In addition, all things are a reflection of God and in this sense the Monad is a reflection of God's doing. Anslem believes that God is the one that makes all things possible, just as Leibniz and Spinoza. Spinoza states God is an independent existence which is the cause of everything. All of the philosophers believe God makes all things possible. Leibniz compares to the other philosophers as well because he believes God is a perfect architect who created the world.
However, in that case, the conceived God would not be the most perfect conceivable being because one can think of a more perfect God, namely a God that exists. Thus, it would be a contradiction to conceive a God that does not exist. Therefore, God exists. There is a third formulation of the argument forwarded by Descartes in his replies to the objections: “(A) That which we clearly and distinctly understand to belong to the true and immutable nature, or essence or form of something, can truly be asserted of that thing (B) With sufficient and careful investigation of what God is, we clearly and distinctly understand that existence belongs to his true and immutable nature. (C) Hence, God does exist.” 1 The first objection is that existence does not follow from essence.
Ontological arguments are a priori, which show that God exists without appealing to a sense experience. These ontological arguments argue about what God is to where he is from. St. Anselm, the creator of the ontological argument, based his theory on that we cannot think of anything greater than God. Therefor God must exist, why you might ask? If the greatest thing that we can conceive does not exist than we can still conceive the greatest thing that does exist, and that would be God.
Therefore, if God is the greatest conceivable being and has all qualities, he must have all predicates, one of them being existence, therefore God must surely exist. Descartes says that trying to imagine God without the predicate of existence is illogical, like imagining a triangle without three sides! In conclusion to Descartes’s argument, if the most perfect thing has all p... ... middle of paper ... ... have been impossible for anything to have begun to exist…therefore we cannot but admit the existence of some being having of itself its own necessity…” Furthermore, there must have been a ‘necessary being’ to bring about this existence, this being God. He evaluated that if God did not exist, then nothing would exist. In conclusion, Aquinas presents in his three ways of proving the existence of God that nothing could have existed without the existence of another.
As I mentioned, Anselm believes that God is the greatest being we can possibly think of. He does this by first trying to prove the opposite of what he really wants to prove. For example, lets suppose God does not exist in reality. We then could think of something greater, a being that has all the same virtuous characteristics as we think God as having, but also being able to exist in reality. He then tries to prove that this supposition leads to a conclusion which cannot possibly be true.
In this paper, I will examine the ontological argument of Anselm for the existence of God. Anselm defines God as “that-than-which-nothing-greater-can-be-thought,” which means, at least for Anselm, that God must exist because he is the greatest being that can be conceived. Furthermore, he argues that all people, whether or not they believe in the existence of God, at least understand his definition, including the fool who denies that God exist. Anselm, in addition to that, describes two main differences between understanding the definition of God, and understanding God to exist. In the explanation of this argument for the existence of God, Anselm states that God is the greatest being that can be thought and nothing else can be conceived as a greater being than God.
Aquinas begins his rebuttals by defining what is encompassed by the characteristic of divine omnipotence. He explains that god is able to all things which are "possible absolutely", which he defines as all things which can be logically expressed without the predicate being in conflict with the subject - i.e. god is capable of all things which do not involve a contradiction in terms. This does not imply any defect in the power of god, Aquinas goes on to say, because impossible things by definition have "no aspect of possibility", moreover, it is absurd to expect divine omnipotence to encompass the logically impossible. (I) Aquinas answers the first objection as follows.
That God is “that then which nothing greater can be conceived” (Id quo nihil mauis potest), meaning that it is impossible for there to be a more perfect being. This leads to the first two premises. Firstly, “God is that then which nothing greater can be conceived” and secondly, “Something that exists in reality (in re) is bound to be greater than something that exists in the imagination (in intellectu). This leads to the conclusion, that as God is “the greatest conceivable thing”…it is only logical that God exists “both in reality and thought”. Anselm’s essential claim was that existence was a “predicate of God” which means a quality of God’s nature.
For all of Anselm’s arguments to work, we would need a notion of content of his proposition that God is the highest human conception. We would also need a correlation between the conception of “being” in a general way of matching up to the idea of a “Supreme Being.” The problem that Anselm has is that there is not a “being” that matches up to the type of “being” that God is. If God were in existence, he would have to be in separable parts and divided into many places if he were to consist of being omnipresent. So He cannot be a perfect “one” being unless he was multiple beings of reality. What Anselm also didn’t cover was the fact of God being a Personal God.
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.