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

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Introduction

Explain the Ontological Argument from Anselm and Guanilo's objections to it (33) The Ontological Argument, is the study of "Being". This A Priori argument questions what it means for God to exist, and enquires about his nature and characteristics. When concerning subjects and predicates, this argument claims God is the subject, and questions the predicate of his existence. Being A Priori means that the arguments idea suggests we have truth before experience and existence, we already have a concept of the ideas presented. St. Anselm, who wrote the prayer "Proslogion", claimed that the concept of God was "that by which nothing greater can be conceived". He does not argue that you can think of God as the greatest thing in the World, but that you cannot think of anything greater than God. He claims that it is better for something to exist than for it not to exist. E.g. The ideal partner, it is better for it to exist than to be just a fabrication of the mind. ...read more.

Middle

This idea of necessity explores that God is eternal and transcends our understanding, being outside of space and time, however he can create and operate within his creation, our universe. Anselm claims that if God did not exist in this way, then we would not exist in the same way. Guanilo of Marmoutier (or on behalf of the fool) opposes Anselm's ideas. He does not agree with the statement "that by which nothing greater can be conceived", and thinks that we can imagine an Island which is greater than another that can be conceived. We can think of another Island, but just because we can define it, it doesn't mean it exists. It does not exist, but is a part of our imagination, like Anselm's idea of the ideal partner. Despite this, Guanilo's criticism is often questioned, Anselm states the idea that nothing greater can be conceived than God. ...read more.

Conclusion

Secondly, from Kant's point of view, he simply states that the Ontological argument does not prove God exists, it assumes that God exists. Another idea is that God's existence is just an invention of the human mind, and not something that evidence can explain. It is possible to talk about or think about God and his existence; however it is not possible to see or touch God. There are counter arguments for these ideas however, and state that just because you cannot touch the idea of "existence", it does not mean it is not a reality. Secondly is the idea that if you believe in something existing, "having existence", or you think it exists, then it does indeed exist. Thirdly, the idea has been created that the Ontological argument appears unsteady, however as it is difficult to pinpoint why exactly it is shaky, it can be argued that it is in fact quite a strong argument. Lastly, Kant's idea further states that the only way we can gain knowledge of the World is through experience, not following the A Priori ideas of the Ontological argument. ...read more.

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