The Existence of God


For centuries, the idea of God has been a part of man\'s history. Past and
present, there has always been a different integration consisting of the
believers and the non-believers of God. The group of those who have "faith" in
God tend to be related to one religion or another. On the other hand, the
skeptics find the existence of God somewhat puzzling and try to seek the answers
through scientific methods. Even as of today with all the modern technologies
and the development of sciences, we still do not have a definitive answer to the
question "does God exist?"
Among many philosophers and scholars who have tried to answer this question,
we shall look upon Rene Descartes\' theory on the existence of God. In terms of
believers and non-believers, Descartes would be one of the believers. Before we
go any further, we must ponder upon several questions. What is God? Does God
exist? If such God does exist, then where does this being come from? Why do
believers and non-believers hold on to their beliefs as they do? What
significance does the existence of God have upon mankind? These are only the
tip of the iceberg amongst the vast array of unanswered questions related to God.
Though there are so many uncertainties as we have just mentioned, the
existence of all other uncertainties in our world may explain why the existence
of God is so real to many people. For the believers, God provides a convenient
answer to all these questions except for the answers regarding God itself. The
following are some of the general arguments for the existence of God.
The first argument comes from the theory of design; there are orders in the
universe which can\'t be occurring by mere chance. Secondly, the existence of
God explains the arguments regarding the efficient causality; as the world
exhibits orderly causal sequences, something had to start it all up. Thirdly
but not the least, God provides an answer to the question of the origin of life
and its destination after death. ( For the sake of convenience, we shall borrow
some theological ideas from Christianity, the Christian God, to exemplify our
comparisons.) As an example, God is the creator of all, and there is a place in
heaven, a kingdom of God, for those who have faith in God. This helps believers
understand their identity and alleviate the fear of death.
Now then, let us look upon how Descartes responds to the question of what
God is? Descartes\' hypothesis on his theory starts with the idea of a God who
is eternal, infinite, omniscient, omnipotent, benevolent, and perfect. In his
earlier Meditations, he claims that God may be a deceiver; he, however,
concludes later that God is a non-deceiver because an act of deceit would be an
attribute of moral imperfection. According to Descartes, this idea of a
supremely intelligent and supremely powerful being, who created everything that
exists, can not and does not come from within him who is imperfect. Moreover,
this perception did not originate from the experiences of the world, nor was
this drawn from the senses. Rather, he believes that this perception of God is
prior to his own perception, and it could only actually arise from a perfect
being. Thus Descartes concludes the only remaining option to be that this
perception was innate in him.
If we assume that God is perfect, then we may wonder why human beings, a
creation of God, are created imperfect and liable to make mistakes? Since an
imperfect creation was made by God, doesn\'t this mean that he is imperfect? Yet,
Descartes claims that God gave humans no faculty for making mistakes, and we are
constituted as a mediator between God and nothingness. The reasoning behind the
justifications made by Descartes is related to "free will." Descartes states
that the faculty of judgement is not infinite in human beings; human error is
not dependent upon God but is rather a mere defect. On the other hand, free
will is a freedom to choose which is infinite. Furthermore, he implies that the
fact that the boundaries of will extending further than the finite intellect is
the very source of human error.
From this discussion, it is clear that humans do have the capacity to err.
Even if we considered that the above statements were true, couldn\'t we make an
argument about why God has created such imbalance between the magnitudes of the
will and the intellect? Then this imbalance can be accounted as a defect no
matter what the