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qanselms ontological argument

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Introduction

A) Explain Why Anselm's Ontological Argument Concludes That God Has To Exist. The Ontological Argument is an example of an a-priori argument. It attempts to prove God's existence by understanding the definition of God. An a-priori proof is analytic and deductive proofs. They are based on premises which are not drawn from worldly experiences but are logically necessary. A logically necessary statement consists of premises and a conclusion which is absolute (certain). It can not be disputed unlike inductive proofs from which many conclusions can be drawn that are either weak, reasonable or strong. Examples of a logically necessary statement are mathematical statements (i.e. 1+1=2) and tautologies (like 'all spinsters are female'). The ontological proof is the basis of Anselm's argument to prove God's existence. According to Anselm the term 'God' contains everything we need to know about God including the fact of his existence. Anselm defines God as 'that than which nothing greater can be conceived'. If we recognize this definition to be true and believe it is a tautology than we must accept that God possesses all perfections and therefore his existence is necessary as something is only greater when it exists in reality than if it does not. ...read more.

Middle

Descartes supports Anselm as he believes that existence was a necessary predicate of God as it is illogical to say that God does not exist when it is believed that he contains every possible perfection. He acknowledged that it was impossible to have a God without recognising his existence in the same way it was impossible to imagine a triangle without its three sides and angles. To conclude, Anselm's ontological argument proves that God exists, as you accept that God is 'that than which nothing greater can be conceived' therefore it is inconceivable that God cannot exist and that it is logically necessary for his existence. B) Anselm's Ontological Argument Is Wrong. Discuss. At the time when Anselm had proposed the argument everybody believed in a God and there were not many atheists around. The Ontological Argument demands that we believe the definition of God as 'that than which nothing greater can be conceived'. At that time no one disagreed with this as they all believed in a God and understood that the conclusion was analytic (a-priori) ...read more.

Conclusion

Except Anselm responds by saying that you can either have a triangle or not but since God is necessary you simply cannot have no God. Also, Gaunilo claims that if Anselm's argument was true than his idea of a perfect island for example an island with trees, a waterfall, elves and golden grass must have to exist; except this is not necessarily true as there in no perfect island like he suggests in reality. Anselm rejects this as he believes an island is contingent and doesn't need to exist but God is necessary and is unique as it can not be thought of as non existent. On the whole, Anselm's ontological argument is considered to be wrong because he believes that it is a deductive proof which is analytic and a-priori when actually it is inductive as not everyone believes in God or the fact that God is 'that than which nothing greater can be conceived'. For it to be deductive you should be unable to dispute the conclusion drawn from the premises, however since Kant and Gaunilo have challenged Anselm's argument from which the conclusion can be doubted then it is wrong. ?? ?? ?? ?? Nasima Begum FE09 1 ...read more.

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