Descartes' conclusion on God was right. His premises were...

Why Descartes’ Arguments for the Existence of God had the Right Conclusions but not the Right Premises

In this blogpost I will compare and contrast my argument for the nature of Existence being omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient, infinite and eternal with Descartes’ cosmological and ontological argument for the existence of God. I will then argue that Existence is perfect.

In a nutshell, Descartes’ cosmological argument for the existence of God stated that he had an idea of a supremely perfect being. Since he himself was not a supremely perfect being, he could not have been the cause of the idea of a supremely perfect being. Therefore, the existence of a supremely perfect being was necessary to make the idea at all possible.

Much of the argument I have presented in my first two blog posts were directly inspired by Descartes’ cosmological argument for the existence of God. Descartes’ argument that we cannot have an idea of a supremely perfect being without there actually being a supremely perfect being to make that a possibility was spot on. The paradox of something coming from nothing makes it so that we cannot rationally deny a supremely perfect being.

So how can his argument be countered? Some might argue that the idea of God is just a product of one’s imagination. It’s a combination of concepts that are expanded to maximums to generate the idea of a supremely perfect being. The problem with this kind of argument is that it does not metaphysically account for how the mind is able to do something like this.

If I’m not mistaken, the default position that most people seem to accept is that the mind is able to conjure up an infinite amount of ideas or semantical gaps as I’d like to call them independent of whether these semantical gaps could ever exist or not. However, when the mind takes up the challenge that I proposed in my previous blog post (can the mind think of something that has meaning but can never exist?), it will come to recognise the absurdities in such a belief.

In my previous blog post, I argued that omnipotence has meaning and that omnipotence is impossible without omnipresence, and given that nothing can become omnipresent from a non-omnipresent state (see my second blog post for a detailed defence) it follows that the only way that existence could accommodate an omnipotent being, is if existence has always been and will always be omnipotent. The same applies to all other traits that are necessary to the perfect being (omnipotence, omniscience, infinite, eternal, omnipresence and so on). See my first and second blog post for a more detailed defence on why existence needs to accommodate all meaningful concepts and why existence is necessarily omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient, infinite and eternal.

We cannot say that it’s possible for something to become omnipotent just as we cannot say that it’s possible for something to become Existence/omnipresent. Existence has always existed and will always exist and nothing else can take its place. Similarly, the perfect being has always existed and will always exist and nothing else can take its place.

Mackie suggests that even if the Causal Principle applies to events in the world, we cannot extrapolate from the way the world works to the world as a whole (Mackie 1982: 85). On the contrary, that is exactly what we should be doing. Reason clearly dictates that there is nothing beyond existence (non-existence/absurdity). There is only one existence and everything that exists does so in existence. We couldn’t extrapolate and apply reason to another existence even if we wanted to. That would be absurd. Reason dictates that there is nothing beyond existence so it does not allow us the ability to apply reason to another existence. Again, you can have multiple worlds, realities, universes and beings within existence, but you cannot have more than one existence and you cannot have anything outside of it. Reason and language applies to all that exists.

Another objection that various philosophers have made is that we do not have a clear objective idea of the supremely perfect being or that we have different ideas about what constitutes the supremely perfect being. Whist I acknowledge that some attributes of the supremely perfect being may be unknown to us, the outline is objective to all of us and sufficiently clear to warrant the move of labelling a being as perfect. To further make my point clear, can anyone rationally argue for something being better than an omnipotent, omniscient, infinite, eternal entity whilst omitting these core traits? This part of the supremely perfect being is without controversy, it’s objective and it’s clear. Where it might get controversial is when we start to focus on other traits which only an omnipotent, omniscient being is able to have such as being perfect at measuring, punishing, rewarding, designing, planning, creating, designing and so on.

Essentially, the perfect being is perfect and does perfectly. How it is perfect is sufficiently clear. By this I mean, it suffices for us to say that an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, infinite, eternal being is perfect even though there may be additional things about it that we may be unaware of. For example, we believe existence is all existing. It may have more dimensions than we think, but whether it does or not won’t change the core of our definition that existence is all existing. That existence is omnipresent or all existing is core to the definition of existence just as omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, infiniteness and eternalness are core to the definition of the perfect being.

