Stage 3 (Journeyman): Meditations on first philosophy, preface 2

Preface 2: Preface to The Readers

  1. In 1637, I explained my faith in the existence of God and the nature of the human soul in Discourse(1) on the Method of rightly conducting(2) the Reason and seeking Truth in the Sciences”. However, according to the judgement of my readers, I suggest that this issue should not only be addressed once, since it is a very intricate(3) subject and the way in which I am elaborating(4) on it is quite uncommon, while I want this work to be accessible to a wide range of readers, from scholars to the new students of Philosophy.
  2. In my “Discourse on Method”, I have requested that any errors of mine be pointed out and corrected. So far, there have only been two remarkable objections against my  answers on these questions, to which I will now provide a brief response. 
  3. The first objection is that in regard to the nature of the soul and the mind, how can I define the essence(5) of the mind only as a thinking thing, and exclude other features of it. To this, I reply, that I did not mean to exclude them according to the order of truth, but rather to the order of my own perceptions(6). This means that I could perceive the fact that I am a thinking thing, whereas I clearly apprehended(7) nothing else as belonging to my essence.
  4. The second objection is that the perception that there is something more perfect than I am does not prove there to be an existence of it, and an existence of its being more perfect than I am. But later on in this treatise, I am going to demonstrate the possible logical processing of this idea.
  5. There has also been two notable works respecting the present matter. However, my reasonings and conclusions are very much contradicted(8) by their arguments, which belong to minds of common atheists(9). I believed that the unreasonable and irrational denying and disbelief towards the existence of God is not worthy of replying. I will only generally state that the grounds on which these atheists stand to allege(10) in favor of God’s non-existence, either due to the fact that they think God’s fondness is human or that they think themselves to be wise enough to determine what God ought to do,disregard the fact that Deity(11) is incomprehensible and infinite(12), while we are finite and only mortal.
  6. I expect my readers to be willing to meditate with me in earnest, to free your minds from your senses and all prejudice. To those who bear in mind the spirit of subjective(13) criticism(14) and unwillingness to comprehend the order and connection of reason, I am afraid this work is not suitable for your mindset.

+GLOSSARY

  1. discourse(n): communication of thoughts using words; talk; conversation
  2. conduct(v): to direct in action or course; manage; carry on
  3. intricate(adj): complicated; difficult to understand
  4. elaborate(v): to explain in greater detail
  5. essence(n): the most important ingredient; the crucial element
  6. perception(n): a person’s cognitive (mental) interpretation of events.
  7. apprehend(v): to become aware of through the senses
  8. contradict(v): to speak against; to say the opposite
  9. atheist(n): a person who does not believe in the existence of God
  10. allege(v): state without proof
  11. deity(n): God
  12. infinite(adj): unlimited or immeasurable in extent of space, duration of time, etc.
  13. subjective(adj): existing in the mind or relating to one’s own thoughts, opinions, emotions, etc.; personal, individual, based on feelings
  14. criticism(n): the act of passing severe judgment; censure; faultfinding.

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