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

Outline the ontological arguments and consider how successful they are, as proofs of God's existence'

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

A.S Philosophy Luke Hyde Q. 'Outline the ontological arguments and consider how successful they are, as proofs of God's existence'. The ontological argument is a perfect example of a priori argument. For example, it uses logic to prove an initial definition to be correct. The term refers to a whole series of arguments within a thought. The arguments aim is to prove God's existence from the meaning of the word God. St Anselm was the man who suggested that deductive reasoning could be used to prove God's existence - a priory argument. The ontological argument is a rationalist argument. A rationalist argument is a view that true knowledge of the external world does not come through experience. It is through reason alone, without reference to the external world, that the truth is known. The argument is also deductive. It uses a method of reasoning by logical stages to reach a conclusion. Each philosopher who contributed to the argument though up 'logical stages', which lead to a final conclusion. The Ontological argument can be separated down to three stages. The first being about the definition of God as that than which no greater can be conceived, and its suggestions. The second being the logicality of God not existing at all, and finally why 'the fool' believes that which is impossible, to be true. ...read more.

Middle

His main point was that there is a great distinction between concepts and objects, words and things. He also questioned what the word 'God' actually meant, and as a result of that, if the word had any application. However despite the criticism, some thought differently and agreed with Anselm's arguments. One was a man called Liebniz, who said that God must exist, due to the fact that some one who possesses all perfection not to exist, would be meaningless and worthless. Rene Descartes was the second contributor to the 'Classical Ontological argument'. After reading Anselm's views and beliefs, he developed them to stating that God was a 'supremely perfect being' , as the main indicate for his argument. Descartes concluding by declaring that God must exist, because existence is a predicate of a perfect being. He went on to say that it is utterly illogical to try to think of an non-existing God. Just like Anselm, Descartes received harsh criticism relating to his views. One man who in particular opposed his beliefs was a man called Immanuel Kant. This was because he believed 'existence is not a predicament'. For example saying someone exists doesn't tell anyone anything about the subject. Kant concluded that for a predicament to be true, it must give information about the subject, in this context, God. ...read more.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Plantinga states that for someone to be maximally great a being only has to be present in every possible world, and that maximal greatness entails maximal excellence. Therefore, there is a possible world in which there is a being that is maximally great, and that it has maximal excellence, equalling that there is in fact a God. Brian Davies, claimed that a being with maximal excellence is possible, and therefore it is possible that such a being exists in our world, but this being doesn't necessarily have to exist. In conclusion, from Plantinga's evidence, the conclusion is that maximal existence is possible, and therefore God's existence is possible, and not actual. After reviewing the comments of the four philosophers about there views of the Ontological argument and the existence of God, it seems that that the argument is generally unsuccessful. One reason why this could be is because the definitions are extremely limited and restricted. They don't look into the situation into enough detail to make the comments seem extremely believable. Also, the task of actually defining God is especially difficult, due to the fact that we are only limited to human terms to describe God, which proves to be inadequate. Due to the absolute colossal size and magnificence of God, it is a truly impossible task to describe the details of him, due to the lack of details we currently have. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...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. 'An analysis of arguments for the existence of God will result in valid philosophical ...

    Religious experiences can take many forms, but Caroline Franks Davies has defined them as 'something akin to sensory experience' or simply 'experiences which the subjects themselves describe in religious terms or are intrinsically religious'. Richard Swinburne has also divided them up into 'public' and 'private' experiences - the difference, for

  2. "Discuss critically religious and secular ethical arguments about environmental issues"

    The sins of Adam and Eve resulted in a loss of order within nature, destroying the delicate balance of the world, and distancing humanity from God. Since all humans were 'seminally present in the loins of Adam', we are all born with original sin.

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

    Next, Anselm argues that the notion of the greatest conceivable being cannot be conceived in thought alone but must actually exist: so any being that exists in reality will be greater than any being that is merely conceived of. Therefore, God must exist.

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

    He pointed out that whatever could be imagined as existing can also be imagined as not existing. He said all statements made about the existence of things can be either true or not true, and must be examined in reality as to whether they are or not.

  1. The Nature of God Religious Studies Coursework. I am going to explain, discuss and ...

    A is building with building-stones; there are blocks, pillars, slabs and beams. B has to pass the stones, and that in the order in which A needs them. For this purpose they use a language consisting of the words 'block', 'pillar', 'slab', 'beam'.

  2. Explain the Ontological argument.

    In turn, the wood is made hot by the fire, the external influence. In Aquinas second way he noted that nothing could be the cause of itself, because it would have to exist before it existed which is a logical impossibility.

  1. Does God Exist?

    This is because God is omnipotent and his existence doesn't rely upon anything else, he is unque unlike anty contingenmt items eg a perfect island. With everything else in the world-apart from God-their existence is reliant upon something else. However, God's existence is part of his essence.

  2. Clarify and explain two arguments for the non-existence of God.

    By glorifying God, people cannot mature and realise their potential in this world. He has had an enormous influence on subsequent atheists; Karl Marx (1818-1883) and Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) consider God to be the manifestation of economic and psychosexual influences.

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