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The ontological argument: consequence within the temporal world

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Introduction

The ontological argument In Anselm's ontological argument he is trying to prove the existence of God, his argument is an argument purely based on the mind and does not require the moral agent to venture into the real of the senses. Ontology is to do with being, or what something is. Anselm's ontological argument concerns existence and whether it is an attribute of God in the same way omnipotence, omniscience and benevolence are believed to be. The argument is an a priori argument. It does not rest on proving God's existence by relying on experimental knowledge but on showing that God must exist logically, or that God's non-existence is illogical. The main idea behind Anselm's argument is that if I can think X to exist X must exist because it is possible to conceive it. ...read more.

Middle

Therefore: (3) There is nothing greater than God that can be imagined. (4) If God does not exist then there is something greater than God that can be imagined. Therefore: (5) God exists. The first premise of this argument, (1), is Anselm's conception of God. (2) is a simple logical truth; if God is the greatest conceivable being then there is no greater conceivable being, (3) follows simply from (1) and (2). Anselm argues in support of (4) by comparing a non-existent God with an existent God. An existent God, says Anselm, is greater than a non-existent God. If God were non-existent, therefore, then we could imagine a God greater than he, namely an existent God, (5) ...read more.

Conclusion

And since it is more excellent not to be in the understanding alone, but to exist both in the understanding and in reality, for this reason it must exist. For if it does not exist, any land which really exists will be more excellent than it; and so the island understood by you to be more excellent will not be more excellent." Simply, Gaunilo was saying just because I can imagine something in my mind does not necessarily mean that it exists, therefore you can picture this perfect island, but because its there in ones mind and there it shall stand until proven. Anselm retorted by saying that his argument only focused on God, and therefore was only applicable to God, so according to Anselm, Gaunilo's argument was totally irellevent. ...read more.

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