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

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

Extracts from this document...

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.

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. "Modern visions of the Ontological Argument are more successful than early versions"

    However, as with many arguments, there is a problem with this. His argument is not valid and he constructs a syllogism6. This argument shows that if it is possible that there be a greatest possible being and if that idea includes necessary existence, then in fact there is a being

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

    God both has and continues to communicate with humans. Men with which He has communicated have written His words in the Bible. Those who are born-again Christians communicate with God on a daily basis. There is a test, based on the ontological evidence against God, that you can do to try the existence of God.

  1. Explain the Ontological argument.

    brought things into existence and the cosmological argument states that this is God. Aquinas propagated the popular form of the cosmological argument. He developed five ways to prove the existence of God; the first three are used in the cosmological argument.

  2. The ontological argument

    God therefore does exist by definition but the word God doesn't reveal whether he exists in reality or not. Kant's second criticism says that existence isn't a real predicated and therefore it can't form part of the definition of God.

  1. Consider Crittically the Arguments against the DesignArgument Deomonstrating the Existence of God and assess ...

    For us to know that an orderly universe has arisen from intelligence and thought, we would have had to experience the origin of the world. The question is whether similar effects could have actually been the result of different causes. The third point in Hume's criticisms is other possible analogies.

  2. The Ontological Argument.

    The ontological argument was reformulated by Ren´┐Ż Descartes in the seventeenth century. It also has a contemporary expression in the work of Alvin Plantinga and Norman Malcolm who both concentrated on the issue of God's necessary existence. Anselm clearly believes that by meditating on the being of God one can be assured of God's existence.

  1. Explain the Ontological Argument from Anselm and Guanilo’s objections to it (33)

    Anselm's idea of contingency and necessity states that most things in this World are contingent; they depend on other things for their existence. As God is the idea that nothing greater can be thought of, "he" does not just exist, but is necessary, and does not require anything else to

  2. The Ontological Argument - Explain and Criticise.

    We are dependent on something else for existence, for example I am dependent on the egg and sperm, a piece of toast is dependent on a toaster and somebody putting a piece of bread in the toaster. However, in the second half of his argument Anselm insisted that God's existence is totally independent and necessary.

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