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Quoting from the text, explain in your own words Descartes' trademark argument for Gods existence.

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1. Quoting from the text, explain in your own words Descartes' trademark argument for Gods existence. The trademark argument (also known as the causal argument) tries to prove Gods existence through the fact that we have an idea of him. This argument rests on Descartes' definition of cause and effect, which he considers a priori. This idea, that God is an infinite being, he reasons is innate left on our brain as his stamp or trademark much like a potter leaves on his pots. "God, at my creation, implanted this idea in me, that it might serve, as it were, for the mark of the workman impressed on his work" This idea of infinity must be innate because a finite thing like a human cannot come up with the idea of something infinite 'just as stone can only be produced by something which contains stone'. If we have an idea of a perfect being then it must exist. ...read more.


He cannot think of a being perfect because he is an imperfect being or can the idea have come from an union of various other ideas that he has, for there would have to be an infinite regress that would in any event trace back to an original cause of the idea. Thus, the ultimate cause of Descartes' idea of God must possess all the traits that Descartes sees it to have, and therefore it can be concluded that God necessarily exists. Its flaw is that it suggests that there can be no cases of objects being "greater than the sum of their parts." For example, the strength inherent in a bridge must, be contained in the girders and rivets that make it up. If the bridge did not get its strength from these basic parts, then it seems that they came from nowhere. We can also say that helium, which is caused by the fusion of hydrogen atoms, possesses properties that were not present in the helium atoms. ...read more.


Of course, it could be argued that "some tame tigers exist in fiction" allows a negation of the original, but this involves using a different interpretation of the verb than the one currently used. When the verb is used in this context, it is certain that existence in reality is meant, not existence in the understanding, or in fiction, etc. Thus despite Descartes' claims to have a clear and distinct idea of God, in which his essence entails his existence, the ontological argument can be said to be less than convincing. Descartes' clear and distinct idea of God is just that: clear and distinct in his understanding. Although this has been already touched on above, it is worth repeating: it can be effectively argued that Descartes' understanding of God does not mean He actually exists. There may not be any winged horses, but the concept can be grasped, likewise there may not be a God, but the concept can be grasped. The ontological argument consistently appears to be defining Him into existence, even though its supporters, Descartes among them, claim that this is not the case. ...read more.

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