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St. Anselm's Ontological Argument - Essay Example

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That is, absolute cause of everything, which implies that God exists. Anselm at the beginning starts by explaining and rooting his ontology in the Christian understanding of God, in that He is “something beyond which nothing greater can be thought” (Pojman & Rea 139). In this regard, Anselm implies that Gods is the end in power, love, truth and other qualities beyond which nothing of better quality can be conceived. Anselm takes the reader through two steps: he explains and defines the basic qualities of God in relation to his divineness and explains the absolute necessity of God‘s existence in the universe in relation to nature. In the first regard, Anselm narrates about God’s perfection. God is a perfect being in all angles, with other beings trying to emulate this perfection. By considering the order in nature, which Anselm relies on to prove his ontological argument, there is much perfection in nature where the orderliness of things that exist is puzzling. Nature and how it relates is so orderly that there has to exist a being either in understanding or in reality from whom nature owes its orderliness. Such a being has to be the absolute perfection, beyond which no other perfection can be possibly conceived and which is replicated by the physical orderliness of nature. This is because nature draws its orderliness not from itself, but from a power much greater and perfect than itself. Such a being as Anselm states cannot be said not to exist, as his powers are manifested by what really exists. A thing cannot cause itself, but has to have a higher cause from which it derives its existence. This means that the perfection in nature has its cause from a higher perfection, beyond which no more perfection can be thought, which is God himself. Anselm explains the difference between what exists in understanding and what is real. For instance, persons, tables, trees or what is seen or experienced exists in reality having a close contact with humanity. This means that these things exist and there is no argument about their being or not being. However, Anselm defines another classification of things that exit in understanding. These things still exist, though in a different way from those that are known in reality; consequently, it is possible that something will exist in reality and at the same time in understanding. For instance, a painter who proceeds to paint has what he wishes to paint existing in understanding and paints it to exist in reality (Pojman & Rea 139). This as Anselm argues implies that there has to be a form of that which exists in reality, which exists in understanding. Considering a table, there has to be an idea of what a table looks like, which is the perfection form of the thing and which exits in understanding. As Anselm states, “the fool says in his heart there is no God, when it is so evident to the rational mind that you among all beings exist most greatly” (Pojman & Rea 139). By the mere fact that even a fool recognizes that there has to be power where everything seems to converge, or behind anything they may not fully understand the actual cause, portrays that such a fool does not totally reject the existence of God. Moreover, that which is real exists despite our understanding. Consequently, the thought of existence of such a superior being implies that God really does exist. If a fool does not think ...Show more


College Date Anselm’s Ontology Anselm was a great theologian who later became a bishop. He is recognized for his deeply rooted ontological argument in proving the existence of God despite growing forces that criticized his ontology. To Anselm, it is not possible to think of anything else above a certain end from which all things seem converge…
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St. Anselms Ontological Argument
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