Don’t forget the waterfall
Check out the comments on Richard Francks’s Descartes and God. They’re all terrific but especially the one by gfelis, which is to say, our friend G.
Even if Descartes was right about our ability to doubt the existence of the material world when we really, really try very hard to doubt it, his insight merely reveals that absolute proof is a very stringent standard for knowledge (an ultimately unrealistic standard, sensible epistemologists now agree). It does not mean there is “no good reason to believe” in the existence of the material world, it merely means that even the very existence of the material world – as obvious as it is to us – cannot be proven absolutely beyond any shadow of a doubt…Whereas there are many good reasons to believe in the existence of the material world, albeit not conclusive proof beyond any shadow of a doubt, there are no good reasons to believe in the existence of God…It isn’t simply a matter of the existence of God lacking some absolute and irrefutable proof: It lacks any convincing arguments or solid evidence whatsoever. Believing in the existence of God really is very much like believing in that invisible, intangible, never observed no matter how often it’s looked for porcupine under Professor Franck’s bed.
What about the waterfall? This gfelis fella must be forgetting the waterfall. The waterfall is one knock-down argument; everyone knows that.