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

Explain Anselm and Descartes ontological argument

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐Explain Anselm and Descartes ontological argument (25 marks) The ontological argument attempts to prove the existence of God, using an a priori method where no empirical evidence is required. The argument begins with an explanation of God and that is not a contingent being God is necessary and exists without a creator. The ontological argument uses logic and the concept that is absurd to say that God does not exist as its main argument; to say that god does not exist is illogical as you have already accepted the idea of God, as stated in the bible Psalm 14:1 ?the fool says in his heart God does not exist.? Anselm (1033-1109) put the ontological argument forward in his book ?Proslogion.?Anselm starts the argument with a definition of God, stating God is ?that than which nothing greater can be conceived? this is stating that if God is the greatest being that can be thought of therefore God must exist. ...read more.

Middle

This part of Anselm?s argument is stating that God is a necessary being and that everything that is contingent relies on this eternal being. Moreover another supporter of the ontological argument is Descartes. Descartes states that God is a supremely perfect being, that God is flawless. Descartes stated that existence is perfection therefore God must have existence. Moreover this can be use in the example of a valley without a mountain both are necessary in order for a valley to exist, similarly it is existence is a necessary part of God, it is Gods predicate. To conclude Descartes is saying that imaging God without the predicate of existence is illogical such as a triangle without three sides Emmanuel Kant criticises Descartes version of the ontological argument. ...read more.

Conclusion

another philosopher argues against the ontological argument as he stated that the just because we have said something is real, does not mean it is actually real. He stated that there is a possible world e.g. David Cameron was prime minister however it is possible he was a street cleaner there are infinite possibilities. Platinga stated that maximal greatness is God and if God is maximally great he would exist in all of the possible worlds. To conclude Anselms and Descartes ontological argument is based on a definition of God and enables any reader of the argument to understand the importance of the existence of God and that, it is difficult to think of a superior being to God. Some could argue that the ontological argument is unsuccessful improving Gods existence as many philosophers have critised the argument; however I believe the argument is effective in making someone think philosophically about the world and how a creator is a necessary being. ...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. Explain the ontological argument from Anselm and Descartes.

    In effect, what Anselm is saying is that "God exists" is an analytic statement and we can show that the statement is true merely by analysing what it means to be God. This is called the first form of the ontological argument.

  2. The Ontological Argument - Critique

    However, as most offer ontological arguments as true proofs for the existence of God, we must take them to be as such, thus Kant's criticism remains applicable - We cannot offer any argument that refutes Kant, it is true that ontological arguments make an invalid leap from the epistemological to

  1. Evaluate Descartes Method of Doubt

    Whatever you believe therefore, there will always be something, however sceptical you set out to be, that you know. Some have claimed that this makes global scepticism an impossibility. On his part, Descartes does justify his use of logic later in the Meditations.

  2. Does the ontological argument work?

    So Kant used his own form of philosophical language to develop his own counter argument to knock down Anselm's. It is therefore impossible for the Ontological argument to work in Kant's point of view because he used a realist theory and by correspondence you cant say that God is necessary

  1. Outline the ontological argument as presented by Anselm and Descartes.

    Therefore God must exist in the mind, as well as in reality. However, if the argument was just to prove God existence, then all that would tell us is that God is like us. He exists. In the next stage of his argument, Anselm went on to demonstrate that God's existence is necessary.

  2. Compare and contrast the contributions of Descartes and Humes on the issue of the ...

    architect or builder because we have seen it being built but the universe doesn't bear such resemblance with that certainty we could infer a similar cause of intelligence because we have no experience of universes being designed and built.

  1. Analyze the distinctive features of the Ontological Argument

    He claimed that in one possible world there exists a being with maximal greatness. He then concluded that this being only has maximal greatness if he exists in all possible worlds. Additionally there were modern philosophers who were against the Ontological argument for instance Bertrand Russell.

  2. Explain Descartes' Ontological Argument

    Descartes responds by saying that we, as finite beings, do not always see that the attributes of God all entail each other. For example, we say that God is omnipotent. This means that God is more powerful than anything. Following on from that, God must not depend on anything.

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