Rene Descartes is famously known for his phrase, ‘I think therefore I am.’ He was an intelligent French philosopher and scientist who came up with great ideas that influenced modern philosophy. I love his work because he was among the few philosophers who had the audacity to argue for the existence of Infinite Intelligence/God.
Here are some of his main philosophical ideas I just had to share with you.
- Our Senses are not 100 % Accurate
‘The senses deceive from time to time, and it is prudent never to trust those who have deceived us even once.’ – Rene Descartes
Descartes wanted to understand reality, but he realized he couldn’t rely on the evidence provided by his senses because senses are inaccurate. A straight object appeared bent in water, and people could sense things they saw in dreams although they didn’t exist.
I firmly agree with Descartes on our senses’ inaccuracy because from where you are right now, a bear can smell a carcass that is 20 miles away, but you can’t. The fact that you can’t pick the smell while the bear can pick it shows that your sense of smell is inaccurate. For this reason, you can’t fully rely on your senses to understand reality.
- The Mind and Body Are Different in Nature
Descartes believed the mind and body are distinct because the mind is a thinking substance while the body is a non-thinking thing. He also believed that our minds can exist without the body.
After pondering on the relationship between the mind and the body, I also realized that they are two separate things. The body is a biological system that allows the mind, a non-physical entity, to experience the physical world.
Moreover, death proves the mind and body are different because after death, the mind disappears but some parts of the body continue to function. However, I am still not sure whether the mind can exist (think or move) without the body.
- To Understand the Truth we Must Consider False Every Belief That Can Be Doubted
Descartes believed the only way to gain true knowledge and understanding of life is to disbelief all beliefs that can be doubted and create beliefs based on what cannot be doubted. You can practice Descartes’ idea by doubting The Creator’s existence because there is no proof that ‘he’ exists. Then you can work on finding ‘him’ by studying creation which we are sure exists.
Most of the knowledge I gained came after I disbelieved everything. I knew Infinite Intelligence/God exists after believing that it doesn’t exist. I also realized that the Law of Attraction works after doubting it. Therefore, I believe all seekers of knowledge must apply Descartes’ principle to attain true wisdom and enlightenment.
‘If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.’ – Rene Descartes
- God Exists
According to Descartes, our imperfections imply the existence of a perfect being which we call God. Besides this, the philosopher argued that we believe God exists because God placed the idea of his existence in our minds.
I completely agree with Descartes on the fact that God exists. However, for me, God/Infinite Intelligence exists because the world appears to be designed intelligently by an Intelligent Designer.
- Animals Have No Intelligence Since They Are Mechanical Beings
Descartes believed animals lack intelligence because they are mechanical beings. This belief resulted in the mistreatment of animals in the later centuries.
After watching thousands of wildlife documentaries, I realized that animals operate instinctively, and for this reason, their intelligence is limited. However, I don’t think their limited intelligence should be a justification for mistreating them because I LOVE ANIMALS.
Hope you loved Descartes’ ideas. Comment in the comment box below about the idea you really loved or feel you can oppose.
You are also welcome to my Facebook Community: The Unbounded Wisdom Community for enlightening quotes and ideas.
Friedrich Nietzsche on Why God is Dead and the Effects of God’s Death
“But when Zarathustra was alone, he spoke thus to his heart. ‘Could it be possible? This old saint has not heard in his forest that God is dead!” – Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 – 1900), a German philosopher, is remembered for his popular phrase: ‘God is dead.’ He came up with this phrase after realizing that the society had shifted its focus from religion to science and progress. As well, he observed how the scientific revolution resulted in the society believing that science was more reliable in helping it understand life than religion.
The phrase thus implied that, in the 19th century, many individuals stopped believing in the importance of God because the term ‘God’ became a cultural idea. Furthermore, it indicated that the society stopped perceiving God as the source of creation, and it seldom involved spirituality in everyday social life.
Although Friedrich Nietzsche was an atheist, he believed ‘God’s death’ would bring disastrous effects to the society. For as he wrote, ‘God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we, the murderers of all murderers, console ourselves?
