A discussion on guanilos criticism of st anselms ontological argument for the existence of god


For when it is so conceived, it is not so much the word itself which is, indeed, a real thing -- that is, the sound of the letters and syllables as the signification of the word, when heard, that is conceived.

Hence, when a being than which a greater is inconceivable is conceived, if it is a being whose non-existence is possible that is conceived, it is not a being than which a greater cannot be conceived. Using the number example, it can be argued that the first premise is false.

A meditator who is having trouble perceiving that necessary existence is contained in the idea of a supreme perfect being can attain this perception indirectly by first recognizing that this idea includes every perfection. On this view, God is unlike any other reality known to us; while we can easily understand concepts of finite things, the concept of an infinitely great being dwarfs finite human understanding.

The Philosophy of Religion, J. It is tempting to suppose that this term means non-actual existence. Let us suppose, e. That is, Aquinas does not hold that over time there would be nothing, but that in the per se ordering of causes, if every contingent thing in that order did not exist, there would be nothing.

But this is ridiculous. Giving up the doctrine of real composition seemed too much for another group of thinkers who were also critical of the theory of real distinction. For one thing, whose conceivability is being appealed to here. Here is his argument for this important claim.

How are we so much as to understand the claim that even the Fool believes that that than which no greater can be conceived exists in the understanding. The Causal Principle has been the subject of extended criticism.

Premise, to which even the Fool agrees. The principle of sufficient reason is likewise employed by Samuel Clarke in his cosmological argument Rowe Or if the existence of another object, because it is not at all understood, is denied, yet is not the existence of what is understood in some degree more easily proved than the existence of an object which is in no wise understood.

Of course, theists may well be able to hold that the originals are sound, and the parodies not—but that is an entirely unrelated issue. Perhaps so, but without such principles, science itself would be undercut. However, suppose the first premise is true, then it is possible to conceive of a necessary and a contingent being, so second and third premises hold true.

Moreover, I have said that if this being is understood, it is in the understanding. Craig notes that the distinction between these types of arguments is important because the objections raised against one version may be irrelevant to other versions.

One is not required to find a reason for what is not metaphysically contingent. Hence, if any one says that he conceives this being not to exist, I say that at the time when he conceives of this either he conceives of a being than which a greater is inconceivable, or he does not conceive at all.

Unpublished essays and lectures, S. While this is not a good argument, it could appear compelling to one who failed to attend to the distinction between entertaining ideas and holding beliefs and who was a bit hazy on the distinction between the vehicles of belief and their contents.

The rather ought these earlier matters to be reasoned more cogently, and the whole to be received with great respect and honor. For all those objects, and those alone, can be conceived not to exist, which have a beginning or end or composition of parts: The theist responds that the PSR does not address logical contingency but metaphysical contingency.

Gregory S. Neal, "Anselm's Ontological Argument For the Existence of God" from Grace Incarnate () Maciej Nowicki, "Anselm and Russell" Logic and Logical Philosophy () Brown, Paterson.

"Professor Malcolm on Anselm's Ontological Arguments", Analysis, Video: St. Anselm's Ontological Argument for God's Existence This lesson will explore the ontological argument for God. In doing so, it will highlight the concept that reality is better than an idea.

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. Gaunilo, a monk who was a contemporary of St.

Anselm, offered an early and influential reply to the ontological argument. 1 Gaunilo’s ‘Lost Island’ argument. We saw in our discussion of Anselm that Anselm was trying to provide a reductio ad absurdum of the atheist’s position, by showing that the supposition that God does not exist in reality.

A discussion of Gaunilo's argument, that any unreal beings can be understood in the same way, and would, to that extent, exist A criticism of Gaunilo's example, in which he tries to show that in this way the real existence of a lost island might be inferred from the fact of its being conceived.

for the proof of the existence of God. Finally, even if the cosmological argument is sound or cogent, the difficult task remains to show, as part of natural theology, that the necessary being to which the cosmological argument concludes is the God of religion, and if so, of which religion.

A discussion on guanilos criticism of st anselms ontological argument for the existence of god
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