Outline Two Key Objections to the Ontological Argument and Explain the Responses Made to Them.

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Outline two key objections to the Ontological Argument and explain the responses made to them. The ontological argument was first introduced by Anselm in the ‘Prosologian’. It is an a priori argument as it is not based on empirical evidence but id deductive and analytic in that it allows one to use logical reasoning to reach a logically necessary conclusion which, in theory, cannot be disputed. Anselm defines God as ‘that than which nothing greater can be conceived’ (TTWNGCBC) and states that everyone, theist or not, can accept this definition. He argues that ‘the fool’ in Psalm 53 can conceive of God but fails to believe he exists. Anselm believes in a concept called in re and in intellectu, this involves the idea that if something is in the mind then it will always be greater in reality, for example money or a painting. Anselm applies a method of reasoning called reductio ad absurdum to prove Gods existence and make other possibilities seem ridiculous. Gaunilo of Marmoutier, a contemporary of Anselm, proposed an objection to Anselm’s argument in his work ‘On behalf of the Fool’. Gaunilo argues that just because someone can conceive of something it does not make it a reality and that there is not one way to conceive of God - the very fact that Gaunilo was arguing with Anselm proves that everyone coneives of God differently. He used the ideo of a ‘Perfect Island’ to show his point by saying everyone can imagine a wonderful remote island but this does not mean the island exists. Anselm responded to Gaunilo’s criticisms. He stated that God is non-continent whereas all other things on Earth are contingent. Aquinas also presented an objection to Anselm’s ontological argument. He argued that the ontological argument is invalid as we cannot define God ‘for the human mind does not have an intuition of the essence of God’. Aquinas rejects that there can be

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