Anselm's Ontological Argument

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1) In the allegory of the cave, Plato’s main goal is to illustrate his view of knowledge. A group of prisoners have been chained in a cave their whole lives and all they have ever been exposed to were shadows on the wall and voices of people walking by. The prisoners in the cave represent humans who only pay attention to the physical aspects of the world (sight and sound). Once one of them escapes and sees the blinding light, all he wants is to retreat back to the cave and return to his prior way of living. This shows that Plato believes enlightenment and education are painful, but the pain is necessary for enlightenment and it is worth it. Once he finally gets past the pain and is able to view the truth of the world, he feels pity for the…show more content…
The definition of God is the greatest being. A thought of something that exists is greater than a thought of something that does not exist. That means if God is just a thought that does not exist, there must be a being greater than Him. This would contradict the definition of God. Therefore, God must exist so that the definition would be true. Anselm’s argument is based on this known definition of the concept of God alone. Descartes’ argument for the existence of God is based on his foundation of knowledge, logic. Humans have the idea in their minds of infinite perfection. Humans also have the idea of themselves as inferior to this idea as imperfect. For humans to have the idea of infinite perfection, there must be truth in the reason for them having this idea. The only being that could give them this idea is the being with the trait itself. This being is God and He gave them this idea so he must…show more content…
Anselm’s argument is based on the assumption of the universal definition of God being the greatest being. Descartes’ argument is based on the assumption that all humans have an idea of infinite perfection. They both do not take into account the fact that some people may have differing thoughts. Another way they are alike is that they are both based on logical evidence instead of physical evidence. Anselm’s argument focuses on the definition and the logic behind it while Descartes’ argument focuses on self-reason for the cause of the idea of infinite perfection. An obvious similarity between Anselm and Descartes’ methods is that they are both arguing for the existence of God instead of against it. They both come to the conclusion that God must exist based on their logical
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