Essay on behalf of the Smart

550 Words2 Pages

Anselm’s classical ontological argument is criticized precisely for its attempt to define God into existence. The argument is deductive and its form known as reduction ad absurdum. “That is, it begins with a supposition S (suppose that the greatest conceivable being exist in the mind alone) that is contradictory to what one desires to prove” (Pojman 41). In other words, the argument attempts to show a contradiction or absurdity in the opposite view in order to claim his own view is correct.
There is nothing inherently wrong with this method. However, it does become a problem when a deductive argument is attempting to bring something into existence. We simply cannot do that, for it goes against the common sense laws of logic. Gaunilo offered us an example famously known as the “Isle of the Blessed” (Peterson 173). In this example, he attempts to use the same deductive form Anselm uses to bring an island into existence. “Because it is better that such a perfect island exists in reality than simply in the mind alone, this Isle of the Blest must necessarily exist” (Pojman 42).

Open Document