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

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

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

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. Analyze the distinctive features of the Ontological Argument

    We cannot conceive of things we did not experience. As Kant responded to Descartes argument, if there is no triangle there are no 3 sides or any degrees so if there is no perfection God does not exist. Apparently perfection does not exist in our world so God cannot exist..

  2. The Ontological Argument - Critique

    the ontological; ontological arguments offer no a posteriori evidence for the existence of God, it would thus be logical to assume that they can never offer definitive proof to the existence of God - This is true, of course, unless one accepts a platonic idea of knowledge, in which we

  1. Examine the major features of the Ontological argument for the existence of God.

    The ontological argument does fail as a proof of God's existence for a number of reasons, for example, in the second for of the argument it does not come to a conclusion and therefore cannot be a proof. There have been advocates that have tried to defend the argument and

  2. A Critical Analysis of Lao Tzu's Tao Teh Ching - Chineses philosophy.

    Another interesting feature in TTC is that practice of non-ado may actually discourage people to seek knowledge, for "in the old days, those who were well versed in the practice of the Tao did not try to enlighten the people, but rather to keep them in the state of simplicity.

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

    This difference is important as in Anselm's second form he argues that if God is unsurpassable in all ways then he must be necessary by definition and therefore God exists, necessarily. Anselm claims that the definition of God recognised by all would include existence and so God must exist as the concept of God includes existence.

  2. Outline one version of the design argument for the existence of God

    We know the watch has a designer quite simply because it was manmade, it exhibits evidence of order and purpose because it has a designer who intended that this should be so. Using the principle that similar effects have similar causes, Paley infers that as the watch has an intelligent

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

    a contingent being we could imagine greater, therefore God would not be that than which no greater can be conceived. A being which cannot be conceived not to exist must be greater than one that can be conceived not to exist.

  2. Assess whether the cosmological argument proves the existence of God.

    to exist, the conclusion like a syllogism, is inferred from the premises: the universe must have had a cause for its existence, so far it has retained the form and structure of a syllogism. However it then goes on to assert: that the cause of the universe is the one

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