sect0207discussionAnselm

sect0207discussionAnselm - Additional Objections to Anselms...

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1 Additional Objections to Anselm’s Argument (from the § 0207 discussion) Feb 17, 2006 TA Kallfelz Anselm’s ontological 1 argument, translated in SFCS, reads: All things of which a greater cannot be conceived are things that exist God is that which a greater cannot be conceived God exists Since it’s an example of an AAA 1 syllogism, it’s therefore valid. For rhetorical force, Anselm of course used the method of reductio ad absurdum, in which he specifically points out the contradiction in denying the major premise (i.e., its negation becomes an E-form: “Some things of which a greater cannot be conceived are things that do not exist.”) Anselm argues that this is a contradiction because, for example, if one conceives of some such thing with a list of such properties P 1 , …, P n , but lacking the property of existence, then I can always think of another thing which has all the same properties as yours (i.e., P 1 , …, P n ) but including the additional property of existence. Thus what I conceive of is therefore greater than what you have conceived of. Therefore what you claim to be thinking of, i.e. something of which a greater is inconceivable, is always false, since I just showed there’s something even greater than that. For example, if I told you I was thinking of the greatest house, let’s say my ‘dream home’, and I told you there’s no home better than that, and you asked me to describe it, and I told you it’s got a wrap-around porch, an old oak tree on the front lawn, beautiful hardwood floors, etc., and “oh yeah, by the way, I almost forgot to mention, it doesn’t exist,” you’d probably laugh and say: “I can think of a much better home than that …what about the same one you just described to me which
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sect0207discussionAnselm - Additional Objections to Anselms...

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