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Essay example - Gaunilo's argument from Anselm's point of view.
Pages 3 (753 words)
Date. Ontological arguments seek to make us understand that God exists. We do this through reason: conceiving and not observation. The first ontological argument was proposed by St. Anselm of Canterbury. The outline of his argument goes like this; God exists because we cannot imagine another greater being than God and this we believe in our mind…
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Gaunilo, a fellow monk and believer sought to oppose Anselm’s argument, saying it would force people to conclude existence of other non- existent things. His critic is usually described by philosophers as an overload idea, because he does not show how Anselm’s ideas are wrong but rather how it unsound in all applications, if it is unsound in one. Gaunilo argues that “god” in the argument placed by Anselm can be replaced by anything, in his case, “the perfect island. “Suppose we replace God with an island, this is how it would flow. Imagine a perfect island of which none like it is conceivable, now this idea exists in your mind. The existence of a perfect island in both the mind and in reality is greater than if it only exists in the mind. If the concept of a perfect island exists in the mind then we can imagine an island better than the “perfect island”. But we cannot imagine an island greater than this; we can conclude that this perfect island exists. In defense of his theory, Anselm would argue that the idea of what entails a perfect island varies from one person to another, for example, to me, a perfect island would be one with sandy beaches and human occupation, while to another that would be one that is deserted and with abundance of let’s say fruits. ...
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