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Outline the ontological argument and explain how it proves the existence of God and God(TM)s existence can never be proved by logic, discuss.

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Philosophy-The ontological argument Chris Hadden Outline the ontological argument and explain how it proves the existence of God (25 marks) The ontological argument is an argument to understand the existence of God and comes from the unique viewpoint that it already fully recognises the existence of God prior to the argument. The argument in itself is designed to prove this. This argument comes mainly from the work of the philosopher Anselm, who was a Christian and served as Archbishop of Canterbury. His belief was never questioned he simply sought a way in which to categorically prove God's existence. This deductive argument was also put forward by others such as Descartes and Malcolm. Anselm, in his first form argued that even the staunchest atheist should be able to accept a definition of God as he saw this definition as a priori knowledge. If God is definable as perfection or good in all ways then even non believers can imagine an entity with these qualities. The second step was to accept Anselm's claim that anything conceivable in the imagination is better in reality, for example to imagine winning the lotto jackpot would be good but to actually experience it would be far better. Only experience can bring realisation, with which emotions can be imagined better. ...read more.


Modern philosophers have had different takes on the argument. Malcolm for instance argued for instance that the existence of God was either necessary or impossible and that as it is clear that his existence is not impossible so it therefore must be necessary. Plantinga again thought along similar asking assessors of his argument to imagine a different world totally independent of ours and asked them whether on that world it would be impossible for God to exist and if God exists he must have always existed on that world without cause or influence. This is again using deductive reasoning. Then he asked them to apply this argument to our own world and claimed this proved the existence of God, as his existence is not impossible. God's existence can never be proved by logic, discuss. (10 marks) The ontological argument is focussed entirely that God does exist without doubt, and this is one of the most vital flaws to the argument. The argument cuts corners where it over relies on pure logic in order to prove its own argument rather than following a purely logical path or a purely reasoned one. The mix of the two is engineered to fit with the bias of the argument. The argument for example jumps from claiming that anything is better in reality than in the imagination to claiming this proves the existence of God. ...read more.


Also if God is perfect in all ways how can he be comprehended or described by humans? But this could also be used as an argument for a strength of the argument, as recognition of our finite knowledge would explain the difference between our type of existence and his. As outlined by Malcolm it is illogical to deny that God must either exist or not exist. If God exists then by definition he must always have existed and is therefore necessary rather than contingent, if he does not exist he will never exist and has never existed so therefore his existence becomes impossible. Malcolm said that as it would be wrong to say God is impossible he must be necessary. This seems a very reasonable point. But it is argued that there is an alternative that is not explored by Malcolm, what if God just "might" exist. Malcolm ignores this as a possibility, claiming that existence or non-existence are the only options. Weighed up the ontological argument does have its strengths but equally des have weaknesses. Its employment of logic works highly effectively logically explaining the existence of God. But definitions and assumptions of God can be argued which significantly weakens the argument. Overall it must be said that the bias of the argument is obvious and influences the argument so much that at times it makes unreasonable assumptions thus weakening its argument. ...read more.

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