In some ways the arguments for the existence of God combat each other, in asking which one is more convincing. There are two types of arguments, there are empirical arguments along with a rationalistic argument. Anselm, Paley, and Aquinas are the three significant leaders in the philosophy world for finding an argument for the existence of God. The question that is being posed is which is more convincing, Anselm’s rationalistic proof, or the empirical arguments?
The question of God’s existence has been debated through the history of man, with every philosopher from Socrates to Immanuel Kant weighing in on the debate. So great has this topic become that numerous proofs have been invented and utilized to prove or disprove God’s existence. Yet no answer still has been reached, leaving me to wonder if any answer at all is possible. So I will try in this paper to see if it is possible to philosophically prove God’s existence.
The first Ontological Argument for God’s existence, was first proposed by Anselm, the first premise of the argument is that there cannot be something greater than God which can be conceived. The second premise is that beings can exist in the mind or in reality or in both, in addition, beings that exist in the mind and reality are greater than beings that only exist in the mind, which also happens to be the third premise of the argument. In the fourth
A number of people believe in “a creator God who is transcendent of over and governor of the material universe”, a belief known as Theism (Sailhamer 133). People that have faith in Theism belief that only God is eternal and the material world, “which he created and governs, had a beginning and, if he so wills, has ...
Anselm was a stable believer in God, so he wanted to use logic and reason to confirm his forceful faith and clarify God’s existence. Anselm’s argument was given in chapter two of Proslogion. Its main focus was the meaning of God. Furthermore he claims that everyone, whether they trust in God or not agrees alongside this definition. Anselm approves there is a difference amid understanding that God exists and understanding him to be a concept. To clarify this extra, he gives the analogy of a painter. He states that, in advance a gifted painter makes a masterpiece; he can discern it visibly in his mind even nevertheless he knows it doesn’t exist. He comprehends it as an idea. Though, after the painting has been finished and can be perceived by the man in reality, the painter comprehends the believed of the painting and its existence. The upcoming period is the locale that an advocate of God who approves alongside Anselm’s argument will be at.
In the book Proslogium, Anselm came up with the ontological argument in Chapter 2 and 3. In chapter 2, Anselm claimed that things can only exist in mind or in both mind and reality. Then he said that things that in both mind and reality will always greater than the things in mind alone. He used the painter as an example to convince people. He said that when a paint has been done by the painter, the painter will understand more than the paint only in imagination. And in chapter 2, the words showed that Anselm is a believer for God, he even called people who do not believe in God are fools. Then he claimed that God is the greatest. For Anselm, God is perfection, like he said in the book God, “than which nothing greater can be conceived”. At the end of the Chapter 3, he said that necessary existence is greater than contingent existence. From all those proofs, he got his finally answer that God has to exist.
He believes that God exist in the rational mind of people as the highest power, even though they are non-believers. Anselm does not specify what he actually means by the term exist, and this is confusing since there are a variety of definitions for the term exist. For instance, one definition of exist is to live within time and space. Since this is true it would disprove Anselm’s ontological argument, because in one of his key elements of proving that God exist is through the idea that God is beyond time, and space (Anselm, Proslogion,19). If God is beyond time, and space, then that verifies that he cannot exist. Consequently, Anselm’s argument does not work because one of the definitions for the term exist is to be matter within time and space, which is impossible for God because Anselm believes that nothing can contain God. In objection to the undefinable term exist, Anselm would respond that God is above what it means to be present in time, and that God is the creator of time altogether, but Anselm still does not provide a clear explanation for how it is even possible for God to be greater than existence, time, and space. Just because he believes that God is above everything, does not mean everyone else will agree
Anselm defines God to be a necessary being; one that does not rely on anything or anyone else for its existence. Anselm delves deeper into this in the second form of the ontological argument that he proposed, where he talks about the fact that if God were to be the greatest possible being, then he must be necessary, as being necessary is greater than being contingent. ‘In summary, God must be a necessary being; he cannot not exist’ (Cole). Tyler and Reid describes this concept as ‘integral’ to the ontological argument, as to deny the idea of God being necessary is to contradict the idea that God is the greatest
St. Anselm begins with a definition of God, argues that an existent God is superior to a non-existent God and concludes that God must exist in reality, for his non-existence would contradict the definition of God itself.
In the mind of Anselm he had noticed that there needs to be something that follows from all of this: if a being is perfect by definition, then that being must exist. Anselm believed that if a perfect being did not exist, then it would not be perfect. In which it would be impossible for God not to exist, for if He did not exist, there would be no definition of a perfect being. God is a “necessary being.” The example of you and I as perfect beings is not conceivable because we are not necessary beings, in our past if there were any change, then we would not exist. God is however different, He had to exist. This entire concept is known as the Ontological Argument.