The Ontological Argument for the Existence of God

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The Ontological Argument for the Existence of God

The ontological argument is an a priori argument. The arguments

attempt to prove God's existence from the meaning of the word God. The

ontological argument was introduced by Anselm of Canterbury in his

book Proslogion. Anselm's classical argument was based on two

principals and the two most involved in this is St Anselm of

Canterbury as previously mentioned and Rene Descartes.

The ontological argument argues that if you understand what it means

to talk about God, you will see His existence is necessarily true.

Anselm defined God as 'that than which nothing greater can be

conceived', hence God must exist. Anselm also believed that even

atheist had a definition for God even just to disregard his existence;

hence God exists in the mind.

Anselm said this is so because that which exists in reality is greater

than that which exists purely in the mind.

In the words of Anselm,

"Therefore, Lord, not only are You that than which nothing greater can

be conceived but you are also something greater than can be conceived.

Indeed, since it is possible to be conceived to be something of this

kind, if you are not this very thing, something can be conceived

greater than You, which cannot be done."

Anselm suggested a proof for God's existence, however, for God to be

God there must be more to Him than that He simply 'exists'.

Those who support the ontological argument will say the statement "God

exists" is analytically true. This means that once we understand the

meaning of the word "God" we see that He must exist by definition.

Anselm said God's existence was proved by analyzing wha...

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...ed by My

Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him." (John

14:21) This is the only valid direct test for the Christian God's


The Bible never defines God as infinite, but defines Him as existing

beyond the limitations of our four dimensional universe. This does not

mean that He is infinite. Some Christians have said that God is

infinite, but this concept cannot be supported biblically. The only

characteristic of God described as infinite is His knowledge or

understanding. Therefore, the argument does not hold, since the God of

Christianity is not described as infinite. It is for this reason the

ontological argument can fail as a theistic proof however it is not an

easy answer to the question as it holds both 'for' and 'against'

reasoning for the theistic proof in the existence of God.
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