Michael Sauvageau - Michael Sauvageau Intro to Religion...

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Michael Sauvageau Intro to Religion November 4, 2011 An Exploration of the Ontological Argument. Over the past couple of months, many different arguments have been explored in class about the existence and being of God. While I have never previously been introduced to any legitimate arguments concerning the concept of God, one series of arguments really caught my attention and interest. These arguments are known as ontological arguments for the existence of God. These arguments attempt to prove the existence of God using a priori knowledge, which is proof that is independent of experience (found on reason alone). I thought that a greater exploration of the ontological arguments and my personal favorite would be a very appropriate topic to address. The first proposal of the ontological argument was by St. Anslem of Canterbury. Anslem defines God as “that than which nothing greater can be conceived”. We boil this down to the understanding that if something exists that we can define as something in which nothing greater can be conceived, then that object would have to be God, just as Anslem’s definition of God entails. His first argument speaks of G, an object in which nothing greater can be conceived. It says that: (1)If one understands the description of G, then G exists in the understanding. (2)If something exists both in the understanding and in reality, it is greater than the something identical existing only in the understanding. (3)It is conceivable that something just like G exists in reality. (4)Thus if G does not exist in reality we can conceive of something greater than G. (Contradiction) (5)Therefore, G exists in reality.
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Anselm makes the point that if such a being can exist in thought, then the greatest being conceivable can also exist in reality. If G is indeed the greatest conceivable being, then G must exist. If G were not the greatest conceivable being, then something greater
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Michael Sauvageau - Michael Sauvageau Intro to Religion...

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