AS Philosophy - The Ontological Argument

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  • Created by: Priya
  • Created on: 11-01-13 16:08

Anselm (1033 - 1109)

  • A philosopher who was the Archbishop of Canterbury.
  • He was a firm believer of God.
  • To prove the existence of God he came up with an a priori argument (gained from knowlege and reasoning rather than sense experience).

The Ontological Argument

  • Ontological - argument to prove that something exists.
  • Step 1 - God is a being than which nothing greater can be thought of, even non-believers have an idea of what God is like.
  • Step 2 - Something which exists in reality is greater than something which just exists in thought e.g. a real holiday is better than one you just made up in your head.
  • Step 3 - If there is no being which is greater than God, then God must exist in reality as well as thought. 
  • You could assume that God only exists in the mind and not in reality, and a greater being than God can be thought of, one which exists in reality. 
  • However, God was supposed to be a being than which nothing greater can be thought of, so this means that God is both in our minds and in the real world.

Gaunilo's Criticisms

  • Gaunilo was a…


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