Analyse the Essential Ideas in the Ontological Argument

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Analyse the essential ideas in the Ontological Argument The Ontological (meaning ‘concerned with being’) argument is the only a priori argument for the existence of God. This means that it does not rely on the evidence of our senses for its premises or conclusion. It works by logical stages, which is self evidently true or logically necessary. This is one of its major strengths. It is also deductive, so the conclusion is the only possible one that could be deduced give the premises. Therefore, it is theoretically strong. Anselm proposed in the Proslogian that the existence of God was true for him by the virtue of faith and logical necessity. He proposed a reductio ad absurdum argument that aimed to demonstrate he impossibility of denying God’s existence. His first form of the argument runs as follows: (P1) God is that than which nothing greater can be conceived (P2) If God exists in the mind alone (in intellect) then a greater being can be conceived (in re) (P3) God to be the greatest being, has to existing the mind and in reality, otherwise another being would be greater than God. (C) Therefore God must exist both in the mind and in reality. This method of reasoning aims to demonstrate the truth of something by reducing to absurdity the very opposite of what you are trying to prove. In Anselm’s case this would be that God does not exist, which he claims is absurd by means of an argument which he claims is logically necessary. For Anselm, God cannot not exist. Descartes supported Anselm in his book ‘meditations’ and developed Anselm’s argument particularly in terms of necessary being. He based his argument for God’s existence on the idea that God is a ‘supremely perfect being’. Descartes believed that we can conclude that God exists, because existence is a predicate of a perfect being; therefore God must exist to avoid being self contradictory.
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