Ontological arguments for the existence of God

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  • Created by: jaaaz_v
  • Created on: 10-11-15 11:30

Anselms Argument

  • God is that than which nothing greater can be conceived.
  • It is greater to exist in the understanding and in reality than to exist in the understanding alone.
  • God couldn't be the being than which nothing greater can be conceived if he isn't conceived in reality (<A reductio ad absurdium).
  • Therefore, the greatest possible being, God, must exist in the understanding and in reality (Basically God must exist)
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Descartes Argument

  • God is a supremely perfect being.
  • In orger for God to be supremely perfect, they must posses the supreme perfections.
  • Existance (alongside omnipotence, omnibonevolence and omniscience) is a supreme perfection.
  • Therefore God, the supremely perfect being, exists (they exist necessarily)

(http://haggisthesheep.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/triangle.png)A triangle wouldn't be a triangle if it didn't have three sides, just like how God wouldn't be God  (supremely perfect) if they didn't exist.

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Leibnizs Argument

Leibniz disagreed with Descartes argument, and argued that we cannot analyse Gods qualities.

  • Humans cannot know of or analyse Gods qualities.
  • Since perfections are unanalysable, it is impossible to demonstrate that perfections are incompatible.
  • He concluded from this that perfections can co-exist in a single being.

Because we cant analyse or disprove Gods perfection we have to conclude that he is perfect

  • Therefore God exists necessarily, but his existance is beyond our understanding.
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Malcoms Argument

This is an argument by elimination and works through the ideas of : contingent existance, non-existance and necessary existance,

  • God is self-sufficient and entirely necessary (aseity)
  • Gods existance isn't contingent, it cannot be contringent because his existance is necessary due to his aseity.
  • God cannot not-exist, this concept is logically absurd because Gods existance is necessary due to his aseity.
  • This leaves only one possibility, God exists necessarily.
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Plantingas Argument

  • There are infinite dimensions (possible worlds)
  • The nature of infinity states that everything must happen at least once
  • This must mean that in one of these dimensions there must be a being with maximal greatness
  • If a being with maximal greatness exists in one of these dimensions there must be a being with maximal greatness
  • If a being is maximally great in one dimension, it must be maximally great in all dimensions
  • Therefore there must be a being with maximal greatness in all dimensions, and that being must be God,
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