Ontological Arguments for the Existence of God Essay

Ontological Arguments for the Existence of God Essay

Length: 1596 words (4.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In the fifth Meditation, Descartes presents his second argument for the existence of God. Descartes holds that existence is perfection and so, it can be a predicate for God. I will first explain what is the ontological argument for the existence of God. Next, I will discuss why Descartes decides to bring God into His method of philosophy. I will then try to argue that existence is a perfection and that as a predicate for God, existence reveal certain true about God.
Ontological argument tries to prove the existence of God from a priori perspective, i.e., idea implanted in the human mind by God himself. The argument therefore depends on analytic reasoning, from premise to conclusion. Descartes believes that he has an inborn idea which he calls “innate” (p. 43). His ability to think did not cause the idea on his mind, but God’s free will to act. Thereby, as the idea manifest itself to his mind intuitively; it reveals something about its author. The idea allows Descartes to think of a perfect being who must necessarily exist, namely God.
In his epistemological quest for truth, through thought experiment, Descartes’ Meditations offers the reader a method of doubt that could be used in order to discover what is absolutely certain, and free oneself from the errors caused by misjudgments. Descartes’ purpose is to find indubitable truth. He makes used of the method of hyperbolic doubt in order to establish an absolute and convincing foundation of truth. He discovers that sense experience can be put to doubt, but Descartes cannot doubt that he actually doubts. Furthermore, he fears deception about everything. However, he cannot be deceived about his own existence since to be deceived, one must first exist. “I think, therefore I am”. I...

... middle of paper ...

...f a triangle includes three sides, so the idea of God includes His existence. Since Descartes got to prove the God's existence, he holds that man can have confident in his clear and distinct idea and reason. Since God is all-perfect He cannot be a deceiver, if He does, it would undermine His nature. Therefore, the rational mind can now be certain about the clear and distinct truth.

Works Cited

Beardsley, Monroe C. The European Philosophers form Descartes to Niectzsche. New

York: Rondom House, Inc. 2002.

Holt, Tim. “Existence is not a Predicate.” ©2008. Access: Access, Nov. 8 , 2011.


Robinson, Timothy A. God. 2nd Ed. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. 2002.

Ross, Kelley L. “The Beginning of Modern Science”. ©2010. Web.

Access, Nov. 12, 2011. 2010


Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Outlining the Ontological Arguments and Their Success as Proofs of God's Existence

- Outlining the Ontological Arguments and Their Success as Proofs of God's Existence The ontological argument is a perfect example of a priori argument. For example, it uses logic to prove an initial definition to be correct. The term refers to a whole series of arguments within a thought. The arguments aim is to prove God’s existence from the meaning of the word God. St Anselm was the man who suggested that deductive reasoning could be used to prove God’s existence - a priory argument....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
1071 words (3.1 pages)

The Ontological Argument For The Existence Of God Essay

- One of the most intriguing and admittedly baffling arguments for the existence of God is the ontological argument. It was developed by St Anselm in the 11th century, and the reason said argument is considered unique is because it is an a priori argument rather than an a posteriori argument , which most other arguments for the existence of God tend to take form. It attempts to prove the existence of God, not through any physical evidence, but rather by claiming that the very definition of God is proof enough of his existence; that he is an underlying truth in much the same way mathematical truths are inherently known....   [tags: Ontology, Ontological argument, Existence, God]

Powerful Essays
1063 words (3 pages)

Existence of God Essay

- The dilemma of the existence of God has troubled mankind for thousands of years. Many philosophers have put forth their theories in order to prove the existence of God. Most of these arguments can be termed as ontological. These arguments differ from other arguments for the existence of God since they are not based on empirical data such as the existence or nature of the universe, but are rather grounded in pure logic. First we will consider the arguments presented by Anselm. He believed that God is ‘that than which nothing greater can be conceived’; if one understand this, then God exists in his mind; but it is greater to exist in reality as well as in the mind than to exist only in the min...   [tags: Ontological arguments]

Free Essays
914 words (2.6 pages)

The Ontological Argument As A Proof For The Existence Of God Essay

- 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]

Powerful Essays
1025 words (2.9 pages)

The Ontological Argument Of God 's Existence Essay

- 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]

Powerful Essays
1092 words (3.1 pages)

God And The Controversial Existence Of God Essay

- In this philosophical essay regarding God and the controversial existence of objective morality, I will argue in favour of Shafer-Landau’s conclusion that if you are an atheist, then you should object the proposition that objective morality requires the existence of God. In addition, for Shafer-Landau’s argument to make sense, I will be mentioning the Argument from Atheism, a classical argument based upon moral skepticism. I will also be providing Shafer-Landau’s arguments in objection to the Argument of Atheism along with key pieces of terminology and definitions which are crucial to understanding his argument in support of objective morality....   [tags: God, Atheism, Morality, Existence]

Powerful Essays
1144 words (3.3 pages)

The Existence Of God And His Powers Through The Ontological Argument Essay example

- 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]

Powerful Essays
1231 words (3.5 pages)

Essay about The Ontological Argument for the Existence of God

- 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]

Powerful Essays
1544 words (4.4 pages)

The Ontological Argument For The Existence Of God Essay

- 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]

Powerful Essays
1286 words (3.7 pages)

The Ontological Argument Of God Essay

- The Ontological Argument is an argument that claims the existence of God through the meaning of words and the idea of logic. Ontological literally means ‘concerned with being’. The argument concludes that the definition of God ultimately infers his existence, and Anselm, who was the main proponent of the argument argued that the existence of God was logically necessary due to the definition of God – ‘that which nothing greater can be conceived’. The main proponents of this argument are Anselm, Descartes, Malcolm, and Platinga and the main opponents are Aquinas, Kant, and Gaunilo....   [tags: Ontology, Existence, Metaphysics, Atheism]

Powerful Essays
1026 words (2.9 pages)