Descartes, Kant, Sartre …. and God

Looks at how these philosophers answer the question about whether God exists.

The existence or non-existence of God forms a very central basis to the philosophies of some thinkers. This paper examines the philosophies of Descartes, Kant and Sartre in order to determine the significance and connection of belief in existence and non-existence of God with their respective philosophies.
“The existence of God is central to the philosophies presented by Descartes in the sense that he can explain away the questions that do not have simple answers with the existence of God. As a result, he does not have to provide absolute logic for questions whose answers might be out of human grasp anyway; instead he focuses on the intangible proof to state that God does exist. By asserting this as an unchangeable truth, Descartes proceeds to convey his entire philosophy. Kant, however takes a slightly different route but the notion that assumption of God’s existence is necessary, plays an important role in his philosophy as well. Since Kant was a devout moralist, going so far as to preach accommodating morality within political conduct, existence of God is a central necessity to his philosophies. Since Kant believed that morality ultimately leads to religion, his entire philosophy of morality would fall apart if God was left out of the equation. Hence it can be stated that existence of God was necessary to philosophies presented by Kant. In direct contrast to these two philosophers, Sartre claimed that there was no such being as God or that God did not exist. Again such a claim was central to Sartre’s philosophies since he proceeded to develop them on this one notion. Sartre, known as an atheist existentialist, believed that God was dead; as a result he proceeded to form his philosophies using this basis. Sartre formed his philosophies regarding the human condition in a world that did not have an overseer who could have otherwise provided basis and structure for the world patterns. Therefore non-existence of God was crucial to the philosophies of Sartre because he attempted to form them keeping God out of the equation (Levine, 1998).”