St anselms ontological argument essay

Anselm,

Rather it is a precondition for the instantiation of properties in the following sense: But we cannot imagine something that is greater than God for it is a contradiction to suppose that we can imagine a being greater than the greatest possible being that can be imagined.

For any property P, if P is positive, then being necessarily P is positive.

Ontological Arguments

But this contradicts the assumption that B is a being that instantiates all the perfections. Hence it is not possible that God exists.

On the other hand, it is perfectly possible to entertain the idea of a being than which no greater can be conceived—and to recognise that this idea encodes the property of real existence—without attributing real existence to a being than which no greater can be conceived, i.

As Immanuel Kant argues, one cannot compare the value of the idea of thalers i. But to be perfectly merciful is to give at least some persons less punishment than they deserve.

Essays for Richard Cartwright, J. Let us suppose, e. Finally, there has been some activity in journals. Surely it is quite easy to imagine even more marvellous achievements—e.

Lewis also suggests an alternative to 3 which yields a valid argument: But surely this cannot be. Austin transOxford: Hence, the existent perfect being is existent.

Nevertheless, the success of the argument doesn't depend on our having a complete understanding of the concept of a being than which none greater can be conceived.

Relay corrections, suggestions or questions to larchie at lander. Kant rejects premise 3 on the ground that, as a purely formal matter, existence does not function as a predicate. A being that necessarily exists in reality is greater than a being that does not necessarily exist.

And so we are done. To be perfectly just is always to give every person exactly what she deserves. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, Plantinga himself agrees: We begin with a brief presentation of each of these analyses, preceded by a presentation of the formulation of the argument given by Plantingaand including a presentation of some of the formulations of Lewis If it is impossible that God exists — as all who deny that God exists suppose, on the further assumption that, were God to exist, God would exist of necessity — then it cannot be true both that the God-properties are closed under entailment and that there are properties that are not God-properties.

Considered together, the argument and the counterargument just mentioned plainly do not give anyone a reason to prefer theism to non-theism, and nor do they give anyone a reason to prefer non-theism to theism.

For example, perfect knowledge requires knowing all and only true propositions; it is conceptually impossible to know more than this.

The point is that non-theists are not prepared to include god s in the former group of objects—and hence will be unpersuaded by any argument which tries to use whatever vocabulary is used to discriminate between the two classes as the basis for an argument that god s belong to the former group.

Thus, if God exists only as an idea in the mind, then we can imagine something that is greater than God that is, a greatest possible being that does exist.

Anselm: Ontological Argument for God's Existence

This version of the argument relies on two important claims. God exists in the mind as an idea. But, as just noted, there is no valid inference from this claim to the further claim that God exists.

After all, when it is set out in this way, it is obvious that the argument proves far too much. But insofar as the relevant great-making properties are limited to omnipotence, omniscience, and moral perfection which do admit of intrinsic maximumsAnselm's notion of a greatest possible being seems to avoid the worry expressed by Broad and Guanilo.

Second, notice that the argument for Premise 4 does not make any reference to the claim that all propositions bear their modal status necessarily. No one who believes that that than which no greater can be conceived exists in the understanding can reasonably believe that that than which no greater can be conceived exists only in the understanding.

Hence the perfect being who creates exactly n universes exists. The Proslogion goes on and on, trying to establish the properties of that than which no greater can be conceived.

Perhaps it is worth adding here that there is fairly widespread consensus, even amongst theists, that no known ontological arguments for the existence of God are persuasive.

Since Premise 3 asserts that existence is a perfection, it follows that B lacks a perfection. Instead, I shall just focus on the question of the analysis of the material in Proslogion II on the assumption that there is an independent argument for the existence of God which is given therein.

It is sometimes objected that Plantinga's Premise 4 is an instance of a controversial general modal principle. The property of being God-like is consistent.

But many philosophers are skeptical about the underlying assumption, as Leibniz describes it, "that this idea of the all-great or all-perfect being is possible and implies no contradiction. Therefore, a maximally great being that is, God exists in every logically possible world.

The first, and best-known, ontological argument was proposed by St. Anselm of Canterbury in the 11th. century C.E. In his Proslogion, St.

Anselm claims to derive the existence of God from the concept of a being than which no greater can be conceived. - 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: Ontological Argument for God's Existence One of the most fascinating arguments for the existence of an all-perfect God is the ontological argument. While there are several different versions of the argument, all purport to show that it is self-contradictory to deny that there exists a.

The premises of Anselm’s ontological argument were demonstrated to be sound when examined in the context of Anselm’s definition of the Greatest Conceivable Being. Moreover, Anselm’s argument was shown to be a valid argument, with a conclusion that follows from the premises.

An ontological argument for the existence of God is one that attempts the method of a priori proof, which utilizes intuition and reason alone. The term a priori refers to deductive reasoning.

Deductive reasoning is the type of reasoning that proceeds from general principles or premises to derive particular information. Anselm: Ontological Argument for God's Existence One of the most fascinating arguments for the existence of an all-perfect God is the ontological argument.

While there are several different versions of the argument, all purport to show that it is self-contradictory to deny that there exists a .

St anselms ontological argument essay
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