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Do you think the Ontological argument proves the existence of god?

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Introduction

Before exploring the title of this essay we must understand the ontological argument. According to philosophers such as Anselm, it can be proven that God's existence is necessary; it is, they argue, a tortology such as the statement 'all bachelors are unmarried men' an apriori analytic truth, falsifying such argument means self contradiction. The ontological argument reasons through 3 premises, and accepting that these to be true reach the conclusion that god must exist. The first premise states that: God is that which nothing greater can be conceived. The second premise states: that which nothing greater can be conceived possesses all perfections. The third premise states finally that: existence is perfection. Finally the conclusion reached is that if these premises correspond to reality is: God must exist. The first premise in the ontological argument clearly states that god is that which no greater can be conceived. ...read more.

Middle

This last philosopher, Guanilo, was contemporary to Anselm himself and criticised the argument in that it according to the grounds of the ontological argument, it was possible to prove the existence of any perfect being, and he took the example of a perfect island to demonstrate this. He constructed an ontological argument for the existence of a perfect island; by the same token, he argued that in order for the perfect island to be perfect, much like god, it must exist. If it did not exist it would not be perfect. This argument can then be applied to any perfect thing such as the perfect basketball player of the perfect wife. However, in all these arguments, these perfect beings must exist in order to be perfect, but we know that the perfect wife or island do not exist and neither does the perfect basketball player. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is an apriori argument. Although the arguments debate that a God that does not exist, though, cannot be that than which no greater can be conceived, for he could be conceived to exist which would be greater. God, therefore, cannot be non-existent; he must exist. These ontological arguments it can be said, still face the critical problem that in both cases the first premise indicates the existence of a god. It is very difficult for us as humans to understand the world without god, as it is in our nature to want to be happy and to wish for a greater being. However we must be careful in not assuming god's existence before logically reaching this answer. I do not believe that the Ontological argument proves the existence of god, as its starting point is an assumption. The argument does not prove anything in itself and is definitely not enough proof to justify the existence of god. Do you think the Ontological argument proves the existence of god? By : Solange Di rocca ...read more.

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