Some philosophers such as Anthony Kenny suggested that perfection is just the negation of imperfection. If my understanding of this argument is correct, it implies that by negating our own imperfections, we reach the perfect being. This is absurd. Per the dictates of reason, when you negate something, you get the negation of that thing. Not some other thing. For example if you negate existence, you get non-existence (although this is impossible and absurd) If existence was a triangle, and you were to negate it, you’d would be left with…non-existence.

If you negated all finite things within an infinite existence, you’d be left with the infinite existence. The infinite existence is there regardless of whether or not we negate finite things. On the other hand, If existence was finite and you negated all finite existing things, you’d be left with non-existence.

The idea of negating finite to get infinity is absurd. It’s actually more like a shift in semantical focus. You negate your focus on all finites so the only thing left to focus on is the infinite. Essentially, the infinite existence is there and negating finite things within it does nothing to its infiniteness.

In the exact same way, the same acknowledgement is demanded by reason with regards to the perfect being. If existence was not perfect and it only contained imperfect beings, negating all imperfect beings would result in non-existence. It’s not a matter of negating imperfect beings to reach the perfect being, it’s a matter of negating our semantical focus from imperfect beings wherein which the only thing left to focus on is the perfect being.

Moving onto the ontological argument; in the fifth meditations, Descartes wrote: 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.

Omnipresence/existence is necessary to the idea of God/the Supremely perfect being just as three sides are necessary to the idea of a triangle. Descartes’ intuitions and conclusion was sound, but perhaps he failed to adequately explain why omnipresence is necessary to the perfect being.

Kant argued that existence is not a predicate and therefore irrelevant to the idea of a supremely perfect being. The idea that existing doesn’t make something better or worse has no bearing on the fact that being perfect demands omnipotence, and omnipotence demands omnipresence. So Kant’s argument fails because omnipresence is in fact necessary for omnipotence and omniscience which are necessary to fulfil the semantics of the perfect being. (see my second blog post for a more detailed defence).

Also, we can say that Kant is wrong by arguing that the quality of existing does potentially make something better or worse. A 3d world has the the potential to be better than a 2d world because it’s existence is such that there are more dimensions to it. It is therefore potentially better. Of course, a 2d heaven is better than a 3d hell, but a 3d heaven is better than a 2d heaven. The quality of existing is relevant to making something better in the way that if God simply existed in the confines of the imagination, rather than being omnipresent, if wouldn’t be as good and therefore not perfect.

Existence is perfect. Some may point to imperfections they see within existence to be in opposition to this, and some may simply say that existence would be better if it had more dimensions or aspects to it. The latter absurdly refers to unknowns whilst the former is just plain absurd. The absurdity in the latter could be removed if it was stated as, Existence/perfection may be better than what we can fathom in our current state. This is simply unknown without being absurd. We acknowledge that existence cannot be more perfect whilst also acknowledging that existence may be better than what we can fathom. Our lack of awareness or inability to fully fathom does not alter the actual truth of existence having always been perfect and always being perfect.

Just as our understanding of existence/omnipresence is sufficient but perhaps incomplete (there may be more dimensions in existence that we can’t fathom in our current state), our understanding of perfection is also sufficient (we are aware of core/outline of the definition) whether it’s complete or not is unknown to us.

The known is that so long as omnipresence, omnipotence, omniscience, infiniteness and eternalness are semantically sound (meaningful therefore neither absurd or unknown), existence is necessarily perfect because as discussed in my previous blog posts, it’s not a potential/hypothetical possibility, which just leaves having always necessarily existed and necessarily always existing.

As previously stated, the phrase “more perfect” is absurd. So comments such as existence would be more perfect if our universe contained less evil is absurd. This is just like saying existence would be more omnipresent or all existing if it contained more finite beings, dimensions or semantical gaps. The phrase “more omnipresent” is absurd. If there are more dimensions, beings or semantical gaps in existence that are unknown to us, that does not alter existence being all existing or omnipresent in any way. Them being unknown to us is not the same as them being non-existent/absurd. On the other hand, if there aren’t more dimensions, beings or semantical gaps in existence, then that also doesn’t alter existence being omnipresent. Existence’s omnipresence is the same whether we have awareness of additional dimensions or not.

Moving onto things like evil and injustice and their relation to existence; I can think of so many hypothetical ways wherein which a given observation that may appear unjust is in fact actually fully justified in the grand scheme of things. For example, I observe a child starving in a third world country. I have the belief that the world has enough resources to meet everyone’s needs. I also have the belief that the child is innocent and therefore should not be suffering. I then conclude injustice; full stop.

