Slides in this set
The Ontological Argument
Ontology is the study of existence
A deductive argument: goes from general to
For this argument it goes from the idea of God to
There is no empirical evidence for the existence of
God beforehand so it is a priori.
It is also analytical as the conclusion is contained in
the premises where the conclusion drawn is that God
does exist.…read more
The First Premise
The idea that the definition of God is the most
Descartes phrased it as `the idea of a supremely
This suggests that if there was a more perfect being
then what we call God wouldn't actually be the most
perfect being and therefore wouldn't be God, a
higher being would be.
It has a conceptual basis so it starts with the idea
of God, due to this idea even the atheist must accept
it as it would be illogical not to.…read more
From forming the first premise Descartes deduced
that God's essence must be existence similarly
to the essence of a triangle being it's three sides.
Existence is a perfection that God cannot lack as his
definition is `a supremely perfect being'.
Since you cannot separate the object from its
existence you can only reject the whole idea.
This would be impossible for God as it would suggest
`God who must exist does not exist'.
This would be completely illogical and contradictory
as the existing thing does not exist.…read more
Therefore Descartes drew up the conclusion that God must
exist as the supreme, most greatest being
Using reductio ad absurdum, in which the contradiction to
the premise is so absurd it cannot be accepted Descartes was
able to prove God's existence.
As the argument is deductive it is analytical, it also means
even atheists can believe it as to disregard it would be
illogical since its conceptual basis has the potential to be
Overall it would be false to assert that God doesn't exist based
upon logic that one cannot separate God from the essence of
existence, and that God's perfection must involve existence
due to God being the Supreme Being.
Descartes said that his argument is proof that God cannot
not exist.…read more