Throughout this essay, a question will present itself as to if the ontological argument can be accepted. To accomplish the task at hand, we shall analyze; firstly, the ontological argument from both Anselm and Descartes. Secondly, we shall discuss the argument for the existence of Fido, and why it does and does not look reasonable (which will answer (i)). Afterwards, questions (ii) and (iii) will be answered, followed by a rejection of the ontological argument from Gaunilo, and then an argument in the defence of the ontological argument from the Internet. However, due to the time constraint I will not discuss in depth if the ontological argument can be modified, but rather I will state that any modification made would contradict and prove itself false. In the end, I will conclude by demonstrating as to why the ontological argument cannot be accepted.
The Ontological Argument from Anselm
The first Ontological Argument for God’s existence, was first proposed by Anselm, the first premise of the argument is that there cannot be something greater than God which can be conceived. The second premise is that beings can exist in the mind or in reality or in both, in addition, beings that exist in the mind and reality are greater than beings that only exist in the mind, which also happens to be the third premise of the argument. In the fourth premise, Anselm states that a fool (the atheist) thinks God only exists in his/her mind, additionally in the fifth premise it states that the fool contradicts itself for the reason being; if God only exists in the mind then God would not be the greatest being, as stated in premise three beings who exist in the mind and reality are greater than those who only exist in the mind. Therefore, the gr...
... middle of paper ...
... number of palm trees or beaches that an island could have because any island can be imagined to have one more palm tree and beach. Therefore, there is no island than which none is greater than can be conceived. Note the same cannot be true for God according to Anselm, and thus the critique of Gaunilo. Secondly, while Kant’s criticism of the ontological argument is mostly accepted, some have shown objections. One of which is to insert that an object exists can change the way we conceive of it.
In conclusion, it is clear that the ontological argument should be rejected, due to the critique by Kant (and in some respect by Gaunilo) and also the absurdness of the argument as exemplified by Fido-ism. While a modification of the argument is possible, it contradicts itself. Therefore, I conclude with confidence that the ontological argument should be rejected.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- In the 11th century St. Anselm of Canterbury wrote the Prosologion, where he formulated the ontological argument of God’s existence. The beginning of his argument begins with propositions that do not rely on experience to believe that God’s existence is tangible. Furthermore, throughout Anselm’s argument he portrays logical and rational statements to show strong evidence of God’s existence (Oppy, par. 2). The main focus of this ontological argument is to counter the fool’s belief that there is no God, in this case the fool being Gaunilo.... [tags: Ontology, Ontological argument, Existence]
1092 words (3.1 pages)
- Explain the reasoning of the Ontological argument as a proof for the existence of God. Ontological arguments, by their nature attempt to prove the existence of God using deductive reasoning to a point of logical necessity. Constructed as an a priori proof Anselm’s ontological argument works from a position of faith in an attempt to strengthen his belief in the existence of God. Anselm asks the question, ‘can what I know about God, be thought of as correct?’ However, the argument does, in some forms, attempt to prove the existence of God reductio ad absurdum.... [tags: Ontology, Ontological argument, Logic, God]
1025 words (2.9 pages)
- In Meditation V, Descartes presents what is now considered the Ontological argument for the existence of God. Descartes claims that as the idea of a “supremely perfect being [God], is one which I find within me just as surely as the idea of any shape or number”, the essence of this idea itself is evidence of God, as for something to be perfect it must exist. Of course, this argument is open to many attacks from those such as Aquinas, Kant, Leibniz, Gaunilo and Hume. Furthermore, Descartes undermines himself with his previous meditations, for instance, in Meditation II, he claims we must question “what is reasonable”, as we do not already know.... [tags: Ontology, Existence, Metaphysics, Logic]
1286 words (3.7 pages)
- In this paper I will argue that Anselm 's ontological argument for the existence of God is so adequate for establishing the necessary existence of the greatest Conceivable Being. In order to accomplish this, I will argue that Anselm 's premises are sound, and that his conclusion rightfully follows his premises. I will support Anselm 's argument by representing that objections to Anselm 's argument are unsuccessful. My focus will be on Gaunilo 's objection to Anselm 's argument. Basically, Gauinilo 's objection is that Anselm 's argument can be transformed to prove the existence of any idea just by using the definition that the concept is bigger than all different concepts which can be concei... [tags: Ontology, Ontological argument, Existence, Mind]
1372 words (3.9 pages)
- In the Proslogion, Anselm tries to prove the existence of God and his powers through the ontological argument. This argument redirects the argument of God’s existence from science and observation to logic, where Anselm explains that there has to be a being that nothing greater can be thought of, and that is God. One of Anselm’s main topics of contention is God’s omnipotence and whether He is actually infinite. In the Proslogion, Anselm talks about God’s omnipotence and if it can be disavowed because of self-contradictory statements, how God’s non-action gives him more possibility and power, and how being all-powerful can lead to God being both merciful and yet not feel the pains of sinners.... [tags: God, Omnipotence, Ontological argument]
1231 words (3.5 pages)
- Intro Throughout this essay, a question will present itself as to if the ontological argument can be accepted. To accomplish the task at hand, we shall analyze; firstly, the ontological argument from both Anselm and Descartes. Secondly, we shall discuss the argument for the existence of Fido, and why it does and does not look reasonable (which will answer (i)). Afterwards, questions (ii) and (iii) will be answered, followed by a rejection of the ontological argument from Gaunilo, and then an argument in the defence of the ontological argument from the Internet.... [tags: Metaphysics, Ontology, Existence, Reality]
1260 words (3.6 pages)
- 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.... [tags: Theology Religion God Essays Papers]
1544 words (4.4 pages)
- Anselm’s ontological argument was presented in chapter two of Anselm’s Proslogion. The actual argument is as follow: (1) If God exists only in understanding, then we can think of a being greater than God. (2) We can’t think of a being greater than God. (3) Therefore not the case that God only exists in the understanding. (4) Either God exists in reality or God exists in the understanding. (5) Therefore God exist in reality (conclusion). To put this argument in conclusion argument form it would look like this: 1. If P then Q 2. Not Q 3. Not P 4. R or P 5. Therefore R This argument is in modus tollen form, so since it is modus tollen it is valid.... [tags: religion, theology]
986 words (2.8 pages)
- The Major Features of the Ontological Argument for the Existence of God The ontological argument for the existence of God was originally set out in eleventh century by St. Anselm in his Proslogian. Anselm was a Benedictine monk, Archbishop of Canterbury, and one of the great medieval theologians. It has received a lot of both support and criticism from leaning philosophers. The argument is appeals to those who already believe in the existence of God than to an atheist. The argument is entirely a priori; it seeks to demonstrate that God exists on the basis of that concept alone, and show existence as an attribute/characteristic of God, in the same way omnipotence a... [tags: Papers]
1019 words (2.9 pages)
- Due to the preconceptions I have concerning Anselm’s Ontological Argument, as learnt through course research and lectures. I will like Descartes in his ‘First Meditation’, put these preconceptions to one side and present an essay that explores both sides of the argument in an attempt to reach an independent conclusion. However, I hope to reach the same conclusion as I had before – that is, that the Ontological Argument can be refuted on the basis that there exists a fundamental dissimilarity between the concept of existence in our minds, and that of existence in reality.... [tags: existence of god, ontological argument, descartes]
1515 words (4.3 pages)