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

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Introduction

"Modern visions of the Ontological Argument are more successful than early versions" One of the main arguments for the existence of God is the Ontological Argument. While there are several different versions of this argument, all purport to show that it is self-contradictory to deny that there exists a greatest possible being. Thus, on this general line of argument, it is a necessary truth that such a being exists - and this being is, of course, the God of traditional theism. This essay will aim to evaluate the classic and contemporary versions of the ontological argument. In contrast to the other arguments for the existence of God, the ontological argument is conceptual in the same way that just as the propositions constituting the concept of a bachelor imply that every bachelor is male, the propositions constituting the concept of God imply that God exists. There is, of course, this difference: whereas the concept of a bachelor explicitly contains the proposition that bachelors are unmarried, the concept of God does not explicitly contain any proposition asserting the existence of such a being. Even so, the basic idea is the same: ontological arguments attempt to show that we can deduce God's existence from the very definition of God. Ontology basically means the nature of being and "God exists" is taken to be an a priori statement. ...read more.

Middle

The main contributors to this were realist3 Alvin Plantigna (1932-) and anti-realist4 Norman Malcolm (1911-1990) who argued for the existence of God. Norman Malcolm focused on Anselm's second stage of the argument in which God is impossible to be thought of as not existing. This has meant a shift from the idea of logical necessity to the idea of existential necessity. Basically his argument was formed from 7 premises leading to the conclusion that God exists. He argued that 1. God, as the greatest conceivable being, cannot be a limited being. 2. Therefore, if God doesn't exist, he can neither be caused to come into existence nor merely happen to come into existence. Both cases would impose a limitation on God and contradict premise 1. 3. Similarly, if God does exist, he cannot merely come into existence or cease to exist. Both cases would impose a limitation on God and so contradict premise 1. 4. The implication of premise 2 is that, if God does not exist, his existence is impossible; and the implication if premise 3 is that, if he does exist, his existence is necessary. 5. Either God does not exist or he does exist. 6. Therefore God's existence is either impossible or necessary. 7. God's existence is not impossible (i.e. the notion of his existence is not self-contradictory.) ...read more.

Conclusion

It is merely the positing of a thing, or of certain determinations in it. Logically, it is merely the copula (a connecting word - connecting subject to predicate) of a judgement. The proposition, God is omnipotent, contains two conceptions, which have a certain object or content; the word is, is no additional predicate-it merely indicates the relation of the predicate to the subject. Now if I take the subject (God) with all its predicates (omnipotence being one), and say, God is, or There is a God, I add no new predicate to the conception of God, I merely posit or affirm the existence of the subject with all its predicates - I posit the object in relation to my conception. (Kant - Critique of Pure Reason 1781)) 3 the philosophical doctrine that states physical objects continue to exist when they are not perceived 4 anti-realism is used to describe any position involving either the denial of the objective reality of entities of a certain type or the insistence that we should be agnostic about their real existence. 5 This argument was taken from "The Question of God" Michael Palmer. 6 A categorical syllogism is a deductive argument containing three statements: two premises and one conclusion. Each of the three statements is a categorical statement. These statements can be of the form: All S are P, No S are P, Some S are P, or Some S are not P. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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