Main Features of Ontological argument

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Ontology is a branch of philosophy that explores the whole concept of existence.

  • Highlights  different types of existence e.g. all humans exist in a physical sense we take up space we can be seen and heard 
  •  numbers exist in a different sense in the realm of mathematical concepts even though they are not available to the sense and have no physical properties.

The Ontological argument is a priori argument working from its principles and definitions in an attempt to demonstrate the existence of God, i.e. if you understand what god is you understand that he must exist i.e. god exists is analytically true (arrive existence of God through analysing word “God”).

The argument is also a deductive using logic rather than experience.  Supporters are God is necessary rather than contingent e.g. humans, pens God has not come about because of anything there was no time God didn't exists therefore nothing could happen which would cause God not to exist.


 First developed by  Anselm   book (Proslogion), Anselm put forward argument from perspective of "faith seeking understanding" rather than in an attempt to convert non-believers although argument phrased in in such  causes problems fro athiests and thiest too. exist.       

1  Anselm gives his argument in two different forms.

  • Firstly Anselm defines God as “that than which nothing greater can be thought”
  •   God who can exist in our heads as something we imagined to be great but didn't actually exist would be inferior to real God and we agreed God can’t be inferior to anything in any way.
  • So God must exist in order to meet our definition

  Supporters of Anselm used Analogies of what is greater e.g. a heap of cash that exists in mind or reality? They argue existing in reality is far better than only existing as an idea, as would people they would prefer to experience being on Tropical Island than it just existing in mind.

    Anselm argues is impossible for god not to exist

  • God is that which nothing greater can be though of 
  • Continent beings are inferior to beings with necessary existence God is necessary
  • God is unsurpassable in every way therefore must have necessary existence
  • Therefore god must exist (Anselm view part of definition of God as necessary)  

Anselm see existence of God is not something which need to be explained by referring to evidence  simply something which we know by considering concept of God.          

Analytic and Synthetic Propositions

In order to fully understand Ontological argument need to draw


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