Descartes Essay

700 words - 3 pages

Discourse, Part Four, par. 5In this short passage from René Descartes' Discourse on Method, he seeks to draw comparisons between concepts in the field of geometry and the existence of an all-perfect being or God in the world. After going through various geometers' mathematical demonstrations, he sees the certainty with which mathematical facts can be proven. He notices in the example of a geometric triangle, that even though one can prove certain details about the triangle's angles, the actual existence of the triangle in the world is not assured. There are established details that make up the spirit of a triangle, such that its angles add up to 180 degrees, and these are essential. Descartes says the comparison can be made between this concept and the essentiality of existence as a property of God. The existence of God is therefore as certain as a mathematical verification. The main difficulty with people grasping God's ...view middle of the document...

It's because of incredible advances in this field, as well as other sciences, that we live with such ease and comfort today. Nothing seems more "existent" than being able to truly experience life globally thanks to cell phones, computers, etc.The other side of the comparison that Descartes argues is the existence of God. Ironically, I would argue that today's society, at least in the United States, is at an all time low in terms of belief in God. A recent study showed that 18-29 year olds in the U.S. doubt the existence of God in higher percentages than ever, and that number has been plummeting for the past 8 years. I would argue this is because the youth of America are exposed to so much during their early lives, it becomes hard to have faith in something they never experience. Our popular culture is completely obsessed with the moment at hand and instant gratification (i.e. selfies, social media posting), that something as abstract an inherently absent as God does not even come into play. The average American teenager is drastically more worried about texting their friends than pondering the existence of a God, especially one that seemingly has no impact on their day-to-day lives.I simply mean to offer Descartes an opinion that he did not seem to realize; beliefs and customs change over time throughout most of the world's societies. Any rational man could not expect an idea or thought to stand the test of time and last eternally. The Mayan people's creation theory was thought to be ridiculous by the Greek's, which was then thought to be ridiculous by Galileo. Today, all of these theories are proved impossible by sound astrophysics/mathematics and we believe a completely new set of ideas and theories to be true. We are not quite there scientifically, but I predict with confidence that advances will come about to either completely prove or disprove the possibility of an all-perfect being existing. I believe that there is a difference between believing what man says about God, and simply believing in God. My mind tells me I will never understand God, but my heart tells me that I am not meant to. Faith is a gift that I, among many, have just yet to receive.

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