existence of God - Rebecca Austin November 22, 2010 Clark...

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Unformatted text preview: Rebecca Austin November 22, 2010 Clark PHIL 105 The Ontological Argument for the Existence of God This paper addresses an ontological argument for the existence of God as presented by St. Anselm and Gaulinos counterargument. Anselm holds that God is the greatest conceivable being, and that in order to be the greatest conceivable being, God must exist. Gaulinos counterargument claims that the ontological argument is uncertain. In my opinion, Gaulinos argument lacks sufficient reasoning to disprove Anselms claim. Anselms argument begins by defining God as that than which nothing greater can be conceived 1 . This being is logically possible and conceivable. There is the possibility that any being is either merely conceivable, or is conceivable and also exists. Existing is greater than being only conceivable, so being conceivable and existing is greater than being conceivable but not existing. If we think God is only conceivable and does not exist, then we are able to think of something greater than God because we can imagine a being that is conceivable and also exists. However, God is that than which nothing greater can be conceived, so this presents a contradiction. This shows that God must exist if He is the greatest possible being. Gaulinos counterargument begins by restating Anselms premise that any conceivable being can be thought of as either conceivable and existing or only conceivable 2 . Similarly, existing is greater than being merely conceivable. For any conceivable being, there is one form 1 1 Louis Pojman and Michael Rea, Philosophy of Religion: An Anthology, 5th ed , (Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth, 2008), 4. of that being that is greater than all conceivable others. He uses islands as an example. The island of that being that is greater than all conceivable others....
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This note was uploaded on 03/30/2011 for the course PHILOSOPHY 105 taught by Professor Heter during the Fall '08 term at Saint Louis.

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existence of God - Rebecca Austin November 22, 2010 Clark...

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