Philosophy Essay

653 words - 3 pages

The ontological argument is concerned with being, it claims to arrive at the existence of God by analysing the idea of God and this does not depend on experience; it’s therefore not existing therefore he must be necessary if he is the greatest being. However Kant argues that saying ‘God has a necessary existence’ is in fact making a synthetic statement.

“that than which nothing greater ac be conceived”, If God existed only in the mind then a greater being could be imagined to exist in the mind and in reality, this being would then be greater than God, therefore God cannot exist only in the mind. God exists both in the mind and in reality. His rm you don’t need to prove Gods existence whereas the 1st has a conclusion in itself.

Descartes gives the argument of perfection, God has all perfections, existence is perfection te of perfection; imagining God does not exist is like imaging a triangle without 3 sides.
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However this is not what Anselm is saying, Anselm claims that God is the greatest possible being and his argument only applies to God.

Anselm goes onto argue that being perfect is a predicate of God but not of an Island. Existence is not a “great

Plantinga explained against Gaunilo that the perfect island is an incoherent idea; islands unlike God, do not have maximal greatness e.g. one can always add another palm tree.

Peter Van knowno

Malcolm
Brian Davis back Malcolm’s argument

ii) Kant believed that the ontological argument was obviously incorrect he held various objections to the ontological argument, he argues against Anselm and Descartes by saying that “God has necessary existence” is in fact making a synthetic statement (you’re unable to work out whether it’s true or false without testing it out, experiencing it or proving it). Therefore showing that the ontological argument does not prove God exists through words alone – you would need to verify God’s existence by some other means. Kant goes on to further argue against Descartes, questioning whether existence is a predicate in the first place; not just of God but anything. Going back to Descartes’ triangle, Kant agrees that it’s right to state that “a triangle has three sides” as a predicate. We know this because we have experienced thce before giving it properties or qualities. Kant goes onto say that existence therefore is not a predicate; furthermore saying that God “has necessary existence” isn’t a real predicate.

Bertrand Russell too argues against Descartes that existence is not a predicate; he believes Anselm uses thea Claus is a man, therefore Santa Claus must exist. Existence has a prepositional function and adds no further information to a description.

Overall the ontological argument is not as obviously incorrect for the existence of God as first thove in the existence of God. To a believer God will have meaning and value to them; it’s based on the way a religious believer perceives the world. The ontological argument is correct in establishing the certain reality of God to those who believe; it confirms belief not convert.

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