Per the dictates of reason, I would be misguided to think that that is all there is to that observation. It may appear to be injustice, but, it is not injustice full stop. That same child may starve for years but then be on the receiving end of something that counters the starvation experienced in such a way as to make things fully justified. So maybe the quality of that child’s happiness post starvation is such that even the child itself would conclude that the starvation was justified/well balanced/fair all things considered. Even if you change the parameters of the example to the child starving to death, there are still so many hypothetical ways in which that same child could be on the receiving end of something sufficiently good to counter the starvation it experienced. The semantics of the word heaven should give you plenty of food for thought with regards to available potential/hypothetical possibilities. The nature of existence is such that I can think of so many hypothetical ways in which what may appear unjust can be fully justified in the end.

In any case, to conclude, you’re not using reason right if you commit to absurdities or unknowns. For example, you cannot say I can conceive of a better existence that has more dimensions where the phrase “more dimensions” isn’t actually meaningful to you and is therefore something that you lack knowledge of. Nor can you say I can conceive of a better existence that designs and plans better because you’d have to be omniscient to be in a suitable position to make that statement, so again, something that you lack, a lack of knowledge. In both cases, the suggestion that one can conceive of “a better existence” is absurd. It implies the possibility of another existence. It also implies that existence is not perfect, which again, is absurd. A better reality is meaningful; a better existence has always been and will always be absurd/non-existent.

You missed the ONLY omnistate that every being in existence considers to be the most important one: omnibenevolence.

You seem to think a perfect being punishes perfectly.

Perfect realities require no punishments against any beings will. As they say, no means no.

I think that a perfect being does perfectly, punishing and rewarding perfectly are both included as acts that it would do perfectly. Omnibenevolence? What does it mean? Can you give me a definition. On initial glance, to me it seems like it’s either an unknown concept or an absurd concept. Also, there are no perfect realities. Realities can be as good as they can be given their potential, but this is not the same as perfection.

Omnibenevolent means all good.

The way a being with the other properties becomes all good is to place each being in a reality that is 100% consensual for that being, using images of hyperdimensional mirrors for substantiation and consciousness signatures.

For example: when you hold a mirror up to someone and punch the mirror, nobody gets hurt. Hyperdimansional reflections are fully immersive and act exactly as the eternal platonic forms, except that they cannot be hurt, and bend to your will 100%.

My argument is that God is perfect. I’m not sure I understand what you mean by omnibenvolence/all good.

You use imagination to make your argument, all of us can imagine that every being who exists is tormented forever, it is not a part of reality. You use the argument of imagination to form a perfect being, since at least one being in the universe had their consent violated, we can also prove that this imagination of a perfect being running the show is not manifest.

We don’t currently live in the best of all possible universes, and we can prove it. we don’t live in the worst and we can also prove it.

This is exciting I have never seen a good post about Descartes here!

But isn’t God just the result from accepting the certainty of numbers?

I mean the God of perfection and of the harmony of the formula of existence who also Spinoza and Plato talked about. But this God is really the mathematical ability of the human brain being reflected on by the passive animal side. God is kind of a redundancy in the notation, perfection is already there. But I doubt that if a true god exists he would be concerned with making things fit neatly into categories. He would be more like lightning. But thought in the brain is also more like lightning than what it thinks it is.

“Existence is perfect.”

That is not possible because perfection is a part of existence. I think that makes it impossible.
Because perfection is a part of a process, namely the end. Maybe existence will always turn out to be perfect in the end when you have the peace of death, but you can hardly say that to a soldier literally freezing his balls off.

It’s the use of pure reason, dealing with all the paradoxes and assessing and organising all semantical gaps rationally. I can’t really address what you’re saying. Look at the following argument premise by premise, tell me which premise is faulty and why it’s faulty. That way I can defend the argument.

