Did Gaunilo Succeed in Demonstrating Anselm’s Argument Fails?

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Anselm’s argument is the first ontological argument for God’s existence established in history; the a priori (logical) argument. The argument states that everything is greater in reality rather than dwelling in the mind. God is the “greatest being conceivable being” and takes form even in atheists, since God is greater than everything else, He must therefore exist in both reality and the mind. Gaunilo criticised this argument constructively by pointing out that if one imagines the perfect island, with this logic must it exist in reality? However, since Anselm then brought in a second argument to counter this criticism, Gaunilo couldn’t have succeeded in destroying Anselm’s argument without then faulting that one (of which he didn’t). However, I cannot doubt that Gaunilo’s first constrictive criticism of Anselm’s ontological argument wasn’t a valid point. Not everyone’s perfect island can take a form in the real world as it is highly illogical and extremely impossible. Qualities of this perfect island may be scattered out across the Earth, but will never be a collective whole for this individual. As a fellow Christian monk at the time, it was probably the right thing to do as not every Christian views everything the same. By providing this constructive criticism, he indirectly helped Anselm strengthen it. Nevertheless, Anselm saved his argument by giving it a “second form”. He included the words contingent and necessary. An island is a contingent being and cannot be compared with the necessary being that is God as it isn’t a reasonable comparison. Anselm didn’t intend for a whole new argument to be formed out of this amendment, it was planned to just strengthen it, but it did stop Gaunilo in his tracks as no counter argument was provided for this. Why this occurred is unknown, maybe Gaunilo agreed with Anselm or maybe he just had no way to criticise it at the
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