Anselm and Descartes do not fully provide evidence to prove that they have this clear idea of God. It is very much possible that this is completely false and then both arguments would be incorrect from the start. However, despite this I still believe Descartes argument is more persuasive, and one reason is because Anselm’s argument is very vague. For instance, Anselm never explains what it means for one thing to be ‘greater’ than something else. This definition is necessary in order to agree with Anselm’s premise that there exists things in reality which are greater than things that only reside in the understanding.
Anselm says of God: “We believe that you are something than which nothing greater can be thought.” (Cottingham, 1996: 246) We can put this in shorthand by saying that Anselm understands God to be the greatest conceivable being -- the GCB, for short Now you might protest that you do not use the word "God" in this way. Nevertheless, that does not really matter. If Anselm can show that such a being exists, then he has shown something remarkable whatever you call the being. Furthermore, it is not clear why anyone should resist calling such a being God. Now another worry may occur to you: conceivable by whom?
The ideal is always “more perfect” than the real. For this reason, a God that only existed in the intellect would be the best conceivable God because it would avoid the “inherent imperfection” that comes with reality. In this manner, existence is not a perfection. In short, the Cartesian Ontological Argument attempts to prove the existence of God without any claims based on the external material world. Even though, intuitively there seems to be something immediately wrong with the argument, it is difficult to identify the actual mistakes in the argument.
As I mentioned, Anselm believes that God is the greatest being we can possibly think of. He does this by first trying to prove the opposite of what he really wants to prove. For example, lets suppose God does not exist in reality. We then could think of something greater, a being that has all the same virtuous characteristics as we think God as having, but also being able to exist in reality. He then tries to prove that this supposition leads to a conclusion which cannot possibly be true.
God is however different, He had to exist. This entire concept is known as the Ontological Argument. Though the Ontological Argument is very precise in being able to prove that there needs to be an existent perfect being to be able to have a perfect being. There are several flaws within this argument. For all of Anselm’s arguments to work, we would need a notion of content of his proposition that God is the highest human conception.
Berkeley`s states that everything is an idea and that there has to be a supreme spirit (god) out there that has the ability to put ideas in our mind. Thus, being the one who controls everything that we are able think. The way that I understood Berkeley`s argument is that he believes that the existence of “God” is essential in order to know anything from the external world. Comprehending Berkeley`s argument wasn’t an easy task, but I have come to my personal conclusion that this so called; “Supreme spirit” is not necessary for me to have knowledge about the things that I can observe. Therefore in this paper, I will argue that Berkeley`s response to skepticism is not successful because he thinks that god is the base of knowledge.
In the words of Anselm, "Therefore, Lord, not only are You that than which nothing greater can be conceived but you are also something greater than can be conceived. Indeed, since it is possible to be conceived to be something of this kind, if you are not this very thing, something can be conceived greater than You, which cannot be done." Anselm suggested a proof for God's existence, however, for God to be God there must be more to Him than that He simply 'exists'. Those who support the ontological argument will say the statement "God exists" is analytically true. This means that once we understand the meaning of the word "God" we see that He must exist by definition.
Thus, Anselm tends to base his argument on the definitions and terminology used. Anselm’s first form of the argument is that God is "that than which none greater can be conceived". Firstly, it must be emphasised that Anselm’s definition does not limit God to being the "greatest" but makes it known that nothing greater can be thought than God himself. Therefore, God should not in any way be linked to terms such as ‘omnipotent’ as terminology such as this limit him to what he really is. With this definition, he attempts to prove that not only does God exist in the mind but also in reality.
The Ontological Argument The Ontological Argument, put forth by Saint Anselm in his Proslogium, attempts to prove the existence of God simply by the fact that we have a particular concept of God - that God is "that than which nothing greater can be conceived." Saint Anselm presents a convincing argument that many people view as the work of a genius. It is also quite often considered a failure because, in William L. Rowe's words, "In granting that Anselm's God is a possible thing we are in fact granting that Anselm's God actually exists." In other words, it "assumes the point it is supposed to prove", primarily because is assumes that existence is a great-making quality, and for God to be truly great, he must exist. I disagree with Rowe's point that Anselm's definition of God invalidates his argument because it later helps to prove Anselm's argument.
Having faith is believing in things that you don’t see. According to the Meditations, Descartes gets rid of beliefs that he isn’t certain of and keeps the ones that are undoubtable. He tries to prove that God has must exist since we have such a clear and distinct idea of him. I believe it is impossible to prove without a doubt that God exists. Descartes goes on to prove the existence of God in two different ways.