2. anselm s_ontological_argument (1)

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Information about 2. anselm s_ontological_argument (1)

Published on March 8, 2014

Author: eilisbell

Source: slideshare.net

Anselm’s Ontological Argument L/O – I will be able to explain Anselm’s two ontological arguments, and start to assess Gaunilo’s response. ‘Fools say in their hearts, “There is no God”’ Psalm 14:1 Copy this statement down. What do you think it is trying to suggest and why?

A predicate is… ‘an intrinsic property or quality of something’ Predicates of an elephant might be… A trunk, size, long ears, being a mammal, tusks, long memory, etc…

Predicates of…?  The Earth  A Car  A Human

 Anselm’s essential claim is… Existence is a predicate of God (it is a property or quality of God’s nature).

Anselm’s First Argument 1) 2) 3) God is the greatest possible being which can be conceived (thought) of. God may exist either in the mind alone, or in reality as well. Something which exists in reality and in the mind is greater than something which exists just as an idea in the mind alone. Conclusion: 4) God must exist in reality and in the mind (or we have not thought of the greatest possible being).

Features of the first argument (for an essay plan). 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) ‘a being which nothing greater can be conceived’: Anselm expects everyone will accept this definition. Painter and painting analogy (mind and reality). Reductio ad absurdum – if he does exist in the mind alone then he is not greatest possible being. God’s existence is analytic (once we analyse the definition of the term we will see that God exists). Anyone who doesn’t accept it is a ‘fool’, as it is plain and obvious.

Anselm’s second argument 1) 2) God is that being nothing greater than which can be thought of. Something which cannot be thought not to exist is greater than anything which can be thought not to exist. Conclusion: 3) Therefore, it is impossible to think that this being (God) cannot exist.

Argument 2: In simpler language… You can’t think of anything greater than God. 2) Necessary things are greater than contingent things. Conclusion 1) 3) God is necessary

Features of Anselm’s second argument 1) This adds the idea that it is impossible for God not to exist – in other words, God is necessary. 2) It has been argued that his second argument was aimed at believers as a proof that existence in God is rational – to justify a belief in God.

Gaunilo’s response  Gaunilo was a contemporary of Anselm, he was a monk who rejected Anselm’s argument in ‘On Behalf of the fool’ using three arguments…. 1) On Gossip – the fool could have all kinds of made up things in his head, gossip for instance is unreliable – how should he be able to discern what is true and what is not? You can’t define things into existence The Perfect Island 2) 3)

The Perfect Island

 Think of some other examples you could include to demonstrate the point about the Perfect Island in an essay…

 Plantinga – Islands are different to God – there could always be a more perfect Island - more dancing girls, more lush palm trees, twice the size, etc. – idea of a greatest possible island is incoherent. God on the other hand is maximally great – nothing greater is possible.

Homework Use the info in this Powerpoint and the last (they’re on moodle) to write an essay plan for ‘Explain Anselm’s ontological arguments…’ (25 marks).  Pick three main points and write out three paragraphs. For next lesson 

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