A Critical Examination of Rene Descartes' Trademark Argument
In the six meditations written by Rene Descartes there are numerous principals and theories proposed, among them is the Trademark argument for the existence of God, which states that we all have an innate idea of an infinitely perfect God and the cause of the idea could only be a perfect God. Descartes states that there are degrees to reality and what is less real may not be caused by something, which is given more reality, (that the cause must pre-contain the reality of it's effect). Descartes dubs this the pre-containment principle. He then goes on to say that all things must have a cause and that all causes may affect another thing, (deemed the principle of universal causation). So using all this Descartes states that he has an idea of God, and the only possible cause for this idea is God himself, because only God contains enough formal reality to cause the idea with that much objective reality.
First off how do we know that the idea of god is in fact innate, and what of the fact that there are many different versions of that same idea? If you were to ask a person who had never had contact with another human being before exactly who or what God is, I believe the person would ask who and what God is? Who is to say the idea of God is in fact innate, what proof is there to suggest that the idea is Innate, or that there are innate ideas at all? Three similar objections can be raised, the first being that God can be thought of as not existing. That is, we can separate his existence from his essential attributes. Since, according to some critics, we can conceive of God as not existing, then existence is not a necessary attribute of this idea. A further objection to Descartes' proof is that even though a necessary attribute of a mountain is that it be adjacent to a valley, it doesn't follow that any mountains or valleys exist. In the same way, even though the concept of s...
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