• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Ontological Argument Will Never Be Any Use In Trying To Prove Gods Existence Discuss

Extracts from this document...


(b): "The Ontological Argument will never be any use in trying to prove God's existence" Discuss (10 marks) As an a priori proof, it one would assume that the Ontological Argument can very effectively prove God's existence to both theists and atheists. However, this is, clearly, not the case. It can, also be argued that to prove God's existence, you need only prove it to an atheist as a theist would already believe in His existence in their hearts. A theist may welcome proof for God's existence, and very strongly support and believe in it, but they will not need it, as they will feel that they do not need proof for something that they already know to be true. An atheist, on the other hand, does not believe in God. They may believe that the natural world is all there is and so any legitimate proof, in their eyes, will be very hard to come by. Therefore, any sort of a proof given to an atheist may be explained by them through nature or, indeed, questionable in its logic, as God is to them. ...read more.


This is because using Anselm's logic, you seem to be able to define anything into existence. This is clearly not the case in real life, as we cannot simply say that there is a cake that tastes better than any other. It is surely better to exist both in the mind and in reality as opposed to just the mind. Therefore, my cake, the best tasting cake, must exist in front of me. If this were so, the world would not make sense, but it does, and so this reasoning is false. In response to this, Anselm refined his first argument for God's existence, and put forward a second version, in which he felt that he had overcome Gaunilo's objection. In this version, Anselm states that: "It can be conceived that something exist that cannot be thought not to exist. God must be such a thing if He is 'that than which nothing greater can be conceived'. This is because something that can be thought not to exist would be inferior to that which cannot." ...read more.


Therefore, God's existence is necessary". This argument is one that takes into account all of the criticisms of the previous arguments and creates a strong and sound argument that makes logical, deductive sense. However, even Malcolm feels that "one can view the argument as a piece of logic, following the deductive moves but not being touched seriously". This shows that although it can show how God exists, it doesn't cause a conversion in faith in an atheist's mind. Overall, I feel that Ontological Arguments can be used very effectively, even Anselm's arguments, to prove God's existence, but only to a theist, not an atheist, as it was made for "faith seeking understanding". It cannot be used, I feel, by an atheist to convert them to theism, as conversion comes from the heart and not the mind, as using these arguments on atheists seems to imply. I do, however, feel that the Ontological Arguments for the existence of God will never be any use to prove God's existence to an atheist, not a theist. ?? ?? ?? ?? Ammara Khan L6.06 / 12D Ms Harbutt ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Philosophy essays

  1. The Ontological Argument - Critique

    be thought of as God if he does not exist; Kant offered 2 criticisms of the ontological argument provided by Descartes, his first relates mainly to the analogy above: we may agree that, for God to truly be God, he must exist, however this does not prove in any such

  2. Analyze the distinctive features of the Ontological Argument

    He argues against this by saying that the word 'is' can be used in two different ways:- to define something and to state the existence of something. The first usage says nothing about existence but explains what a word or concept means.

  1. Religious experience presents a convincing argument to prove the existence of God. Analyse this ...

    Many people would argue that you cannot recognise God from other possible objects of experience.

  2. Outline the ontological argument and explain how it proves the existence of God and ...

    Anselm differentiates between the existence of God and the existence of anything else. All physical existence is contingent; it relies on something else for its existence. Whereas Anselm argued that God is not reliant on anything for his existence as he has no start or end and can exist independently without any cause.

  1. There is no Reason to Assume I will exist after my Death.

    In his 'Discourse on the method' (1637), Descartes argues: "Our soul is of a nature entirely independent of the body, and consequently it is not bound to die with it. And since we cannot see any other causes which destroys the soul, we are naturally led to conclude that it is immortal."

  2. How does Kant support God's existence?

    Kant also felt that God's existence is beyond the experience of our five senses, and so we cannot ever know that He exists through either our senses and, through them, our mind. It is amongst these principles that Kant's "moral" argument for the existence of God is based.

  1. The design arguments prove Gods existence. Assess this view.

    Therefore, by the outcome of the analogy, it is logical that all the unintelligent beings are led or directed towards their target by some intelligent being, and of course, the being here is God, who directs all unintelligent beings, like humans and all animals.

  2. Outline the Ontological Argument for the existence of God.

    Kant?s main criticism against the Ontological argument is that he, unlike Anselm and Descartes, does not see existence as a real predicate, ?? Being is obviously not a real predicate??. He explains that existing is no perfection, like Descartes has previously stated, because it cannot be listed in a description

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work