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.
1) Explain how the Cosmological Argument tries to prove that there must be a God. The Cosmological Argument is a posteriori argument (knowledge gained after experience) which attempts to prove that there is a rational basis for the belief in God. This is a strength of the cosmological argument as our experience is proof of the existence of the universe. Aristotle, an ancient Greek philosopher, argued that there must be a first mover who started a chain of events that lead to the movement we observe now. He believed that this mover exists necessarily so does not depend on anything or anyone to exist and can not change nor die.
His First Way is based on motion, which, according to Aquinas, does not only include movement from one place to another but also the change of quantity and quality. Aquinas thought that al things within the universe are in motion and that an object only moved when an external force was applied to it, or in other words, nothing can move itself. However, he also firmly believed that this chain of movement or changes could not go back to infinity. According to him, infinite regress was an impossibility. Since nothing can move itself, he concluded that there must be a Prime Mover, a so-called first mover, which itself was unmoved.
The Ontological Argument for the Existence of God [Your Name] [Course] [Instructor] August 1, 2011 The Ontological Argument for the Existence of God The ontological argument is based on logic and reason and not observance of the physical world. “Deductive arguments or ‘ontological proofs’ offered for or against the existence of God claim that belief in God is either necessary or absurd from the very nature of things. If one starts with the right premises and definitions, one is led by the inexorable processes of logic toward a necessary conclusion. The problem, of course, is that the premises and definitions that theists and non-theists want to use are rarely indubitable, and like the contexts required for interpreting inductive evidence, these premises and definitions inevitably involve assumptions about God or the world which are already in line with the conclusion one wishes to draw.” (Crutcher, 2010). Onotological Argument for the Existence of God Fails St. Anselm was the first to present an ontological proof of the existence of God.
The heart of Leibniz’s argument was that there must be a cause for the whole which explains the whole. Frederick Copleston would have disagreed with this statement because he believed that there has to be a necessary being which explains the contingent beings and this necessary being should contain within itself the reason for its own existence. Copleston would go on to say that this necessary being is God and God is therefore the explanation of the universe and how it came into existence. Hume would have agreed with this statement because he questioned the idea that everything has a cause. He claimed that
The first way is based around Motion describing whatever that is in motion there must be something else behind it. Therefore it cannot be going back infinity there must be an unmoved action which started off without having cause and the only solution to the unmoved action is God. The second way is based on cause which is saying that nothing can cause its self it doesn’t exist without being caused. To find the right cause that started everything we cannot go infinity to find the main cause and if nothing can cause it’s self there must be an uncaused cause and the cause is God because God is the beginning and the end of everything. The third way is the contingency of the matter in the universe, explaining that there must be a being or something that brought everything into existence.
This ‘way’ is derived from the Aristotelian theory of causation, and seeks to explain that nothing in the world exists that has not been caused by something else. Aquinas then concludes that there must have been a first cause at some point, because an infinite chain of causes is impossible. The second was of ‘cause’ is based on the idea that nothing can cause itself to exist, because that would mean it would have had to exist before it existed. This would be impossible;
In this sense he believed that God is the beginning and the end. God draws us to Himself as the one from whom we all come from. According to Brian Davies, Aquinas believed that the existence of God could be proven by rational argument. However, he believed that belief in God's existence could not be defended. Aquinas denied that God's existence is evident in the sense that logically self evident propositions are.
However, this would be absurd, seeing as that nothing greater than God can be conceived in anyway. So a being, which nothing greater can be conceived, God, does in fact exist. According to Joel Fienberg’s text, Reason and Responsibility, an Ontological argument is defined as “an argument for the existence of God stating that the very concept or definition of God automatically entails that God exists; because the special nature of the concept, there is no way that God could fail to exist” (pg. 722). This argument is formulated around the idea that God is a being, which no greater being can be conceived.
According to St. Anselm in his ontological argument, he describes God as an idea or concept of which nothing greater can be conceived (Living Issues in Philosophy, page 388). In this he guides thought by arguing “If the most perfect being existed only in thought and not in reality, then it would not really be the most perfect being. One that exists in the mind and in reality would be more perfect.” Anselm concludes his theory with “no one who understands what God is; can conceive that God does not exist. (A. J. Hoober). Existence is a part of perfection.