Anselm's Omnipotence

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In the Proslogion, Anselm tries to prove the existence of God and his powers through the ontological argument. This argument redirects the argument of God’s existence from science and observation to logic, where Anselm explains that there has to be a being that nothing greater can be thought of, and that is God. One of Anselm’s main topics of contention is God’s omnipotence and whether He is actually infinite. In the Proslogion, Anselm talks about God’s omnipotence and if it can be disavowed because of self-contradictory statements, how God’s non-action gives him more possibility and power, and how being all-powerful can lead to God being both merciful and yet not feel the pains of sinners. In part seven of the Proslogion, Anselm wonders whether …show more content…

Anselm explains this through the concept that if God was involved in human life and affairs then this would take away his all-powerfulness and omnipotence because his true power comes from the possibility of doing anything and making a decision goes against this. The true power that God has makes him unable to interfere in human affairs as the amount of other decisions and choices that are influenced by this one action takes power from him. Anselm shows this through the analogy that if a man is sitting we talk of him as he is doing the action, but for talking of God, it would be easier to think of it as he isn’t doing any other action other than sitting (Anselm 73). Anselm’s thought that having the power to do something rather than actually doing an action is greater and this leads to him re-establishing the thought of God’s omnipotence through this. As Anselm says, because of God’s ability to do an action that is always to his benefit and because he can not be impotent against anything, this reaffirms his all-powerfulness. God doing an impotent action is self-contradictory because he is the maximum and all-knowing, so he will never do this because it would take power away from Him and make him have the desire to do what is unacceptable of God, which is an action that goes against God himself. Anselm describes this power that is taken away from God if he does a impotent action as “adversity and perversity”, which just means anything that goes against God or is self-harming to Him (Anselm 74). His inaction is true omnipotence because he can, “do nothing through impotence and nothing can have power against You.”(Anselm 74) God’s inaction is one of the main reasons why he is omnipotent according to Anselm, and if he influences human life or anything then he is taking away alternate possibilities which make him less

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