Ontological Argument

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  • Ontological Argument
    • Introduction to the topic
      • Type of argument
        • a priori
        • analytic
          • the definition is true on its own
        • deductive
          • if you agree with and therefore accept the definitions and the premises, you must accept the conclusion
      • Is existence part of defining somerhing?
        • you can define something factually but that doesn't make it exist
          • God cannot exist to fulfil the defition
      • If ontological argument is 100% true, God must exis
    • Anselm
      • 'God is that than which nothing greater can be conceived'
      • Existence is part of perfection
      • in 'The Proslogion'
      • Can you compare God to an island?
        • God is objective but an island is subjective
          • you can think of a perfect island, but cannot think of  perfect God
          • there is no intrinsic maximum to the island - the is no limit on is perfection
          • people would keep adding things to the island in order to make it perfect for them
    • Descartes
      • Proof  1
        • I exist
          • In my mind, I have the concept of a perfect being
            • As an imperfect being, I could not have conjured up the concept of a perfect being,
              • The concept of a perfect being must therefore have originated from the perfect being itself
                • A perfect being must exit in order to be perfect
                  • Therefore a perfect being exists.
                  • IS EXISTENCE A PREDICATE OF PERFECTON
                • BIG JUMP
                  • A perfect being must exit in order to be perfect
                    • Therefore a perfect being exists.
                    • IS EXISTENCE A PREDICATE OF PERFECTON
                • CORRESPONDENCE THEORY OF TRUTH
                • UNNECESSARY LINE
              • HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT YOU ARE IMPERFECT UNLESS THERE IS AN ABSOLUTE "PERFECT BEING"
          • THE 'COGITO' IS CHALLENGIBLE
      • Proof 2
        • The idea of God of a supremely perfect being
          • A supremely being has all perfections
            • existence is a perfection
              • a supremely perfect being has the perfection of existence
                • It is impossible to think of God as not existing
                  • Therefore God exists
        • a reformulation of Anselm's argument
    • People who object to the argument
      • Kant
        • Empirical data is the only reliable way of knowing anything about the universe
          • moving from a definition to reality is a mistake
        • moving from a definition to reality is a mistake
        • Existence is not a predicate
        • existence is not associated with the definition of something - does not add to our understanding
      • Hume
        • it is a false assumption that necessary existence is a coherent concept
        • existence can only ever be contigent
        • everything said to exist can also be said to not exist
        • We cannot define seething in existence, despite how many perfections it has
      • Bertrand Russell
        • existence not a predicate
        • sentences appear to be making grammatically identical statements, but only within the rules of language
          • need to go outside language to determine if something exists
      • Moore
        • existence is not a predicate
        • it cannot be a predicate as it doesn't function grammatically like other predicates
      • Gasking
        • you can use the ontological poof to argue from the non-existence of God
          • the creation of the world is the most supreme achievement conceivable
            • The value of an achievement is measure by its intrinsic quality and the ability of its creator
              • The greater the limitation of  creator, the more impressive the achievement
                • the greatest limitation would be non-existence
                  • Therefore, a world created by a non-existent creator would be greater (better) than one created by a existent creator
                    • An existing God is therefore not the greatest conceivable being, since as even greater being would be one that didn't exist
                      • defining non-existence as a predicate
                  • illogical - you cannot make something if you don't exist
                  • you must be in existence in order to do something
              • both achievement and  creator was skilled
            • This is 'a prior' but ONTO is 'a posteriori'
              • starts with an object in the real world whereas ONTO starts with pure reason
      • Richard Dawkins
        • how can you reach such a significant conclusion (that God exists) without a single piece of data
    • Second Stage
      • Malcolm
        • God does exist now & will never die or be killed
        • Thus, God is nessary or contingent - the only two possibilities
        • If God did not exist now, he would be contingent and would never come into existence as he would have to create himself - logically impossible - or someone would have to create him - and that person would have to be God
      • Plantiga
        • As ours is a possible world, he must be present on our world and is perfect
        • If God is TTWN, then he must be maximally great (biggest) and maximally excellent (perfect) in all possible worlds
        • 'de dicto' - of words
          • 'de' re' - of reality
            • 'in intellectu' - in the mind
              • 'in re' - in reality
        • doesn't have to be perfect, but must be greater than everyone & everything else

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