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

Analyse the ontological argument for the existence of God. Do you agree with the argument? Give reasons for your answer.

Extracts from this document...


1 2 Analyse the ontological argument for the existence of God. Do you agree with the argument? Give reasons for your answer. The existence of God is an issue that has been debated over for centuries, the existence of a perfect being can be neither proved nor disproved. It is therefore a metaphysical question that can be evaluated and speculated over and over, and still a definite answer will not be found. Some philosophers can claim that no such entity exists, whilst some philosophers can argue that there is such a thing as a God - ultimate being. However their arguments, evaluations and formulas never will and never can be validated beyond reasonable doubt. The debate over whether a God does exist, or not, is as issue for 'metaphysics'. This is due to the philosopher Aristotle who when compiling his book, involving various forms of scientific findings, placed the compilation of certain questions that he dared to ask in the chapter after physics - Meta means after - so after-physics. It was within this chapter that the question 'does God exist' was put forward. Many attempts have been made by philosophers to prove that the entity known as God does exist, these arguments come under two categories, a priori and a posteriori. A priori is an argument that comes before sense experience, logic is used as a basis of the argument not sensory experience. ...read more.


It follows a coherent path with no hidden formulas - the evidence and proof that God exists is plain for all to see. The argument not only establishes that God does indeed exist, but also that God must exist. To suggest that God does not exist, would be a contradiction, as part of what it is to be God, is to exist. The ontological argument has however come under considerable criticism for claiming that existence is not a perfection. Many have suggested that it would be much better if cancer, aids, spiders did not exist. As result existence cannot be perfect. Yet in response, philosophers have commented that the conception of 'perfection' is not accurate. Perfection in this case does not mean, something that humans like or consider good, but something that is perfect in comparison to something else. The ontological theory places a strong basis on the Greek and Medieval ideology of hierarchies - where one being is higher on the scale than others. Indeed this scale is known as 'The Great Chain of Being', where every entity was placed on a scale with God (an entity that exists necessarily, and which is the creator of all other entities) at the top and non-existence at the bottom. The higher up the scale an entity is the more perfection's it was thought it have, God being at the top has all perfection's. The definition of perfection therefore indicates that existence is a perfection by definition. ...read more.


Anslem first gives God qualities even before proving 'its' existence, he proves Gods existence by these qualities, that themselves have yet to be proved as Godly. The argument seems to define God into existence by a logic that has rules which can be bended in order to fit the required pattern. Aquinas insisted that God be proved first without the aid of the qualities that could later be studied and proven. Russell, like Aquinas highlighted a flaw in the ontological argument. He advocated that in order to prove the existence of the entity known as God, not only should humans be able to imagine its existence, but that there should be some physical sign, or being to confirm it. He suggested that unicorns are fantasy beings that can be imagined, and have a definition, but they remain fantasy because the definition cannot fit any being that exists in reality. In view of the above evidence it is therefore clear that the ontological cannot ascertain the existence of God. In spite of the fact that the argument is logically sound, it relies too heavily upon God's alleged perfection. This quality is not proven through the argument; so therefore should not be used to aid its aims - to confirm Gods existence. Its existence, remains to be debated and argued - some arguments like Thomas Aquinas's 'chain of causation' offers a dependable foundation for the existence of a powerful entity, this is however not the case for the ontological argument which when evaluated has too many gaps to be a legitimate theory. Word Count 1,807 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Existence of God 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 GCSE Existence of God essays

  1. The Ontological Argument - Describe and explain the ontological argument for the existence ...

    2) 'The ontological argument fail's as a theistic proof'. Evaluate the truth in this statement. Atheists commonly use the "straw god" argument for "proving" God does not exist. They usually claim they argue against the existence of the Christian God, but then demote this "God" to a generic form and argue against it.

  2. For what reasons have some philosophers argued that religious language is meaningless?

    because the problem is that religious language is trying to communicate to other humans so it must be bound by normal rules of logic if it is to escape the charge of meaninglessness.

  1. "The Ontological Argument fails to prove God's existence"

    We cannot jump straight from a possibility to an actuality, which is clearly what Anselm does in his argument. Thirdly, the argument lies on the premise of a 'perfect' God. However, Aquinas objected that not everyone has the same definition of God.

  2. The Teleological Argument.

    forcibly strikes everyone who does not avert his eyes from it is their perfect and absolute recklessness. They go straight to their end, without regarding what or whom they crush on their road.' I do feel that it is possible to begin to explain why there is so much evil.

  1. Ontological Argument

    b) 'The Ontological argument can never overcome Kant's objection that existence is not a predicate' Discuss (17) To see whether the ontological argument overcomes Kant's objections considering Descartes' Ontological argument is key. Descartes defines God as "a supremely perfect being" who exists as existence is a predicate of a perfect being.

  2. Outline the Design Argument for the Existence of God

    Hume's points mean that the design argument does fail to prove the existence of God, as these points could not be satisfactorily answered. Another critic of the teleological argument was John Stuart Mill. While agreeing that the idea may point towards the possibility of the existence of a God, but

  1. What are the key features of the design argument for the existence of God? ...

    This is a modern perception that fits in with scientific theory. However, this argument assumes that human beings are the highest form of life and the purpose of the universe.7 Human beings may only be part of a chain that gradually evolves towards perfection.

  2. Arguments about god.

    but he is so much beyond human life that we simply cannot describe him in our human language. All we can say is he is completely beyond and utterly superior to the world, after all he did create it according to the bible.

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