Fifth Meditation Objections and Replies

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In the Fifth Meditation, Descartes and Johan de Kater had very different, but unique views. One of them believes that God exists and the other does not. Is there such thing as God?

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Descartes’s argument for God’s existence is rampant in the Fifth Meditation. Descartes begins by talking about why he truly believes that God is the most perfect being. Furthermore, that God exists and lacks absolutely nothing. Descartes says, Hence it is just as much of a contradiction to think of God (that is, lacking a perfection), as it is to think of a mountain without a valley. He is trying to prove his argument in how it makes no logical sense for an individual to not believe in God. He is showing a prime example by stating that a person believing that God doesn’t exist is equivalent to mountains not having a valley. In other words, it’s not possible. Quite frankly, Descartes is conveying the message that a mountain and a valley are intertwined, just as God and his existence are.

Johan de Kater’s criticisms/objections of Descartes’s argument includes him questioning who is to say what is clear and distinct of a supreme and most perfect being. De Kater then goes on to say that God can’t be conceived without existence and what is signified by a world, only exists in the apprehension of the intellect. He also believes that even if a supremely perfect being entails existence, it still does not follow the belief that existence is something accurate and real. Additionally, only the concept of existence is inseparably joined to the concept of a supreme being. The compound of God throughout all eternity does not necessarily require that it exists, unless an individual supposes that it does.

Descartes’s replies to Johan de Kater’s objections are compelling to say the least. Here again he argues his point of view. Descartes states, When we understand what is signified by the word God, we understand that what is being signified is that God exists in reality as well as in the intellect. Descartes is basically expressing that to exist in reality and in the intellect is far greater than to exist merely in the intellect. By sincerely understanding that actual existence is necessary and always connected with God’s other attributes, he says it then again proves that God exists.

Although Descartes and Johan de Kater both made good points in their arguments, I feel more strongly about Descartes’s argument. I disagree with Johan de Kater’s only because he seems to lack knowledge on this particular subject. When de Kater says that a supremely perfect being entails existence I understood where he was coming from, however I did not agree with his accusation. My personal view of the success of the argument Descartes makes for God’s existence is that God really does exist. I feel that Descartes made a good point when discussing the mountain and valley quote. By saying this, I felt more engaged with his side of the argument. Overall, Descartes and Johan de Kater had solid arguments but Descartes was correct in my opinion. So therefore, God exists in reality as well as in the intellect.

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Fifth Meditation Objections and Replies. (2020, Mar 10). Retrieved January 31, 2023 , from
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