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Summary in 400 words or less:
Argument from Absolute Truth
Augustine purported that we are in contact with objective absolute truths that transcend us. These absolute truths (such as mathematical formulas) are superior to the human experience and on par with the divine. The divine God is the only acceptable explanation for such truths.
Conceptual Argument (“Trademark” Argument) (Argument from Eminent Causation)
“My idea of a perfect God could not have originated in me, a finite substance. Therefore, God must exist as the only possible cause of the objective reality found in my idea of Him.”
–Meditation III (sections 43-47)
Conceptual Ontological Argument
“But if the mere fact that I can produce from my thought the idea of something entails that everything which I clearly and distinctly perceive to belong to that thing really does belong to it, is not this a possible basis for another argument to prove the existence of God? Certainly, the idea of God, or a supremely perfect being, is one that I find within me just as surely as the idea of any shape or number. And my understanding that it belongs to his nature that he always exists is no less clear and distinct than is the case when I prove of any shape or number that some property belongs to its nature.”
–Meditation V (sections 65-68)
Descartes seems to make an argument for revelation. Descartes argues that our idea of God could not have originated by the effect (us), but must have originated by the cause (God). Some may write this off. However, it is plausible especially understanding that one cannot know another unless introduced. Animals have no concept of the divine. If humans are merely a product of animalistic adaptations, then why should humans think of the divine? Superstitions would lead to animism, but not to the divine unless the divine introduced Himself to humanity.
Scripture for YouVersion:
Three questions (1 fill-in-the-blank, 1 multiple choice, and one discussion question):
References for further reading:
Kreeft, Peter. Tacelli, Ronald. Twenty Arguments for the Existence of God.
Chris Lee said: I’m not sure this is the right topic for Descartes’ trademark argument. Maybe move to Ontological.
Collaborators: Brian Chilton
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