Ontological argument – objections
The main objections for the ontological argument are;
1. The definition of God.
2. Existence as a predicate of God
3. The possibility of having existence claims from definition.
· Challenges both Aquinas and Descartes arguments.
· Rejects that there can be certainty that the human mind has the right concept of God.
· God is beyond our human understanding; therefore humans can’t prove that God exists from their mere idea of a God.
· The existence of God then is not self evident.
· Priori arguments to prove the existence of God fail as we can’t define God.
· We only know God exists through God’s work in the world that we see. E.g. design in nature.
· He argued it’s not possible to take an idea in one’s mind then apply pure logic to that idea and then reach a conclusion.
· Hume also argued that existence isn’t a predicate which something can have or not have.
· Some would argue that as humans we base our lives on what we observe rather than what we can rationally prove.
· This would make Humes’ argument strong.
· To think about God in the mind and then think about God in reality is the same thing.
· All we are doing is thinking about God and not proving grounds for his existence.
· Criticised Descartes saying that existence is a property of perfection and that existence is a predicate.
· Objects that denying Gods existence is the same as denying that triangles have 3 sides.
· He states that if we dismiss the idea of both the 3 sides (the predicate) and the idea of the triangle itself (the subject) there is no contradiction.
· It’s then possible to dismiss the concept of God.
· Kant argues Descartes defines a thing as he sees fit but this doesn’t mean the definition matches the reality of it.
· As well as this saying existence is a predicate of God Kant believed was wrong.
· This would mean saying X exists would tell us noting about X.
· Kant believed a predicate must give us information about X.
Existence is a synthetic proposition
· Kant also argued God cannot be placed in a separate category to everything else.
· Anselm and Descartes have given a synthetic proposition (where the predicate isn’t part of the meaning, to prove it to be true or false experience is needed) to the status of a analytic proposition (necessarily true without fact or experience) and so have broken the rules of grammar.
· He argued it is not possible to include existence within a analytic proposition as it’s possible to contradict existence as a property.
· Propositions related to existence then need to be synthetic as it’s…