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Explain The Ontological Argument From Anselm And Gaunilo's Objections To It

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Introduction

Explain the Ontological Argument from Anselm and Gaunilo's objections to it Around 1093, the monk Anselm came up with the Ontological Argument; an argument which is Analytic, Deductive and A Priori. In a deductive argument, all the premises are valid, and there are no mistakes in the logic. If you agree with the logic of every premise, then the conclusion gives you proof. If you are able to accept all the premises of Anselm's Ontological Argument, then this gives you proof that God exists. This is the definition of a Deductive Argument. Anselm splits the Ontological Argument into two sections; demonstrating God's existence, and defining what particular existence God must have. These arguments are found in Anselm's book of prayers Proslogian, chapters two and three. In his first argument, Anselm does not try to prove the existence of God, but attempts to demonstrate it. ...read more.

Middle

By popular agreement, it would be greater for their paintings to exist not only in their minds, but in reality for others to grasp. The main strategy Anselm uses to get people to accept his argument more is by using Reductio Ad Absurdum; reducing the opposing argument to present Anselm's argument as the correct one. With the first section of the Ontological Argument, Anselm explains that people who state that 'God does not exist', Psalm 14, are fools. This is because the word 'God' is analytic, and saying that something that cannot not exist 'does not exist' is completely contradictory. Anselm's second section to the Ontological Argument is located in Proslogian Chapter three. Just like in Chapter two, Anselm starts of by defining God in Chapter three as 'that than which nothing greater can be conceived', and when we read this we grasp this concept and it is in our minds, In Intellectu. ...read more.

Conclusion

If you imagine a flying spaghetti, you cannot move from what is said, De Dicto, to what exists in reality, In Re. By using Reductio Ad Absurdum against Anselm, Gaunilo is able to back up his first point. Gaunilo's second counter-argument links with his first; he states that it is possible to define abstract concepts into reality. To make it clearer as to how Anselm does this, Gaunilo presents the idea of the Most Perfect Island. Just because we are able to imagine something so perfect, does not mean we are able to therefore accept its existence. Such an idea would be 'foolish'. The final counter-argument that Gaunilo puts forward is also similar to the previous two. He uses the example that through a conversation, we may have heard about a person and concepts about them. However, even though we have heard about this person in conversation, this does not mean that this person exists in reality. And until we find them we cannot know if their presence exists. ...read more.

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