists or it doesn't. its only relevant to discuss perfection of something if it exists.
    • if something like god or a unicorn does not exist then these things are neither perfect or imperfect  they just don't exist.


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