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

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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