1. Whether the world is like the Matrix
To say that one lives in a world like the Matrix film is to presume that all mankind has been deceived into thinking that the nature of the world is as the controller fathoms. They have no experience of the real world because everything they know comes from simulated machines controlled by some other force. Descartes, the philosopher, has a response to this problem by stating that it is possible for people living in those machines to come up with ideas (even a single idea) that reflect the true nature of the world regardless of the false ideas fed into them (Wainwright 40).
If God were so deceitful as to control man’s thoughts and convince him using false ideas, there is still one thing that he cannot do; convince man that he does not exist. The person under the manipulation of the machine at least knows that he is a feeling, thinking thing, capable of experiencing things. In this sense, it is not possible for the person to presume that they are absolutely nothing. To this philosopher, if a person is capable of thinking, therefore they exist.
2. Gaunilo’s objection to Descartes belief in a perfect, existing God
Descartes presumes that if man is capable of thinking about a God who is perfect, or who is greater than anything in existence, then that being must exist. Philosophers call this the ontological argument, and it has been the subject of controversy or objection among many scholars. Gaunilo was one such philosopher, and he used the analogy of the perfect island to convince others. He stated that this thinking is problematic because it makes everything possible under the sun so long as man can think about it. Using Descartes’ argument, if a person thinks of a perfect island, then it must exist because he thought about it, yet this is not true. Since the perfect island argument relies on the same logic as the perfect God argument, then if one idea falls, the other falls too. Gaunilo is right in rejecting Descartes’ claims because he shows the parallels between the perfect island and the perfect God. Since Descartes was unable to prove that his ontological argument was any different from the ability to conceive of a perfect island, then it is absurd to keep supporting it. Some people have responded to Gaunilo’s criticism by stating that a perfect island has no upper limits of perfection while a perfect God lacks these upper limits because once described, there can be no other being with these qualities. However, even though the above members responded to Gaunilo, they were still not able to satisfy Kant’s objections to this idea. Descartes presumed that a perfect, existing God is more superior than a perfect, non existing one. However, Kant stated that existence is not a property; it is a predicate of the thing (Oppy 104).
3. Distinction between objective and formal reality
According to Descartes, formal reality is a manifestation of the kind of thing something is. He uses infinite and finite substances, as well as modes to demonstrate these differences. Here, he states that modes have the lowest form of formal reality while infinite substances represent the opposite end of the spectrum. If something is capable of existing without the presence of something else, then it has higher formal reality than the one that depends on it. For instance, a shape of a face depends on the shape, so shape has less formal reality than the face that it represents, since the face would still exist without its presence. Conversely, objective reality is a quality that stems from things that represent other things; in Descartes’ case, he was mostly talking about ideas. Further, he stated that the level of formal reality of an object matches the level of objective reality of the idea. When applied to the concept of God, the idea of a God has a low degree of formal reality because it may be considered as a mode. However, its objective reality is quite high since it represents an infinite substance (Wainwright 88).
- Oppy, Graham. Ontological Arguments and Belief in God. Cambridge University Press, 2007. Print.
- Wainwright, William. The Oxford handbook of philosophy of religion. Oxford University Press, 2005. Print.
Like, dude, you successfully (well, almost) developed a complicated and engaging topic. Couldn’t you mind your English? You sometimes sound like an illiterate kid who dropped out of school. Awkward phrasing, clumsy grammar constructions, vagueness, and unclear syntax – you should really work on these issues. And for God sake, your essay just ends with nothing! You build up a solid support base consisting of various philosophical theories, but do not use them to support your claim. The paper is pointless, since you never talk about your actual topic; you throw clever words around, and then finish the paper. That’s it. No link to the arguments from the thesis statement (which is barely present, as well as the introduction in general) means you did unnecessary work. The paper is more like an answer to a bunch of questions rather than a holistic piece of writing. This fact ruins everything.