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.
Generally saying, this is a circular argument that cannot be used as a proof. We would all like to believe that we believe in God and our given religion because of faith. But what is faith? And how can a Jew, a Christian or a Muslim all have the same certainty about their given religions without being in any doubt of their minds as to the certainty of their religions and faith. Descartes set out to build a set of arguments designed to prove God’s existence.
He uses the logical analysis for the concept of God, then he uses the concept of the God which he gives to people as the start point to prove God exists. In this argument, the biggest problem is that Anselm is a believer for God. Before he tries to prove God exists, deep in his mind, he already thought that God is existence. Then he can come up with some concepts that can only accepted by the Christians to prove that God exists. I think that for a Christian like Anselm, the ontological argument still a good example to prove that God exists.
Philosophers, whether they are atheists, or believers have always been eager to discuss the existence of God. Some philosophers, such as St Thomas Aquinas, and St Anselm, believe that we have proven that God exists through our senses, logic, and experience. Others such as Soren Kierkegaard, and Holbach, feel that we will never have the answer to this question due to our human limitations, and reason. The believer tends to rely on faith for his belief, and claim they do not need proof in order to believe in the God's existence. The atheist however, tends to lean more towards common sense and reason, such as science, or the theory of evolution for an answer.
All three of them are similar in some way, because they are all trying to arrive at the same conclusion: there is no God. However, others can takes those same three different arguments and come up with an entirely different conclusion: There is a God who does in fact exist. In philosophical situations such as this, the most effective way to explain a standpoint on God’s existence is to use an argument, not a proof. The goal is not to prove the existence per say; but rather to argue it from a philosophical position. This is one error of McCloskey’s believing that everything needs proof in order to be true.
Although, this argument may appear to be attempting to convert, it is actually a “faith seeking understanding” argument. The majority of Anselm’s audience were theists. The first part of his argument was concerned with proving God’s existence. He began with the definition “God is that then which nothing greater can be conceived” (Id quo nihil maius potest). From this definition, he a... ... middle of paper ... ...ceived”.
Throughout this proof, Descartes is trying to use God’s existence as a way of affirming that which he clearly and distinctly perceives. However, he is also trying to prove God’s existence by claiming that the idea of God is a clear and distinct perception. Without inquiring into the existence of God, “it appears I am never capable of being completely ... ... middle of paper ... ...hat God too exists" (Descartes, 34). Descartes proof of the existence of God is derived from his establishment that something cannot come from nothing. Because God is a perfect being, the idea of God can be found from exploring the different notions of ideas.
In this paper, I will explain how Descartes uses the existence of himself to prove the existence of God. The “idea of God is in my mind” is based on “I think, therefore I am”, so there is a question arises: “do I derive my existence? Why, from myself, or from my parents, or from whatever other things there are that are less perfect than God. For nothing more perfect than God, or even as perfect as God, can be thought or imagined.” (Descartes 32, 48) Descartes investigates his reasons to show that he, his parents and other causes cannot cause the existence of himself. I do not cause the existence of myself Descartes illustrates “I am not the reason I exist” from two perspectives: (1)Direct reason: If I am the reason I exist, it has an incredible conclusion “if I got my being from myself, I would not doubt, nor would I desire, nor would I lack anything at all.
Aquinas, in the Summa Theologiae, stated that, “Man should not seek to know what is above reason.” His argument was, in very simple terms, that men need reason to understand all of God’s truths. Yet there are certain truths that are beyond reason which men can only understand through Divine Revelation, or faith. And sometimes there might be certain aspects of faith that one day reason might have been able to prove but only a few men would know and understand this, so it is necessary that all men know this through Divine Revelation and faith. In a personal point of view, I see this interpretation the same way that I see all explanantions of religious beliefs. Religion, in my definition, is a simple way to attain the answers to the mystery ... ... middle of paper ... ...roofs of God’s existence are basically the same in that they are all, essentially, examples of cause and effect.
This difference in conceivabili... ... middle of paper ... ...d Him. The work, however, or the argument given by Anselm, is not inconsequential. Anselm seems to recognize in the rationality that humanity needs in faith and the possibility of finding whatever belief one has to be true. “O Lord, who grantest to faith understanding, grant unto me that, so far as Thou knowest it to be expedient to me” says Anselm before the beginning of his ontological argument (3). Anselm seeks to find God with such fervor, such tenacity, that the only thing he accomplishes is not an understanding of God, but an understanding of his faith in God.