The Ontological Argument

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  • The Ontological Argument
    • Introduction
      • Analytic: God is true by definition
      • Onto = existence
      • A priori argument: logic and first principles are used
      • Deductive: the argument leads to proof
    • Anselm (1033-1109)
      • Gaunilo
        • Just because you can imagine a God, doesn't mean he exits in reality. Athetists believe he isn't there, who is right?
        • He illustrated this throuhg the example of a perfect island. There canb always be a better island with an extra tress, likewide no ultimate being of maximal greatest, such as this idea of God cna exist.
      • Proslogian Chapter 2
        • God is; "that than which no greater being can be conceived."
          • God exists in both the mind (in intellectu) and in reality (in re)
        • Anselm writes from the perspective of faith seeking understanding
          • The argument's form is actually a prayer to God
        • Untitled
      • Proslogian Chapter 3
        • Proof by contradiction has three premises
          • 1. God is greater than anything else
          • 2. For something to exist, it must either exist in the mind only or in mind reality
            • Therefore, for God to exist the greatest than anything else, he must exist in reality.
              • 1. God is greater than anything else
              • 3. It is greater to exist in mind realit than mind only
              • God exists continginently, not necessarily
          • 3. It is greater to exist in mind realit than mind only
    • Descartes (1596-1650)
      • He compared the essense of a triangle (three sides) to that of God and his three omnis
        • If God is perfect then it means he must exist
    • Kant (1724-1804)
      • Kant states that existence is not a predicate (characteristic)
      • 'Existence' doesn't give us any information about the being to be able to identify it in any way. You cannot treat existence as part of a definition
      • God's existence is different from anything else in the world, because God is necessary
    • Aquinas (1224-1274)
      • There are different definitions of God, we have finite understanding and cannot fully know God.
      • Aquinas viewed his Five Ways as a more dominant argument
    • Russell (1872-1970)
      • He claims that ANslem used the word "exist" incorrectly.
      • Existence is not a predicate and by using it he is creating a syllogism which can be broken down easily.
    • Plantiga (1932)
      • 1. There is an infinte number of possible worlds
        • 2. Somewhere a being of maximal greatness is likely to exist
          • 3. If the being is of highest gretaness then they must exist in all possible worlds
            • Therefore God exists!
    • Malcolm (1911-1990)
      • He reformed Anslem's ideas
      • If God does not exist he cannot come into existence. Liekwise, if God does exist he cannot cease to exist
      • God has necessary existence. Therefore he must exist. It is a contradiciton to say he doesn't exist
      • You have to accept that God is a necessary being i order to come to the conclusion that he must therefore exist. It is a circular argument.


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