Anselm (1033–1109) had opposed an Ontological Argument that one understands God as a being and cannot conceive anything greater because God cannot be understood not to exist. On the other hand, another philosopher named Gaunilo objected Anselm’s Ontological Argument by suggesting that the same style of argument can be used to prove the existence of other entities, such as the idea of a greatest possible island. Although this may be the case, Anselm never got the opportunity to plead his case against Gaunilo’s objection. However, there are numerous biblical evidence to help support Anselm’s argument. Anselm’s Ontological Argument states that one understands that God, as a being, cannot be conceived a greater.
He argued that if people speak equivocally about God, then it cannot profess to know anything about him as it is saying that the language we use to describe humans or the experienced world around us, doesn’t apply to God. Aquinas believed that there
God is so beyond our ability to understand that the only way of seeing the reality of God is to continue saying what God is not, God is more than anything we can say of him. Plotinus, Moses Maimonides, Pseudo-Dionysius and Meister Eckhart support this view – for these philosophers the real God is beyond whatever we speak of as God. Human language causes confusion when it is used to talk about God, as a result we must speak of God only by saying what God is not. Human language is inadequate in describing God – we cannot talk about God. Recognising this reaffirms that God is more than we can ever imagine – he is ineffable, can never be described so we cannot say what they are not.
Overall, I believe that Aquinas’ 3 ways are not very convincing as a proof of the existence of God. The different ways in which Aquinas try to prove the existence of God just make it either impossible for there not to be a God, which rejects any other ideas or, they make misleading assumptions that are not justified. My first reason for believing that Aquinas’ 3 ways are not very convincing is the 2nd way – from Cause. David Hume argues that you cannot see, hear or use any of your senses to see a cause. You cannot see a cause only two things happening in conjunction with one another.
Yet Berkeley, in Datta’s view, seems to employ the very notion he so adamantly denied in his endeavor to prove the existence of God. This paper will examine two criticisms that Datta lodges against Berkeley’s Arguments for God’s existence: 1) Berkeley’s illegitimate use of the notion of abstraction, and 2) Berkeley’s erroneous description of spirit as purely active. Datta approaches Berkeley from the perspective of Eastern philosophical thought and feels that Berkeley’s errors inevitably lead to either solipsism or to a single, universal cosmic spirit. Berkeley’s use of abstraction Berkeley does not address the issue of God’s existence in a formal way until late in The Principles of Human Knowledge (PHK) and the issues he does address prior to discussing God build upon one another to set the stage for his proof of God’s existence. Berkeley begins PHK with an introduction demonstrating the impossibility of abstracting the concept of matter from our ideas of objects, and indeed rejecting any form of abstraction.
But because it’s impossible to conceive a greater being that God he must exist in both reality and our minds. In Anselm’s view only a fool can therefore doubt the existence of God, because the ‘fool’ has the idea of God in their mind to doubt him,
Although, these three arguments all agree in the way that they use unfound assumptions to prove what has yet to be proven; they do disagree on the studies of how to prove what really is God. The ontological argument believes that God is a “being”. The cosmological argument believes that God is “the universe”. Then there is the design argument which needs evidence to prove that there is a God. The Ontological argument seeks to prove that God does exist by proving, that He cannot not exist.
Only McCloskey knows why he wrote this article with his reasons for not believing as he did write this piece as if he had been appointed to provide why and what their foundational arguments are against theists’ beliefs in God. To say that proofs do not prove the existence of God, is not justifying the evidence. According to Foreman, we must justify the evidence, distinguish the specific actions, how these actions universal judgments concerning right or wrong, and formulate ethical views in the evidence. Just because a proof is stated doesn’t mean it’s valid. We need to investigate and see why it is valid or invalid.
‘The universe needs no explanation.’ Discuss. (10 marks) Christian philosopher St Thomas Aquinas would have disagreed with this statement as he was the one that put the cosmological argument forward which questions the universe and how it came into existence. Aquinas would have maintained his view as he believes that everything that is in motion has been caused by something else and he believes that this something else is God. He also claims that God is the first cause as he is the one that caused the universe to come into existence and continues to keep it in motion. He would continue to disagree with this statement because he claimed that because everything in the universe is contingent, it must mean that the universe as a whole must have a cause behind it.
Aquinas Five ways consisted of motion, causation of existence, contingent and necessary objects, the argument for degrees and perfection and the argument for intelligent design. Aquinas thought without this we could not assume God’s existence hence why he would have disagreed with proving God’s existence through definition alone. One of Aquinas’s points was that God’s existence cannot be regarded as ‘self-evident’, in other words you can’t simply say God is real you must back it up with evidence. Aquinas believed that although we have a understanding of what God is, God will always remain unknowable to the finite human mind. Kant argued that existence was not a ‘predicate’, in other words existence is not a characteristic or an attribute of something.