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Explain Anselm ontological argument

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Introduction

One argument used to rationally support the existence of God is the ontological argument. There are many forms of ontological arguments, but I'll only use a few different versions here, each one mainly derived from Anselm's approach. St Anslem was said to be the most influential thinker of the medieval Europe. Anselm's argument for the existence of God and is said to be a classic ontological argument. An ontological argument is a priori argument as it attempts to gather that God exists only by the use of intellectual insight and reasons. ...read more.

Middle

According to Anslem, everyone has some idea of God in their understanding. He says that God has to exist in both reality and in the idea in the mind. For example like a unicorn, we have a picture in our mind but they don't really exist, and if God is 'that then which nothing greater can be conceived' unime the unicorn, it has to exist in reality or there would be a disagreement. In the second argument Anslem says that God cannot be conceived not to exits. He believes this because God that cannot be thought not to exist is greater than anything that can be thought not to exist. ...read more.

Conclusion

To say "God does not exist" would be a contradiction as God is, "that than which nothing greater can be conceived" and so God has to have existence. When one of the Anslem's arguments is criticised by Gaunilo with his argument, On Behalf of the Fool, Anslem's replies and say that anyone can think of a perfect island but this does not mean it has to exist, whereas God is unique. Also Anslem argues that only Gid has all perfections and so the argument an only relate to God. Anslem also believed that God is a necessary being (one which cannot not be) not a contingent being. He concludes by saying that God has a necessary existence and is unreasonable to think that he is not. ...read more.

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