The Ontological Argument

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  • The ontological Argument.
    • starting point:
      • The ontological argument is an aposteriori argument based on Anselms definition of God, " that than which nothing greater can ever be conceived."
      • Anselm said that because God is the greatest, he must therefore be the greatest at existing, he therefore exists
        • we must remember that Anselm was not trying to convert anybody.
    • The painter:
      • the painter thinks ahead about what hes going to paint, he thinks that i is the greatest thing ever. Anselm says that for something to be the greatest, it must also be the greatest in reality aswell as the mind. the greatest painting would be great in the mind and great in the real world.
        • we link this back to God by saying that he idea off Go simply does not make him the greatest, God would have to exist in the mind and in reality in order to be the greatest
    • The island:
      • gaunillo said that just because you can think about the most perfect island, it doesn't mean that the island actually exists. or the island to be the greatest, it would have to exist.
        • Anselm said as Christians we would not be able to think of a world without god as there would be nothing (based on the 7 days of creation) but we could think of the world without 1 island when we already have multiple.
    • The fool:
      • The fool represents those who do not believe in God, Anselm call them fools because for them to say "God doesn't exist" is foolish as they must have to understand the definition of God in order for them to say it.
        • To say God doesn't exist is illogical due to the definition of God meaning he exists.
    • God vs Humans
      • Humans and everything else are contingent, we have a beginning and we will have an end however God has necessary being which means that he doesn't rely on anything to exist.
    • Kant:
      • The idea of existence is never the same as existence. He argues that existence is not a predicate and therefore cannot be used in the definition of God.
        • He uses the example of 1000 Thales and said that the thought of the money didn't mean that the money existed. He also said that a triangle that doesn't exist, doesn't have 3 sides or 3 angles.
    • Hume:
      • A thing cannot be defined into existence, something else is needed.
    • Descartes:
      • He takes the same approach as Anselm but instead if greatest he uses perfect (which would be a predicate) he argues that only God possess absolute perfection he possesses existence to the perfect degree.
        • God has existence like triangles have 3 sides and angles. God has existence like mountains have valleys.
    • Aquinas:
      • A priori arguments cannot prove the existence of God.
    • Russell:
      • Saying that God inly exists because he is the greatest is like saying Man exists Santa is a man Man exists.


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