He then goes on to say that it is always greater to exist in reality (in re) than just in the mind (in intellectu). The last part logically concludes that if there is no greater being than God, then God must exist in both the mind and reality. If God was to only exist in in our thoughts and not in reality then we would be able to think of a greater being, e.g. the prime minister because he exists in both reality and our minds. But because it’s impossible to conceive a greater being that God he must exist in both reality and our minds.
Anselm’s Ontological Argument states that one understands that God, as a being, cannot be conceived a greater. Anselm uses this psychology that if we conceive of such a being’s existence only in the understanding, a greater being could be conceived and also exists in reality (Anselm, p.169). He also goes on to say that it’s contradictory because we cannot conceive a greater being than God that it must exist (Anselm, p.169). Anselm then moves on to the admission that since one understands the concept of a being that cannot conceive a greater; God cannot be understood not to exist (Anselm, p.169). One example that Anselm used to back up his argument was a painter.
Central to Anselm’s argument is the belief that it is greater to exist than not exist, and if God is the greatest-possible being, then by definition, God must exist. If God, only existed as an idea, then that God would not be the greatest possible being because we could think of something greater, namely something that exists in reality. Anselm also points out that even if we don’t know rationally or logically that God exists, there are no logical contradictions in talking about God existing. It is not a contradiction of terms, as,
Explain Anselms ontological argument Part A The ontological argument is used as a rational explanation to support the existence of God. Anselms ontological argument is known as a “classic “explanation of the ontological argument and is used widely to support the existence of God. The ontological argument is a priori argument meaning that theories are developed to prove the existence of God using nothing but intellectual insight and reason: it does not depend upon our experience of the world to be verified. Anselm defines God by saying God is that “which nothing greater can be conceived.” A way to simplify this explanation is thinking of God as being the greatest thing there can be, i.e. defining God as maximal perfection, there literally cannot be anything greater than God as God is the greatest thing that can possibly exist.
McCloskey is reminding atheists the ways theists argue for their belief in God. He is reminding atheists the reasons they believe that there is no God. He feels atheism is superior to theism; however; I find that his opinions only strengthen my belief that there is a God. Proof, as he states, carries no weight for a theist. He is half correct in his statement as a theist does not believe in the proofs individually, but finds enough evidence in them to form the belief that God does exist; He is the creator of the universe, and He is morally perfect.
He states that for the fool to say that there ‘is no God’ the fool has to have an idea of what God is in their minds. Anselm puts forward that the definition that in the mind of God is the ‘greatest possible being’ therefore making him the greatest possible being that can be conceived. He then points out that it is greater to exist in reality than in the mind alone. An example of this is Santa clause; people are able to discuss the idea of him and give a description of what he does but just because we are able to discuss him it does not mean he exists. To Anselm the most important factors is being able to exist in reality as well as in the mind this therefore makes it greater than just being an idea of the mind.
Since nothing can move of its own accord, and nothing can change itself, there had to be something else which has no cause and had the ability to initiate the Universe. Aquinas said that this entity without a cause and the power to create a Universe had to be an ‘Unmoved Mover/ Prime Mover’. He surmised that this Prime Mover had to be God. This argument has some positive points, in the fact that the natural occurrence of movement plus change have been brought into it, which makes the argument seem valid and plausible. However,
Augustine’s soul deciding theodicy was the demonstration that God is not responsible for the existence of evil. A theodicy is a Greek term which means to justify God and that is what Augustine tried to do. Augustine stated that there is no such thing or substance as Evil but the idea of evil stems from the absence of goodness and our human free will which is central to being truly good. God created all things ex nihilo, from nothing, so it is impossible for evil to exist as a substance. Augustine said that “Evil stemmed from the free fallible choices of beings…in the pre-history of time,” referring to the free will of Adam and Eve and the Fallen Angels.
Explain how Descartes developed Anselm’s argument that God’s existence is necessary Firstly, if we briefly look at Anselm and his ontological argument, which appears to be a priori proof of God’s existence. Anselm writes, “we believe that thou art a being than which nothing greater can be conceived”, this meaning that we all have the belief that there is a perfect being, a being which cannot be improved upon. Anselm uses God as this being. In the first form of Anselm’s argument, he says that if God wasn’t real, if he only existed in the mind (as an idea), then a greater being could be imagined to exist both in the mind and in reality. That being would be greater than God.
The Ontological argument is set up to prove God exists in reality by justifying it as a priori, which in this instance means that God is understood to exist in reality even though Anselm has not witnessed God himself. He still understands there to be a God. Since Anselm can establish an understanding, he claims he can prove that God does dually exist in both reality and in the understanding. St. Anselm presents the first premise of the Ontological argument as follows, Every being that exists, exists in the understanding or in the reality or both. (Perry, p.78) Based on the foundational beliefs of Rene Descartes, we already know that ‘I think’ and ‘I exist‘.