Ontological Argument

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Most people have not witnessed or experienced God and therefore are confused about its existence. In Western theology, three theories have emerged to demonstrate the existence of God. These theories are the ontological argument, the cosmological argument, and the teleological argument. St. Anselm of eleventh century, and Descartes of seventeenth century, have used the ontological argument for proving the existence of God. The God, for them, is supreme, "needing nothing outside himself, but needful for the being and well-being of all things." (Pg. 305).

St Anselm’s account of the ontological argument for the existence of God deals with the ‘existence in the understanding’ vs. ‘existence in reality.’ He defines God as the greatest conceivable or possible being. He adds that any person who hears this statement describing God understands what is meant. His argument is that if God did not exist, then a being greater than God would be possible.
This being then would be greater than the greatest possible being, which is impossible. Therefore he proves that there is no being greater than God and hence God exists. His argument is also based on the premise that "the idea of an eternal being who either does not yet exist or no longer exists is self-contradictory, so that the very idea we have of such a being requires existence." (Pg. 307).

In his Meditations, Decartes offers the following version of the ontological argument. He considers the idea of God, a supremely perfect being, just as real as the idea of the existence of any shape or a number. His understanding of
God’s existence is no less clear and distinct than his proofs for the existence of any shape or number. Therefore he adds, "although all that I concluded in the preceding
Meditations were found to be false, the existence of God would pass with me as at least as certain as I have ever held the truths of mathematics." (Pg. 308). Initially, this might not be all clear, and may have some appearance of being a sophism. He argues that unlike other things he might persuade himself that existence can be separated from the essence of God, and hence that God can be thought of as not existing. He adds that ‘when he thinks of it with more attention, he clearly sees that existence can no more be separated from the essence of God, than the fact that its three angles equal two right ang...

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...ishes. In this respect they come near to psychiatric delusions. He called a belief an illusion when a wish-fulfillment is a prominent factor in its motivation, and in doing so we disregard its relations to reality, just as the illusion itself sets no store by verification. All three philosophers agree that the only proper concern of man is humanity. They believe in man and not God.
These philosophers did not outright hate religion. Freud was fascinated by Jewish mysticism and Nietzsche offered extravagant praise of Buddhism. But they felt that the balance is very important. They argue that no one can deny that there have been thousands of atrocities - to both spirit and body - in the name of religion.

I believe that religion has taught humans to behave like a man. The self-determination and self-realization of man is not hindered by religion. If people did not believe in God, there might be lessening of good deeds. For some, realization of god is like self-realization. Many peoples in the east believe in re-incarnation and believe that soul never dies. For them this gives continuity to life as a chain of things. These people want to believe in God and immerse themselves in God.
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