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. Also, Anselm does not discuss what a perfect being is. He claims that God cannot be perfect if He exists only in the understanding, but what exactly does being perfect mean? Moreover, Anselm would then need to be able to provide evidence of how God would meet this description. Finally, Descartes proof resonates with me more because he acknowledges that humans are imperfect.
The Ontological Argument The Ontological argument is a group of different philosophers arguments for the existence of God. "Ontological" literally means talking about being and so in this case, that being is the existence or being of God. The main component of the Ontological argument can be found in the Anselm’s "Proslogion" which is a short work that tries to demonstrate both the existence and the nature of God. His main aim in writing the Proslogion is not to directly prove the existence of God but to moreover, to show the relationship between faith and reason. Anselm wanted to understand the object of the belief.
What is the most convincing form of the ontological argument? Is it convincing, or does it still have problems? If it has problems, what are they? For the purpose of this essay an argument shall be considered convincing if it would make a reasonable person with no prior opinion on the matter believe it. Further, this essay must establish a definition of ontological so as to differentiate between ontological and other forms of argument for the existence of God.
This paper will attempt to state and explain the Cartesian Ontological Argument, its most promising lines of objection and some of the replies to these objections. Before studying the argument, it is important to notice that this type argument, unlike causal or teleological arguments, tries to be based on reason alone, not observation. Descartes considers that his a priori claims can derive the existence of God from the very concept of God. The Cartesian Ontological Argument can be formulated as follows: (1) God is that being than which nothing more perfect can be conceived upon. (2) Existence is a perfection.
Anselm says of God: “We believe that you are something than which nothing greater can be thought.” (Cottingham, 1996: 246) We can put this in shorthand by saying that Anselm understands God to be the greatest conceivable being -- the GCB, for short Now you might protest that you do not use the word "God" in this way. Nevertheless, that does not really matter. If Anselm can show that such a being exists, then he has shown something remarkable whatever you call the being. Furthermore, it is not clear why anyone should resist calling such a being God. Now another worry may occur to you: conceivable by whom?
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.
Though these arguments Aquinas states his belief that God is the greatest of all things. While this is the same notion that Anselm has, Anselm does not hat the wit to back it up logically. In fact, the deeper you dig into Anselm, the more confusing and illogical it gets. Aquinas makes a great logical argument that is not terrible confusing. So, while they both had the same idea of God, only Aquinas was able to back it up.
The term ‘greater’ requires a comparison between itself and one or more things, which could pose a problem for Anselm’s argument; however Professor Thorp states that the only difference between these two things is that one exists in the mind, while the other exists in the mind and in reality. If we understand that a God that exists in the mind and in reality is greater than one that merely exists in the mind then we must understand that God exists. We need to examine this, however, much more closely to discover the problem with this statement; and I will do so using an example given to us by Professor Thorp. During the discussion of the Ontological argument, the professor asked us whether we would prefer ‘a real beer’ on a hot day, or ‘an imaginary beer’. The real one is preferable and it is greater than the imaginary one.
Do McCloskey’s arguments even meet his own strict standard? If they do not then McCloskey refutes himself. McCloskey would be better served to view theistic arguments as a cumulative case where each argument compliments, and builds upon the other in proving various aspects of the Creator. In this respect, each argument for theism provides clues to the nature of God, but does not supply every conceivable attribute. Another viewpoint McCloskey should have considered is what is the best explanation of the facts presented in the proofs?
If we use “A” to represent the first central claim “all clear and distinct perceptions are true”, and use “B” to represent the second central claim “God exists”, the Cartesian Circle can be concluded as “if A, then B, and if B, then A”. To become a pair of arguments with circular reasoning fallacy, the soundness of the two arguments cannot be granted, although the validity of both the arguments is clearly shown. In the “if A, then B” argument, if the truth-value of conclusion B is uncertain, that of premise A is uncertain as well. Therefore, according to the supporters for the existence of Cartesian Circle,... ... middle of paper ... ...ording to what Descartes says, a person doubts because of his or her imperfectness, which is discovered by comparing to a perfect being (God) that is not the thinking and learning thing itself. To sum up, a perfect God exists.