Published on the Secular Web
The philosopher René Descartes famously pondered the question of the possibility of God's deceit. If God was deceitful, we as his creations could never trust anything we contemplate or perceive; it may simply be a deceitful, omnipotent God directly warping our faculties or, as our creator, deliberately constructing us with faulty, unreliable faculties to start with. To dodge this disturbing possibility, Descartes argued that God, a perfect being, could not be deceitful because deceit is a fault, an imperfection. This simple stratagem appeared to satisfy Descartes. But was Descartes on to something more insidious and unthinkable than he was willing to contemplate; was he too hasty in sweeping this concern under the rug?