ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT DETAILED

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  • Created by: Maisikins
  • Created on: 05-03-15 11:05
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  • ONTO-LOGICAL ARGUMENT
    • If you understand that the definition of god is a supreme being - it is logical to conclude he exists.
      • It is not just logical, but necessary
    • ANSELM
      • GOD IS- "THAT WHICH NONE GREATER CAN BE THOUGHT"
        • The atheist understands this, as the CHRISTIAN DEFINITION OF GOD, even if they deny the existence of god.
          • It is one thing to exist in understanding and another to exist in reality
            • It is greater to exist in reality than in understanding alone
              • Therefore, God must exist in reality or else something greater could be imagined.
                • To claim that something than which nothing greater can be thought of does not exist in reality as well as in thought is SELF CONTRADICTORY
                  • SO GOD MUST LOGICALLY EXIST
                • GOD IS- "THAT WHICH NONE GREATER CAN BE THOUGHT"
                  • The atheist understands this, as the CHRISTIAN DEFINITION OF GOD, even if they deny the existence of god.
                    • It is one thing to exist in understanding and another to exist in reality
                      • It is greater to exist in reality than in understanding alone
                        • Therefore, God must exist in reality or else something greater could be imagined.
                          • To claim that something than which nothing greater can be thought of does not exist in reality as well as in thought is SELF CONTRADICTORY
                            • SO GOD MUST LOGICALLY EXIST
                  • If god did not exist, it would not be that than which nothing greater can be thought.
                    • So, to avoid self contradiction, God must exist and cannot be thought of as not existing
        • If god did not exist, it would not be that than which nothing greater can be thought.
          • So, to avoid self contradiction, God must exist and cannot be thought of as not existing
      • "God exists is an analytic statement"
        • Analytic statement is a statement that is obvious and therefore not necessary
          • FOR EXAMPLE: red is a colour.
            • This is analytic because, of course red is a colour, it doesn't need checking.
              • Even someone who has never seen red, knows that it is a colour because that is its definition.
      • GAUNILO'S OBJECTION
        • Everyone's definition of perfect is different, if god is perfect as Anselm suggested.
          • Take an Island, one persons perfect island might be very different to another persons perfect island.
            • So God cannot be perfect to everyone.
        • ANSELM'S ANSWER
          • An island is contingent, it relies on things to be perfect, for example temperature, wind etc. Whereas god is necessary, and this only applies to necessary things
            • God is better than this, we don't hold the capability to understand the perfection of god.
      • ANALYTIC STATEMENTS
        • The statement is necessarily true because the predicate is contained within the subject.
          • Predicate
            • A defining characteristic, something that can be possessed or lacked
              • EXAMPLE: THE POPE IS A CHRISTIAN
                • SUBJECT: POPE
                • PREDICATE: CHRISTIAN
                • ANALYTIC STATEMENT
              • EXAMPLE: ALL BACHELORS ARE UNMARRIED
                • ANALYTIC STATEMENT
                • SUBJECT: BACHELORS
                • PREDICATE: UNMARRIED
      • SYNTHETIC STATEMENTS
        • The statement adds new information to the object and is therefore subject to evidence
          • EXAMPLE: THE CAT SAT ON THE MAT
            • There is nothing in CAT to suggest that it is SAT ON THE MAT
              • But there can be gathered evidence that will say this is true
          • EXAMPLE: MR THOMAS' CAR IS RED
            • We do not know this for fact just from the statement, but we can go and look to see if it is correct
      • DESCATES
        • Existence is a necessary part of the meaning of god, in the same way "3 angles" is a necessary part of a triangle.
          • Existence= perfection, therefore god must have all the perfections, including existence.
        • "THE FACT THAT I CANNOT THINK OF A MOUNTAIN WITHOUT A VALLEY; IT DOESN'T FOLLOW THAT A MOUNTAIN AND A VALLEY EXIST ANYWHERE BUT SIMPLY THAT THEY ARE INSEPERABLE"
          • HOWEVER, "EXISTENCE IS INSEPARABLE FROM GOD AND HENCE HE REALLY DOES EXIST"
      • KANT
        • If you have a triangle, you must have three sides to avoid contradiction.. But if you don't have a triangle, then you don't have three sides either.
          • THEREFORE, IF YOU BELIEVE IN GOD, IT IS LOGICAL TO THINK THAT HIS EXISTENCE IS NECESSARY
            • BUT, you do not have to accept the existence in the first place.
        • Existence, is not a predicate. You add nothing to the description of something by saying that it exists.
          • There is no difference in the description of an imaginary football and a real football- only that one exists and the other doesn't
    • Plantinga continues this critique by saying that an island has no intrinsic maximum, there can always be another beach or another lagoon etc
      • Take an Island, one persons perfect island might be very different to another persons perfect island.
        • So God cannot be perfect to everyone.

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