He knew ancient people used God to console themselves during hard times, and therefore, God’s death would result in people finding it difficult to face hardships because they would lack a source of consolation. Besides, he claimed that modern folks would despair and find life meaningless if they stopped focusing on God as their helper.
Nietzsche’s idea of God’s death continues to be true in the 21st century because many people have stopped believing in God. To most people, God is just an ancient’s man idea since he doesn’t exist.
For this reason, as Nietzsche prophesied, many people today find life meaningless as it is difficult to find life purposeful in a Godless world. Also, those facing hardships succumb to depression and lose hope in life because they don’t believe that God will help them overcome their hardships.
Nietzsche’s phrase must thus remind us about the importance of believing in a Higher Power/God. This belief reduces the chances of depression when one faces hardships as it makes individuals realize that God is on their side. Lastly, it makes life meaningful as it enlightens us that we were created by a Higher Power for a Higher Purpose.
Thanks for Reading.
Peace be With You
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The Wisdom of Spinoza: Top 5 Powerful Teachings of Spinoza
Baruch Spinoza, born in 1632, was a philosopher who focused on teaching about God, and the limits of religious authority. He also taught about the human mind, science, and morality. As well, he stressed on the importance of freedom, and he provided the masses with a scientific interpretation of the Bible.
Spinoza’s teachings were enlightening, and the elite believed they would expose several religious errors and awaken the masses. For this reason, the elite forced him to flee Amsterdam.
I gathered Spinoza’s teachings from his book, ‘The Philosophy of Spinoza (Edited by Joseph Ratner).
1.How to Achieve Sustained Happiness
We only achieve happiness when we free ourselves from the bondage of our emotions by becoming the masters of our emotions. To become the master of our emotions, we must know ourselves because it’s impossible to control our emotions if we don’t study and understand ourselves.
2.Everything is Divine
‘Whatever is, is in God, and nothing can either be or be conceived without God.’ – Baruch Spinoza
Spinoza opposed the religious belief that some things are divine while others aren’t. For him, everything is divine because everything exists within God. He believed nothing is unholy because everything exists only because God, The Divine Creator, exists.
3.Anyone Can Understand God’s True Nature
‘Everyone can by the light of nature clearly understand the goodness and the eternal validity of God.’ – Baruch Spinoza
Many religious leaders believe understanding God is a spiritual gift only bestowed upon some individuals. However, Spinoza believed everyone can understand God’s true nature by studying nature because nature acts according to God’s laws and thus displays ‘his’ attributes.
4. Miracles are Natural Occurrences
Spinoza disagreed with the idea that miracles are contrary to nature since ‘nothing comes to pass in nature in contravention to her universal laws.’ For him, miracles are part of nature since they obey its laws. He claimed that many people believe miracles are supernatural occurrences because they are beyond their understanding.
5.The Illusion of Good and Bad
According to Spinoza, good and bad are ideas that arise after comparing one thing with another. For instance, an individual only believes Hip Hop is bad because he compares it with Country music, Rock, or Rhumba.
Besides this, people call one thing bad if it makes them sad and call another good if it makes them happy. For this reason, good and bad changes because something that can make you happy might be called bad if it makes another person sad.
Hope you loved Spinoza’s teachings.
Anyway, I gained massive interest in Spinoza’s teachings after realizing that he was banished from the Jewish community and forced to flee Amsterdam. My research on ancient history has enlightened me that all people who provided the masses with teachings that enabled them to realize their true power were either forced to exile or killed. Jesus was crucified, Socrates was sentenced to death, and Pythagoras was burned.
We should all strive to study these folks – who were either killed or exiled – because their teachings contained hidden truths that the ruling classes didn’t want us to know. I will thus continue studying Spinoza’s works, and I’ll share them with you because I believe they contain powerful hidden teachings.
Spinoza, Benedictus de, and Joseph Ratner. The Philosophy of Spinoza. Modern Library, 1954.
PEACE BE WITH YOU
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