Full revision notes for THE ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT

Anselm and Descartes' ontological arguments plus criticisms and responses

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The Ontological Argument
Anselm
- Archbishop of Canterbury
- Never doubted the existence of god ­ started with a concept that he accepted fully
- psalm 14 ­ a fool says in his heart 'there is no god'
- analytic = incoherent to doubt
- synthetic = needs to be verified
- proslogion intended to simplify ideas from monologion.
- A priori ­ from reason, not experience
First argument ­ Proslogion 2 ­ God exists
'truly there is a god, although the fool says in his heart, there is no god' ­ psalm 14
- god is a being than which nothing greater can be conceived
- things can either exist in the mind alone or in both the mind and in reality
- something which exists in reality is greater than something that only exists in the mind
- Therefore, if there is no being greater than god, he must exist in both the mind and in reality.
e.g painter
think about it, then know it exists because they have done it. Bought and sold.
Existence is a predicate
- predicate = a quality or property of an object or subject
- part of god's nature to exist
- god's existence for Anselm = analytic
Second argument ­ Proslogion 3 ­ God has and will always exist (build on pro 2)
- god is a being than which nothing greater can be conceived
- something which cannot be thought not to exist is greater than something which can be thought not
to exist
- therefore it is impossible to think that this being cannot exist
- this being is what we call god
God's non existence = IMPOSSIBLE
Necessary existence ­ cause/creator of everything ­ eternally present
Issues
starts with the assumption that god exists ­ circular logic
Guanilo

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Anselm's argument was flawed
- 'on behalf of the fool'
- FIRSTLY ­ we are human and all experience gained through our senses show us that things are
not perfect ­ can always be improved. Impossible to think of a fully perfect being.
- SECONDLY ­ he could imagine a perfect island, the island would be better if it was real rather
than in his imagination, then, according to Anselm ­ it must exist.…read more

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­ if no one knew what a triangle was it would still be a shape with 3 sides etc.
- god has an immutable nature too.
- Part of gods nature is existence ­ fundamental just like internal angles = 180.
DESCARTES ARGUMENT
- god is a supremely perfect being
- a property of perfection is existence
- therefore, god exists
existence as perfection
- part of gods nature = existence BECAUSE existence = a perfection
- perfection = not lacking in any way.…read more

Comments

QueenVic

really really nice stuff, explains Anslems ontological argument nice and simply.-have to have a little bit of proro knowledge to get it. Its revision material after all

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