The Ontological Argument

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  • Created on: 07-04-13 20:16
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The Ontological Argument
ANSELMS ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT
Proslogion argument for the existence of God
Analytic - a proposition or statement that is incoherent to doubt (e.g. a triangle has
three sides)
Fools say in their hearts say "There is no God" ­ Psalm 14:1
Ontos ­ being
Logos ­ study of
The being or nature of God
ANSELMS FIRST ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT
1) God is the greatest possible being which can be conceived
2) God may well exist in the mind alone (in intellectu) or in reality (in re) as well
3) Something that exists in reality and the mind is greater than something that exists in
the mind alone
4) God must exist both in the mind and in reality
Existence as a predicate
Predicate - a quality or property of an object or subject
Existence is a predicate of God
Therefore god being the greatest being has to have the predicate of existence
ANSELMS SECOND VERSION OF THE ARGUMENT
1) God is that being which nothing greater can be thought of (is the greatest)
2) Something that is necessary to exist is greater than something that isn't necessary to
exist
3) Therefore it is impossible to think this being doesn't exist
4) This being is God
Contingence and Necessity
Necessary ­ something that must exist
Contingent ­ something that relies on something else for existence
God must exist necessarily as if God was existed contingently he would not be the
greatest being

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GAUNILO'S ARGUMENT
On behalf of the fool
Necessary existence is `unintelliginle'
You cannot define things into existence ­ 1st argument
Gaunilo's island: imagine the perfect island that can be conceived, while it can be
conceived it doesn't mean it exists; the same applies to Anselm's argument
Anselm's Response
God is necessary while the island is contingent you cannot compare the two
Liber Apologeticus Contra Gaunilonem ­ the greatest thing is something which it
cannot be conceived not to exist; the island may be the greatest…read more

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KANT: EXISTENCE IS NOT A PREDICATE
All statements regarding existence are synthetic and need to be verified…read more

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