Descartes' Meditation IV - Deepstash

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<p>The conclusions of the prev...

The conclusions of the previous Meditations that Rene Descartes or "I" and "God" both exist eventually lead to another problem:

"If God is perfectly good and the source of all that is, how is there room for error or falsehood?"

In other words, "If God is perfect then why there is a mistake in the world?"

(This meditation IV is dedicated to answer that specific problem.)


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Rene Descartes tries to resolve this in four ways; One from the concept Great Chain of Being and Three from the Misuse and Limitation of his Abilities.


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The Great Chain of Being

The Great Chain of Being

Rene Descartes states that God's perfect goodness is relative to His perfect being. On the extreme opposite end of the scale is complete nothingness and where the evil relies. He states that the location of the Humans is in-between these two extremes.

Being human is being less "good" than God, but more "good" than Evil.

Therefore, error or mistake is only the absence of what is correct and right.


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The Misuse and Limitation of Abilities

Limitation of Abilities

Misuse of one's own Perspective

Misuse of Divine Gifts


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Limitation of knowledge

Limitation of knowledge

Rene Descartes states that there is a possibility that his limited knowledge prevents him from understanding why God chose to create him so he could make mistakes.

Therefore, there might be a reason but because of our limited knowledge, it is ncomprehensible.


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2. Misusage of Perspective

2. Misusage of Perspective

Rene Descartes suggest that what may seem like a mistake or error on an individual or specific level might actually be perceived as flawless when considered within the broader context of the entire creation established by God.

Therefore, the perspective that sees beyond isolated instances of error to appreciate a larger, harmonious picture of existence may have a different significance or as Rene Descartes considered as "Error Free"


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"For something that seems imperfect when viewed alone might seem completely perfect when regarded as having a place in the world."



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3. The Misusage of Divine Gifts

3. The Misusage of Divine Gifts

The two Divine Gifts are the Understanding (Intellectual Gift) and Will (Freedom) both of these gifts are in a perfect condition. Rene Descartes realized that error occurs when he practice or exercise his understanding and will.

Therefore, the gifts of God (understanding and will) both remain good and perfect so do God itself as the giver of these and the error only occurs when we misuse it.


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(At the end of Meditation IV, Rene Descartes settled the problem. He made the error of humans and imperfections of it, is compatible to the existence of a perfect being called "God")


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Just doin Philosophy


Summary of Meditation IV. Of the True and the False.


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