Descartes Arguments Concerning the Body and Soul Essay

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1197 Words
Date:  2022-05-17


In the second Meditation, having reasoned that he identifies himself as a sensible person, Descartes then questions what type of object he actually is (Geivett et al., pg. 105). The opinions of distinctiveness seek to create the substantial characteristics of something, what brands it the object which it is. The query "whatever am I" can get a response through the consideration of the question whatever it is for anyone to subsist. Descartes endeavors to detect his essence, those possessions which, upon losing them, could denote he was not anymore the item that he perceives himself to be-For instance, he refers to this line of thought through the reflection of an island which he states must get enclosed by water or else if the water vanished and the island combined with the inland then it would cease being an island-(Goodman, pg. 147). Descartes clarifies that he can remain to hesitate if he has a body; after all, he exclusively trusts that he possesses a body due to his perceptual encounters, and hence Satan could be misleading him concerning this subject. However, Descartes cannot doubt that he possesses a soul that is because he is a sensible person (Goodman, pg. 155). Therefore he identifies that he survives despite not knowing whether or not he possesses a body. That said, Descartes summarizes that it practicable for him to subsist in the absence of the body. He is basically the soul and not the physique. Therefore, he would not inescapably stop to be who he is upon his ending to possess a body, contrastingly, he would automatically cease to be who he is upon the determination of not having a soul. The body and the soul are two discrete objects, as they constitute dissimilar possessions (Descartes, pg. 245). Descartes establishes this argument further upon contending that, contrasting to the body, a person's soul lacks any sections and is inseparable. He further claims that "whenever I deliberate my soul that is to state that myself inasmuch as I am absolutely thinking an object, I can differentiate no segments" (Descartes, pg. 267). It is with a complete soul and mind that people develop the will or think to do something and these are just dissimilar parts of thinking, no portions of the soul and mind. On the other hand, the body possesses multiple parts, for example, one can literary lose one piece of the body such as the hand. For this fact, the body and the soul are totally dissimilar types of objects despite their co-existence which proves the theory of dualism (Goodman, pg. 177).

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How Descartes Understanding of the Body and Soul indicate Presence of God Who is not a Deceiver

Meditation IV labeled Falsity and Truth begins with Descartes reflection based on his initial arguments of the soul and the body. He observes that his entire understanding, specifically the major unquestionable belief that God truly subsists, originate from his intelligence and not from his wisdom of mind (Goodman, pg. 188). As he is confident of the existence of God, a lot of things can hence trail, for instance, he recognizes that God can never deceive him because the willpower to cheat is an epitome of malice or weakness and God's faultlessness cannot permit it (Goodman, pg. 195). Similarly, Descartes believes that if God made him, then He is accountable for his verdict and therefore God's capability of the decree must be insofar as He applies it decorously (Goodman, pg. 271).

Pascal's Provident Argument for Trusting in God

Pascal argues that human beings are incapable of deliberating if God really subsists or if He does not exist, but still, all of us get obligated to "wager" (believe that God exists) in one way or another (Saka, pg. 322). He argues that reasoning cannot resolve in which manner we must align, however the deliberation of the pertinent consequences supposedly can. However, one can notice exegetical challenges in the initial key opening of Pascal comments, partly due to the appearance of the contradictory thoughts.

For instance, Pascal commenced by stating that "God either is or God is not. However to what option can human beings align? Motive can pick nothing in this case. One has to objects to lose, the good as well as the true. Again, one possesses two items to shun, and that is the misery and the error. Therefore, our reason gets further shocked in selecting one option and abandon the other, because it is obligatory that we decide" (Saka, pg. 326). In this context, Pascal argues of an "error" as an object which people can "shun" and the "true' as an item which we can "lose". Yet Pascal continues to declare that if anyone loses the wager which God is, then that person "does not lose anything" (Saka, pg. 331). Certainly, under this circumstance, a person "loses the true", that is simply to state one has committed an error. Pascal of course trust that God's subsistence is "the true"-however, this is not anything which Pascal can appeal to in his philosophy (Saka, pg. 338).

Criticisms of the Arguments offered by Schlesinger and Lycan

Schlesinger and Lycan provide more theoretical arguments for approving Pascal's ideology of God's existence over the other critiques in reference to one's prospect tasks (Amico, pg. 6). They both commence with the mentioning the familiar challenge concerning the issue of theory underdetermination through proof. "Despite the diversity of philosophies which are entirely and favorably applicable to the generated data, we prefer the simplest such theory" (Amico, pg. 8). Schlesinger and Lycan maintain to contend that simplicity deliberations correspondingly favor God's conception "indisputably perfect", "hence being theologically discrete in the sense that it signifies the other entire grounds normally attributed to God", and one can add that this is Pascal's notion. The notions of opposing gods relate to multiple unanswered queries regarding their nature, the response of which is undermined from their simplicity and hence their prospect as well (Amico, pg. 9).

My Arguments for Rejecting the Probability of God's Existence

Whereas theology may argue that God's presence is categorically essential on the foundation of revelation, faith or authority other numerous philosophers as well as I reject this probability due to various reasons. For example, I believe that the presence of an omniscient God is mismatched with the fact of free-will- in which us humans have the opportunity to make our own decisions. If God is an all-knowing superior being, then He must recognize in advance precisely what we people intend to do in a certain circumstance. In this case, we are not indeed free to carry out the alternate action to what God recognizes that we intend to do, and hence free will is merely an illusion. Just to advance this thought further, take for instance if a person decides to commit a sin, how can we then state that this individual sinned at liberty?


Amico, Robert P. "Pascal's Wager revisited." International studies in philosophy 26.2 (1994): 1-11.

Descartes, Rene. The philosophical writings of Descartes: Volume 3, the correspondence. Vol. 3. Cambridge University Press, 2012: 230-576.

Geivett, R. Douglas, and Brendan Sweetman, eds. Contemporary perspectives on religious epistemology. Oxford University Press, USA, 2015: 103-201

Goodman, Lenn E. "Judaism: A Contemporary Philosophical Investigation." (2016):145-278.

Saka, Paul. "Pascal's Wager and the many Gods objection." Religious Studies 37.3 (2014): 321-341.

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