One must definitely consider the epistemological questions, or the "How do we know what we know?" questions. One must also consider how God should be defined, especially since the definition and concept of God is so central to Anselm's point. I take the position that knowledge is belief that is reasonably and logically supported. Knowledge approaches truth, or the actuality, but is not necessarily true.
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 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.
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.
This argument is normally labeled as “Pascal’s Wager”. During this argument he explains why any rational being should believe in God, even though said rational being does not have sufficient evidence. Pascal argues that due to the available choices and following consequences the rational being is forced logically to believe in God. The following is an explanation and critical evaluation of this philosophically important argument. One of the first issues that Pascal wants to make sure is covered is that his argument is not for the existence of God, but instead it is intended to argue that it is more logically sound to believe in the God, than to deny his existence.
To sum up, a perfect God exists. It can be seen that Descartes is only using the premise “all clear and distinct perceptions are true” as a reference for the proof, instead of the only reason for the argument. However, Descartes’s meditations fail to state the reasoning for some of his premises clearly, which makes some of the periodical conclusions hard to understand. For example, Descartes points out that “more reality in an infinite substance than in a finite one”, without showing why (Descartes 31). However, this kind of flaws does not change the fact that the meditations are using circular reference between the premises and conclusions, instead of circular reasoning.
This does not mean that He is infinite. Some Christians have said that God is infinite, but this concept cannot be supported biblically. The only characteristic of God described as infinite is His knowledge or understanding. Therefore, the argument does not hold, since the God of Christianity is not described as infinite. It is for this reason the ontological argument can fail as a theistic proof however it is not an easy answer to the question as it holds both 'for' and 'against' reasoning for the theistic proof in the existence of God.
Anselm's Existence of God Refuted Anselm's Existence of God Refuted If the only proofs for the existence of God were Aquinas’s five ways and Anselm’s ontological argument, in my opinion, Anselm provides the best reasoning. I am not saying that Anselm’s argument is good, or even valid, but just that given the set of proofs by Aquinas and Anselm, Anselm’s is better. Anselm argues, in effect, that the existence of God is built into the very concept of God. He proceeds by a form of argument called reductio ad absurdum -- reduction to absurdity. He attempts to show that the position of the fool -- the non-believer who has said in his heart, "There is no God" -- is incoherent and leads to absurdity.
Another viewpoint McCloskey should have considered is what is the best explanation of the facts presented in the proofs? The case for God is more powerful when th... ... middle of paper ... ...en the existence of God, and evil. Atheism embraces the Noble Lie, and lacks comfort. McCloskey’s attempts to undermine theistic belief and his positive case for atheism fail. It is still perfectly reasonable to be an intellectually and emotionally satisfied theist.
My view of these arguments and the Ontological argument as a whole is that it is a weak argument. If I had to choose sides between Anselm or Gaunilo and Kant I think I would choose Gaunilo and Kant because they do a better job of arguing their point. If I were questioning the existence of God and had Anselm’s argument to read and then Kant’s to read I would probably end up ton believing that God existed. One reason being that you cannot understand Anselm’s argument and two he does not prove anything but the fact that God is a supreme being than which no greater can be conceived. It is because of this why I believe the Ontological argument to be a bad way to prove God to anyone.