Anselm Ontological Argument Essay Research Paper Anselm

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Anselm Ontological Argument Essay, Research Paper Anselm s ontological argument is an explanation that Anselm came up with to prove that God exists. He uses a step by step procedure to persuade you into believing that since we canpicture and think of God as the greatest being, then he must exist. In the beginning of hisdiscussion , Anselm asks what is it that we mean when we speak of God. The first thing I thinkof when I speak of God is the creator of earth, the superior being. Anselm also believes that whenwe speak of God we are speaking of the most supreme being. God is said to be greatestimaginable being, not just the greatest being that happens to be around, but the greatest thinkablebeing. Anselm states that God is a being which none greater can be thought and a being

thanwhich nothing greater can be conceived. (23) Anselm continues through his discussion byquestioning the difference between what exists in the mind and what exists in the mind andoutside of the mind as well. One of the questions that is asked is, Is it better to exist the mindalone or in the mind and in reality. In my opinion, that is a really easy question to answer but forsome reason Anselm feels it is necessary to go into detail. He uses the example of a painter whoportrays a work of art in his mind. So which is better? The piece of art he has created in his mindor the finished product that is within his mind as well as in reality. I hope that everyone willcome to the conclusion it is the painting in reality and the mind that is greater. Anselm believedthat since God was a

being which nothing greater can be conceived, and since it is greater to existin the mind and in reality, then God must exist both in the mind and in reality. To sum it up,Anselm believed that God must be. A monk named Gaunilo believed there was something wrong with this argument. Howdoes thinking about something guarantee that it exists in reality? Gaunilo believed that if theargument were any good, he could setup similar arguments proving the existence of all sorts ofthings. For example, it seemed to him that if Anselms argument worked, then he ought to be ableto prove the existence of perfect island in exactly the same way. Paul Kurtz criticizes Anselm s ontological argument by stating It is surprising that somany philosophers and theologians have been convinced by this

argument, for its speciouscharacter is readily evident. (37) He believes that just because you have this concept of God inyour mind doesn t mean God exist, it just shows that you were taught to believe that. And whatabout these people who don t have a concept of God, does that mean there is no God? To me thisis a one sided argument and doesn t give you much of a basis to believe any other than whatAnselm is pointing out to you. But considering Plato s discussion with Theaetus, it overridesKurtz and my opinion. It was Theaetus who stated that perception is knowledge, but soon foundout that he was entirely wrong from Plato. Plato believed that making judgments wasknowledge. To me Anselms ontological argument was a judgment made by himself to shareknowledge of what he believed with

everyone else. I can t say if it was a true of a false judgment,for that can only be found from experience of being deceased.2. Thomas Jefferson was principle author of the Declaration of Independence and thirdpresident of the United States. As Jefferson applied reason to the field of religion, he concludedthat evidence of design in nature is so obvious and extensive that there must be a cosmicdesigner. (30) Thomas Jefferson s design argument doesn t prove the existence of Godconceived as a supremely perfect being because it can t be proven. There can always be anargument that asks how can God be supremely perfect when there is war, sickness, murder, etc. Jefferson does try to persuade you to have no doubt that God is supremely perfect by blaming all the faults with the world on