Essay On Anselm's Argument

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Does the Ontological Argument successfully show that God exists? Anselm 's ontological argument is a philosophical argument which aims to prove God 's existence. The ontological argument is an argument for God’s existence based on reason alone. According to this argument, there is no need to go out looking for physical evidence of God’s existence; we can work out that he exists just by thinking about it. (Anon., 2004) Anselm’s argument is a reductio argument, it seeks to demonstrate that a statement is true by showing that an absurd result would follow from its denial. I will be discussing three objections to Anselm’s argument which I will reply to, namely: “the perfect island” objection by Gaunilo; “existence is not a predicate” objection by Immanuel Kant and Aquinas objection “not everyone has the same concept of God”. I agree that that Anselm’s ontological argument does indeed show that God exists. The ontological…show more content…
A monk by the name of Gaunilo attacked Anselm’s ontological argument. He is responsible for one of the most important criticisms of Anselm 's argument. Gaunilo claims that if Anselm’s argument is good, it can be used to prove all kinds of things which are too good to be true. For instance, that there exists a perfect island that which nothing greater can be conceived. Gaunilo argued that it is possible to construct an argument with exactly the same form as the ontological argument that can be used to prove the existence of the perfect island: the perfect island must exist, for if it did not then it would be possible to conceive of an island greater than that island than which no greater can be conceived, which is absurd. Gaunilo claimed that the two arguments have the same logical form, therefore they stand or fall together. A similar example to the perfect island example is Blackburn’s ‘dreamboat’ who is a ‘fun-loving, non-smoking, vegetarian, banjo-playing, soccer fan, who is also as great a lover as can be imagined’ (Blackburn, 2001, p.

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