  1. There is existence/x exists

(2) Everything that exists, does so only in existence

(3) We are fully dependent on existence

(4) All minds are limited to what existence allows

(5) Given 4, anything that is either rational/comprehensible/understandable, necessarily belongs to existence (existence accommodates it; as in either it is necessarily existent, or existence has the potential to create it or produce it. This why our minds classify it or recognise it as a hypothetical possibility and this is why it has meaning. So a unicorn is a potential thing that Existence can produce) On the other hand, anything that is either irrational or incomprehensible is necessarily non-existent (existence does not accommodate it. The potential for it to exist has never been there and will never be there. For example, no square-circles or married bachelors can ever exist. Such phrases iare absurd and makes no sense)

(6) Omnipotence and omniscience, are rational concepts that we have an understanding of. So Existence must accommodate these concepts. As highlighted by 5, to deny this is to commit to the paradox of something coming from nothing. Therefore, either:

6a) The potential is there for something to become omnipotent and omniscient, or 6b) Something is necessarily omnipotent and omniscient

(7) Only Existence/that which is all-existing/omnipresent can be almighty/omnipotent and all-knowing/omniscient because the semantics of omnipotence are not satisfied if you don’t have reach or access to all of Existence. Similarly, you can’t be all-knowing if you don’t have reach or access to all of Existence.

(8) Given 7, 6a must be false as nothing can become omnipresent from a non-omnipresent state as nothing can substitute Existence. So the potential for something to become omnipresent is not there which entails that the potential for something to become omnipotent or omniscient is also not there.

(9) Given that 6a is false and that the concepts of omnipotence and omniscience are not absurd, it follows that 6b is true.

(10) Only Existence/that which is all-existing/omnipresent can be almighty and all knowing.

(11) Given 5-10, Existence is necessary omnipotent and omniscient.

I don’t know to be honest, I’m not good at Maths. Perhaps that’s one way of getting to the conclusion that Existence is perfect.

If you define perfection within imperfect boundaries, you will not semantically reach pure perfection. For example, what’s better? A tree, or an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, infinite, eternal being?

The perfect tree will never be perfect because the definition of tree is such that a tree will always by default be imperfect The phrase, the perfect tree is just like saying the perfect imperfect.

Is this a bot?

Any human can read my post and see that premise 5 is incorrect, and actually respond to my post.

I can’t respond to this. You need to be specific. What’s wrong with premise 5?

Are you serious!!!

We ALL can imagine every being, being in hell forever and ever and ever. It’s not true. We can all imagine a perfect being running the show, except, at least one being has had its consent violated. It’s not true.

None of this stuff you’re saying is true.

We live in a zero sum world that violates consent every moment. Perfection is non zero sum worlds that never violate consent.

As you said: pure logic.

You’re not being rational because you don’t seem to account for the paradoxes in your system. It’s simple. If it’s rationally coherent, then the potential for it to be brought about is there, it doesn’t mean that it will necessarily be brought about. That’s what potential is, it’s so amenable to change, whereas omnipresence and the other like concepts I’ve highlighted are not.

Reject 5 without committing to paradoxes or contradictions. Try it: Can you think of something that has meaning but can never exist? Give me an example and tell me what makes it impossible for it to exist

Our universe/reality/world being good or bad has no bearing on Existence being all-existing, omnipotent, omniscient, infinite and eternal. So long as those traits hold, the definition is maintained. You can have squares in a triangle, but so long as the triangle remains triangular, it doesn’t matter what’s inside it. It’s still classed as a triangle. Also how are non-sentient zero sum worlds that never violate consent (provided that this sentence is not absurd) better than an omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient, infinite, eternal Existence?

Actually, our world not being perfect has every bearing on what you’re discussing.

No means no, for all beings.

Ponder for a moment, and infinite number of beings having their consent violated, when it doesn’t have to be. Is that the manifestation of perfection ?

In 100% consensual realities, beings can still know what consent violation is. But they consented to something outside their comfort zone until they said “no!” And in a perfect emination of existence, “no!” Always means no. And thus you are refuted as erroneous and psychopathic .suck gods toes when you get to heaven… bow as well… that’s all he wants from you, because that’s all you want from us.

Try joining freedom and morality for a change, and you might actually find the perfection you seek.

No. Perfection is that which is omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient, infinite and eternal. This is not absurd or unknown.

I’ve shown you clear paradoxes that you haven’t addressed. You didn’t respond to the challenge I set for you which is designed to further prove to you the irrationality of your position, and you’ve gotten emotional when this conversation requires reason. Perhaps this conversation will bear no fruit.

No means no for all beings.

You know very well that this disproves your entire thesis, so you’ve avoided it the whole time.

Cool yeah definitely true.

Why is the tree imperfect? I think not actually, it has roots, a body and a blissful crown and often enough fruits. What could be improved?

Also it dies and makes place for other trees. Great all around. But God if he exists like Spinoza says he doesn’t leave space for any other. I don’t like that. Thats not perfect.