Anselm and Descartes do not fully provide evidence to prove that they have this clear idea of God. It is very much possible that this is completely false and then both arguments would be incorrect from the start. However, despite this I still believe Descartes argument is more persuasive, and one reason is because Anselm’s argument is very vague. For instance, Anselm never explains what it means for one thing to be ‘greater’ than something else. 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.
In Anselm’s Ontological Argument, he is trying to prove that God exists. He used two preconditions to prove this argument. The first precondition is the important idea of this argument, he said that because the greatest things not only exist in the mind, but it also exists in the reality. The second precondition is that there is nothing greater than God can be conceived. So the conclusion for this argument is that God exists.
What I want to know is how we can conceive the existence of something that is beyond all that is conceivable. While there are obvious problems with his logic, Anselm firmly believes that God is the greatest of all beings. This is exactly what Aquinas believes, only his argument is much clearer. First, he asks "whether it can be demonstrated that God exists." This is an important question because if it cannot be demonstrated that God exists, then there is no point in trying to.
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.
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.
What Anselm also didn’t cover was the fact of God being a Personal God. When Anselm came up with the line of reasoning known as the Ontological Argument. His argument provides no place or a need for the perfect being to be personal. Which is a big deal being a christian, believing in Inc... ... middle of paper ... ...understanding. Which would mean that this person was greater than God.
The Ontological Argument The Ontological Argument, put forth by Saint Anselm in his Proslogium, attempts to prove the existence of God simply by the fact that we have a particular concept of God - that God is "that than which nothing greater can be conceived." Saint Anselm presents a convincing argument that many people view as the work of a genius. It is also quite often considered a failure because, in William L. Rowe's words, "In granting that Anselm's God is a possible thing we are in fact granting that Anselm's God actually exists." In other words, it "assumes the point it is supposed to prove", primarily because is assumes that existence is a great-making quality, and for God to be truly great, he must exist. I disagree with Rowe's point that Anselm's definition of God invalidates his argument because it later helps to prove Anselm's argument.
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.
– premise (2) Existence in reality is greater than existence in the understanding alone. – premise (3) God's existence... ... middle of paper ... ...at could be the Judeo-Christian God but is not necessarily. Leftow argues that the ontological argument can be used to show the existence of a LUE , which is the “lowest common denominator” of the potential parodies; such that the LUE is still compatible with the Judeo-Christian God. As such it is impossible to run a parody argument against the LUE. In conclusion, the modal ontological argument alone is not successful a proof of God’s existence.
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?