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ĎAssess the claim that the ontological argument does not help Belief in Godí Free essay! Download now

Home > A Level > Philosophy > ĎAssess the claim that the ontological argument does not help Belief in Godí

ĎAssess the claim that the ontological argument does not help Belief in Godí

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ĎAssess the claim that the ontological argument does not help Belief in Godí essay previewĎAssess the claim that the ontological argument does not help Belief in Godí essay preview


ontological argument does not help Belief in God


Most people have not witnessed or experienced God and therefore are confused about its existence. In theology, three theories have emerged to demonstrate the existence of God. These theories are the ontological argument, the cosmological argument, and the teleological argument. St. Anselm of eleventh century, and Descartes of seventeenth century, have used the ontological argument for proving the existence of God. The God, for them, is supreme. St Anselmís account of the ontological argument for the existence of God deals with the Ďexistence in the understandingí vs. Ďexistence in reality.í He defines God as the greatest conceivable or possible being. He adds that any person who hears this statement describing God understands what is meant. His argument is that if God did not exist, then a being greater than God would be possible. This being then would be greater than the greatest possible being, which is impossible. Therefore he proves that there is no being greater than God and hence God exists.

In addition, Decartes develops the following version of the ontological argument. He considers the idea of God, a supremely perfect being, just as real as the idea of the existence of any shape or a number. His understanding of Godís existence is no less clear and distinct than his proofs for the existence of any shape or number. He argues that unlike other things he might persuade himself that existence can be separated from the essence of God, and hence that God can be thought of as not existing. Thatís why, it is just as much of a contradiction to think of God (that is, a supremely perfect being) lacking existence (that is, lacking perfection), as it is to think of a triangle without three sides. His theory is that he canít think of God without it existing and therefore it exists. Also he gives God all kinds of perfection and because existence is one of the perfection, "God necessarily exists."
Kantís critique of Anselmís and Descartesí arguments state that existence is not a perfection because all perfections are qualities, and existence is not any kind of characteristic, quality, attribute, or property. When we say that something exists, Kant argued, we "add nothing to" our concept of that thing - we merely say that there is something similar to that concept. It follows that no matter how many characteristics of a thing we list; we will still not have answered the question whether there is something having all those characteristics. His argument is that it is all right to say that God has certain characteristics but it is another to say that such a God exists. Many philosophers agree with Kantís argument, but many others do not. It ...

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