A Proof For The Existence Of God

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A Proof For The Existence Of God Essay, Research Paper The quandary of the existence of God has troubled mankind for thousands of years. The existence of God was once never denied, as His presence, His existence was evident in miracles and the people s faith. But time and the advancement of modern science have called God and His very nature into question. The Perfect Being has become the source of much doubt and controversy. What was once certain and surely unquestionable has become the most questioned. The faithful, believing people have become unsure. Often called the father of modern philosophy the father of modern thought, Rene Descartes chose to take up the proof of the existence of God in his Meditations on First Philosophy. Descartes proves the existence of God using

an ontological argument, one aimed at understanding the existence, the essence, the being of God. Saint Anselm of Canterbury also makes the existence of God evident using the ontological proof. Following the natural flow of both arguments, Descartes philosophical theory on the existence of God is clearly connected to and based upon Anselm’s theory. At times, it is difficult to tell where one ends and the other begins. Descartes makes the same logical constructions, albeit in a different order, to arrive at Anselm’s argument the God exists. Saint Anselm approaches the existence of God using the mind and thought. He supposes that God is something-than-which-nothing-greater-can-be-thought. This something is the highest possible object of thought; nothing is greater or more

perfect. Anselm then quickly moves to the possibility that this something may or may not exist. He quotes Psalm 13:1, the Fool has said in his heart, There is no God. But Anselm does not reference sacred scripture to deny the existence of God. Instead, Anselm makes the argument that God must exist. For when the Fool hears and takes in the concept of something than which nothing greater can be thought, he surely must understand what this concept means. The Fool understands what he hears, and what he understands is in his mind. But the man is a fool because he does not make the connection that the something must then exist. Anselm illustrates this point with the painter who envisions a picture in his mind and then implements the vision to make it become reality. It is in the doing

that the painter realizes existence. The painter has taken the idea and transformed it into something greater. Anselm argues that the same thing can be said about God. In our minds, we have the understanding that God is something than which a greater cannot be thought. But if this something is truly the highest object of thought, it must exist in reality also. There is absolutely no doubt that something-than-which-a-greater-cannot-be-thought exists both in the mind and in reality. Just as the painter brings an idea into its highest form when he creates a picture, God must be in His highest form when He exists. Rene Descartes follows a similar pattern to prove the existence of God. Because Descartes has doubted everything he knows, he can only contemplate God s existence using

knowledge to which he has previously assented. This is, namely, that Descartes is a rational being who thinks and understands. He cannot use elements of the physical world to prove the existence of God. And so Descartes begins his second proof for the existence of God in Meditation Five. Descartes examines the concept of ideas. When a person thinks of an idea, they perceive countless particulars concerning shapes, number, movement, and the like. In our minds, there is the understanding of what an idea is we understand the idea s attributes. Sometimes, this understanding is fundamentally basic. Descartes uses the triangle to prove his point. When we think of a triangle, we know that it has three sides, three angles and that the sides and angles interact with each other to form the