The Argument For The Ontological Argument Essay

The Argument For The Ontological Argument Essay

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For many, the idea of existence as a predicate causes issues for the ontological argument. In the argument Anselm states that God is a being, than which nothing greater can be conceived, and using logic he comes to the conclusion that God must exist by definition. This can be seen as strength to the argument as if it is a valid deduction it proves God’s existence to an atheist as well as a believer. However, Kant counters this argument by saying that existence could not be a predicate of anything. This is because a predicate should be something that enriches our concept of what the thing is like. For example, Kant uses the analogy of a pile of one hundred coins, by saying that an imaginary pile of coins has the exact same value as a pile of one hundred coins that exists in reality. By adding existence to the idea it does not enrich our concept of said coins or make them any better, but will only state what is real. Therefore existence can’t be a predicate of anything, so therefore can’t be a predicate of God. As the argument is reliant on this assumption, it falls apart as the deductions made are based on this whole concept. To counter this, the philosopher Malcolm disagrees with Kant by saying that existence can be a property of a necessary being such as God. The same concept can’t be applied to contingent beings, such as coins, because they are imperfect beings. I don’t believe this to be valid however, as we don’t know for certain anything about God’s properties. Aquinas believes, as humans we don’t have the intellect to prove God’s existence Overall, this shows that the ontological argument doesn’t prove God’s existence, as existence can’t be a predicate, so any deductions made from this assumption can’t form valid conclusion...


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...esses his suspicion of the argument as it “lacks a single piece of data from the real world”. He also says that the argument is infantile because of this. Again, it comes back to the fact that not everyone will define God the same way, which is an intrinsic flaw in the argument. Overall, I think that the fact it is an a priori argument neither helps to prove or disprove the argument, as it can prove the argument to believers, for example, but not atheists.

In conclusion, the ontological argument can’t prove God’s existence, as it is founded on the basis that you already believe in God. As Kant says, you can’t say that existence is a predicate, which once taken into consideration, undermines the basis of the logic of the argument. As a whole the weaknesses of the argument outweigh the strength so therefore, no, the ontological argument does not prove God’s existence.

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