French Philosopher Rene’ Descartes is known as the “The Father of Modern Philosophy” as well as Western Philosophy. He was a key figure in the Scientific Revolution and is credited as the father of analytical geometry, the bridge between algebra and geometry, crucial to the discovery of infinitesimal calculus and analysis. He is most well known for the categorical syllogism, translated into English, ‘I think, therefore I am.”
But does this axiom hold up under the scrutiny of basic examination?
Let us consider Descartes most famous syllogism: I think, therefore, I am.
Premise #1: “I think”
Premise #2: “In order to think, I must exist”
Conclusion: “I exist”
However, as I hope is patently obvious by now, that logic is completely circular because the conclusion “I exist” is assumed in the first premise “I think.” The activity of thinking, presupposes existence.
His first premise should have been: “There is thinking going on”
But to jump from “there is thinking going on” to “there is existence” is not only quite a leap of logic the initial premise begs the question.
The Bible teaches that “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” in Proverbs 1:7 and to “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding”, Proverbs 3:5. Therefore according to the Christian Worldview, nothing can be known apart from God. Colossians 2:2-4 states:
“My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.”
According to Scripture, all of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge begin with Christ.
Therefore, to make any knowledge claim is to borrow from the Christian Worldview which gives the foundation of absolutes and logic. Making knowledge statements proves that a person accepts the reality of God as true, since nothing, especially absolutes, cannot be known apart from God.
Finally, a person is left to further fallaciously reason circularly, “I know I exist because I am existing.” Apart from God, a person cannot determine their own existence or even a single thing that they know for certain without employing the fallacy of circular logic.
Rejecting God leads a person down a self-evident, self contradictory, infinitely regressing philosophical starting point.