Since humans have the ability to think of a being more perfect then themselves, then this being must have planted the idea in our mind. With the knowledge now that God is existing, perfect and is a non-deceiver – due to him being all-good –, Descartes can now move on to explain why material objects
The basic concept of religion and morality, especially divine command theory, is very simple: what God commands is good, therefore only do that. However, things begin to complicate when we begin to answer questions, such as ‘why are Gods commands intrinsically good?’. The Euthyphro dilemma outlines the problems with asserting the goodness of God. In the great philosopher Plato’s text, ‘The Last Days of Socrates’, Socrates questions Euthyphro over the piety of the Gods. Which follows on from which?
Anselm’s Ontological Argument The philosopher Anselm of Canterbury’s ontological argument debates the existence of God to be very much true. Anselm concepts God as a being in which nothing greater can be conceived. He also iterates that this being is too the greatest that one can possibly imagine. Therefore, for God to be the ideal concept of perfection, he must too in fact exist in reality and not just the mind, as in the understanding. An atheist, whom may not believe that God actually exists in reality, surely understands the concept of what God is so he then exists in his understanding.
“Two things, above all others, fill the mind with ever increasing awe and wonder: the starry heavens about and the moral law within” - Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant’s theory of ethics is deontological. Kant relies heavily on duty and principles. Kant ignores consequences and decides if an action is good or bad by it’s intention. For example, if a person sets out to do something good; but fails and it turns into be something bad, they are not to blame. Their intention is all that matters.
Hume and Kant – On Cause and Effect Compare and discuss the concept of causation as it appears in the philosophy of David Hume and Immanuel Kant. “Der ønskes en sammenligning af Hume og Kants analyse af årsagsbegrebet.” Units: 16.548 Introduction: This assignment has the goal of explaining and relating the concept of cause and effect as found in the philosophy of Hume and Kant. Causation is a vital concept to the human understanding of reality. Whether we will it or not it is as good as impossible to imagine the world without some notion of cause and effect. It is therefore not surprising that the grounding for this notion has been the subject of heavy debate.
According to St. Anselm in his ontological argument, he describes God as an idea or concept of which nothing greater can be conceived (Living Issues in Philosophy, page 388). In this he guides thought by arguing “If the most perfect being existed only in thought and not in reality, then it would not really be the most perfect being. One that exists in the mind and in reality would be more perfect.” Anselm concludes his theory with “no one who understands what God is; can conceive that God does not exist. (A. J. Hoober). Existence is a part of perfection.
Rationalism is the theory that some of our human knowledge comes from the reason, unaided by the senses. Basically rationalists believed that the truth could be broken down into two types, by using different logics. The first logic is called the law of contradiction, which means how we decide that to be false which involves contradiction and that to be true which contradicts or is opposed to the false. The second logic is called the law of the excluded middle, which means any statement made is either true or its contradiction is true, there is no middle ground. For example, in the book in chapter 2 on page 58, a statement is made that’’ two plus two equals four’’.
If we are talking about a Christian view of God as omnibenevolant then He always does what is good but this does not detract from the fact that the source of good is independent of Him. The other, more provocative statement that something is good because God commands it indicates that God is the ground of morality and whatever He commands is the morally good thing to do. However, this causes a number of problems, mainly that if He were to command rape or genocide, these actions would become morally good and the right thing to do. As the more debatable statement, I will discuss the latter statement in more detail. Many, if not most, Christians would argue that they believe the second statement and that morality depends entirely on God as he is omnipotent and omnibenevolant and so is the source of goodness.
We can easily see this penchant for quantification in Newton’s belief that all physics is mechanical, but we might not expect to find a mania for quantity among those who held a more poetic view of reality. Such an enigma is precisely what we discover in Blaise Pascal, a man who intensely contemplated the ineffable qualitative aspects of human and divine reality, yet remained as thoroughly mechanistic in his treatment of the natural world as Descartes himself. By exploring this dual reality of Pascal’s intellectual life, we can examine how his brand of fideism synthesized the enchanted world of his Catholic faith with a seemingly disenchanted, corpuscular, quantitative science. During his privileged youth, Pascal enjoyed the advantages of a critical scientific education and the company of the greatest French luminaries, including Descartes, Fermat, Roberval, Mersenne, and Gassendi. By the time he published his Essai pour les coniques (1640) at the age of sixteen, Pascal
Conflictingly, its discourses connote more covert hierarchal and patriarchal power relations. With these I have taken issue and will hence propose, through textual intervention, an alternative invited reading which is that ‘actions have their consequences’. Language is a heterogeneous mass of articulations wherein each linguistic term, each sign, is a “two-sided psychological entity” (De Saussure, 1916: p. 964), composed of intimately united elements: the signified (concept) and the signifier (sound-image). The correlative qualities of arbitrariness and difference are what constitute a signifier whose value is acquired “only because it stands in opposition to everything that precedes or follows it” (De Saussure, 1916: p. 974). Moreover, signifiers follow Barthes’ ‘symbolic’ code and form ‘binary opposites’ or Levi Strauss’ ‘dyadic pairs’ which, like the tale in question, express hierarchies as one element of the dyad will be positively marked by society (in this case, the term on the left of the ‘/’) (Phillips, n.d.) (Barry, 1995: p. 46) (Klages, 2006).