The Ontological argument

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  • Ontological argument
    • Anselm
      • It is non-sensicle to argue that God does not exist
      • A priori
      • "Fools say in their heart, there is no God" - in order to reject it, you have to have a concept of what God is.
      • God is the greatest possible being of which can be conceived - everyone agrees with this definition.
      • To be the greatest - must exist in both reality and in the mind - necessary existence is part of God's definition.
    • Gaunilo
      • Island analogy - anyone can think of the perfect island. - Island does not have to exist to be the greatest.
      • Anselm replies:
        • God is the greatest BEING (necessary), not the greatest Island (contingent).
          • Not comparing similar things
    • Plantinga
      • Suggests an argument Anslem could have used:if we though of perfect island - no limit, 'intrinsic Maximum' to things on it.
      • God is 'maximally great'.
    • Aquinas
      • Thought Anselm's argument was too simplistic - we can't have an understanding of God.
    • Descartes
      • "God is a supremely perfect being"
      • Must have all attributes of perfection - goodness, eternal, existence.
      • God and existence are inseparable, like A triangle and three sides.
    • Gassendi
      • Existence is not an element of perfection - not an attribute.
    • Russell
      • Does not matter is the definition of God is true or not if God does not exist.
    • Kant
      • Just because we can define something, does not mean it exists.
      • God and existence don't come together - we can think of the possibility of God not existing.
    • Malcolm
      • God's existence is either impossible or necessary - it is not impossible - so it must be necessary.
      • It suggests that Gods existence is possible, not necessary.


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