A2 EDEXCEL Religious Studies, Ontological Argument

An overview of the ontological argument, again using the Reid and Tyler "A2 Religious Studies" book, wellington college powerpoint and a couple of bits from notes I found on here but can't remember who by- sorry!

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  • Created by: Courtney
  • Created on: 28-05-12 16:28

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A2 EDEXCEL Religious Studies.

Ontological Argument
What type of Argument is it?
The argument is "A Priori"- means it is not based on experience of the world,
but comes to a conclusion that is logically necessary. It is deductive,
meaning if the premises are accepted, they logically entail the necessity…

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A2 EDEXCEL Religious Studies.

In Proslogion 3 the second form of Ontological argument was proposed-

1) Something that cannot not exist (necessary existence) is greater than
something which could not exist (contingent existence).
2) If `That than which no greater can be conceived', could be thought to not
exist, this…

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A2 EDEXCEL Religious Studies.

Gaunilo REJECTS Anselm's argument;
Gaunilo himself believed in God- he just
thought that Anselm's arguments were a
bit rubbish.

He used Anselm's logic in relation to an

Think of an Island. White sand...clear seas...
Just because you think of this Island does it


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A2 EDEXCEL Religious Studies.

Uh ohhhhhh. Anselm's back!

A Different Ontological Argument- Descartes;
Descartes and the perfect being;
Like Anselm, Descartes wanted to should that when we use the word `God',
we are talking of a supremely perfect being, and anything perfect by definition
must exist, so his argument is…

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A2 EDEXCEL Religious Studies.

Hmmm. ..that's right.

A triangle has 3 sides, and angles equal two right-angles..

God is perfect, and must exist.... Obviously.

Objection's to the Ontological Arguments;
1) Disputed one of the most fundamental
parts of Descartes' and Anselm's
arguments. The idea of existence as a

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A2 EDEXCEL Religious Studies.

3) The greater the limitations of this creator, the more impressive
the achievement.
4) The greatest limitation possible is non-existence.
5) Therefore, a world created by a non-existent creator would be
greater than a world created by an existent creator.
6) An existing God is therefore…

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A2 EDEXCEL Religious Studies.

Malcolm; The statement `God Necessarily Exists' can either be impossible,
possible or necessary. The existence is only impossible if it contains a logical
contradiction. So a four sided triangle is impossible. But `God necessarily exists'
doesn't contain a contradiction. So we can rule impossibility of existing…

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A2 EDEXCEL Religious Studies.




thank you! super helpful :)

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