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Ontological Arguments and Belief in God.
Pages 9 (2259 words)
Anselm of Canterbury proposed the first ontological argument. His proposal suggested that God is the greatest possible being anyone can think of. His suggestion was that the greatest possible being has to be present in real form: someone who actually really exists..
His argument, however, was wholly rejected by Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas’s suggestion was that there is no way that mere mortals can conceive what God’s nature is, and thus we surely cannot conceive God like Anselm has said we can (Oppy 122-3). Therefore, this argument can be used only by the ones who can understand the true essence of God and that cannot be anyone but God Himself. David Hume was another philosopher who went against Anselm’s argument. His criticism was that it has no evidential reasoning. His argument was that the existence of a being cannot be proved simply through a priori reasoning. Cleanthes has proposed this argument in the following words: ...there is an evident absurdity in pretending to demonstrate a matter of fact, or to prove it by any arguments a priori. Nothing is demonstrable, unless the contrary implies a contradiction. Nothing, that is distinctly conceivable, implies a contradiction. Whatever we conceive as existent, we can also conceive as non-existent. There is no being, therefore, whose non-existence implies a contradiction. Consequently there is no being, whose existence is demonstrable (Fieser 232). ...
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