Premium Essay

Explain Anselm’s Ontological Argument (25 Marks)

In: Other Topics

Submitted By bethweinbren
Words 367
Pages 2
In Proslogion 3, Anselm continues with his priori argument into the existence of God. Anselm defined God as a being that nothing greater than which can be thought of. In Anselm’s second version, a further point is added that something, which cannot be thought not to exist, is greater than anything, which can be thought not to exist. Anselm thought it was impossible to think this of God. Anselm’s second argument concludes that God has to exist and cannot fail to exist (necessary existence). Anything, which has to exist and cannot fail to exist is said to be “necessary”. Most things that exist depend on something else for their existence (contingent existence).

Anselm constructs his first argument across Proslogion 2, presenting his overall argument towards God existing in reality. Anselm defines God as the greatest possible being that can be conceived and that God may exist either in the mind alone (in the intellectu) or in reality (in re) as well. Something, which exists in reality and in the mind, is greater than something that exists in the mind alone. For example if a painter were to imagine (in intellectu) a drawing that they could potentially create this would not be as great as the reality ( in re) of the drawing. Due to God being defines as that which nothing greater can be conceived, he must possess all perfections, therefore God must exists in reality and in the mind. Anselm’s argument is a reply to the fool from the bible (Psalm 14:1) that says, “There is no God”. Anselm suggests for the fool to say there is no God, they must have an idea of God in their mind, which Anselm believed the definition in the mind is that ‘God is the greatest possible being”. Anselm then concludes that God is the greatest possible being that an be “conceived”. Anselm thought that what exists in reality as well as the mind is greater than something that is only an idea.…...

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Explain Paley's Teleological Argument

...Explain Paley’s Teleological argument (25) According to the argument from design, or teleological argument, the design or order found in the universe provides evidence for the existence of an intelligent designer (or orderer) usually identified as God. A classic version of this argument appears in William Paley's 1802 Natural Theology, where Paley compares the complexity of living things to the inferior complexity of a watch that we deduce to be designed by an intelligent being. Just as a watch could not exist without a watchmaker, Paley argued, living things could not exist without an intelligent designer.  The teleological or design argument is a derivative of the Greek word Telos which means end, goal or purpose. It is this end or purpose that Paley is looking for that suggests the existence of a divine creator. Aquinas’ fifth way ‘From the governance of things’ or design qua regularity argument (qua meaning through or pertaining to) foregrounding the argument for design, observed the universe and saw that everything in the universe appeared to be working in some sort of order. In particular he noticed that ‘natural bodies’ behaved in a regular way. Here Aquinas addresses flowers or insects - One could use the example of a daffodil that flowers in spring time. He then goes on to evaluate the fact that these natural bodies ‘lack intelligence’ - they are not conscious or sentient beings of their own movement, yet even so they appear to move or act in regular fashion - as...

Words: 1739 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Explain How Bentham’s Version of Utilitarianism May Be Used to Decide on the Right Course of Action. (25 Marks)

...Explain how Bentham’s version of Utilitarianism may be used to decide on the right course of action. (25 marks) Utilitarianism is a teleological theory. It states that something is morally right if it produces pleasure and it’s morally wrong if it produce pain. The principle of Utility refers to the greatest amount of pleasure or happiness for the greatest number of people. According to Bentham, most moral acts are those that maximise pleasure and minimise pain. An action is correct according to Bentham if it gives higher quantity of happiness. Jeremy Bentham’s principle of utility states that ‘greatest happiness for the greatest number.’ Bentham stated that human being is governed by two sovereign masters: pain and pleasure. By pleasure he means the benefits, advantage, goodness and happiness. By pain Bentham refers to evil and unhappiness. An example of this will be childbirth. During the period of pregnancy and throughout the labour the mother goes through different level of pain. However, the result is pleasure as baby is born. This not only brings happiness to the mother, also to a greater amount of people especially the family members. The greatest happiness is given to greatest number. Bentham said: ‘Nature has placed us under the governance of two sovereign master, pain and pleasure. An act is right if it delivers more pleasure than pain and wrong if it brings about more pain than pleasure.’ This approach of Bentham can be used to decide on the right course......

Words: 833 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Explain Plato’s Analogy of the Cave. (25 Marks)

...Explain Plato’s analogy of the cave. (25 marks) The analogy of the cave is written in Plato’s famous book known as Republic. It is one of the three similes he uses to illustrate his theory of Forms. Plato uses analogy to help describe philosophical difference between physical world and the difference of the world of forms. In short the analogy explains to others about the physical world as nothing but full of illusion. He describes the true reality is to be found in the eternal unchanging world of forms. The analogy begins in the cave. The cave represents the visible world or the world of sense experience, where the shadows seem more real than truth itself. It indirectly represents the human body, which imprisons the soul preventing it from seeking the true knowledge. People are chained up in the cave such a way that all prisoners are facing the wall. They are chained up in a way that they can only look ahead of them at the wall of the cave. The only light in the cave comes from the fire. There is a wall behind the prisoners and fire is located behind the wall. Behind the wall other people are walking up and down carrying statues on their heads. The prisoners observe the shadows that flicker before them. The prisoners believe the shadows are reality as that is all they are able to see. If they hear the people behind the wall they associate the sounds made by individuals with the shadows. They think of the shadows as the true reality. Plato represents our condition as......

Words: 879 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Explain Anselm’s Ontological Argument

...The Ontological Argument was founded by St Anselm. St Anselm was the Archbishop of Canterbury in the late 11th century and was an avid philosopher. Anselm most famous work was a book called Proslogion. He outlined the Ontological Argument in parts two and three of Proslogion. As a firm believer in God, Anselm wanted to prove God’s existence and to refute ‘the fool who says in his heart that there is no God.’ (Psalms 14:1). The ontological argument is a priori and deductive argument. It is priori as it is not based on our experiences of the world but relies on reason alone. The argument is also deductive, this means that if the premises (supporting statements) are true, then the conclusion must be true. If true, the premises logically entail the conclusion. In Proslogion 2, Anselm main argument is developed. He begins by defining God as “that than which nothing greater can be conceived”. This means, it is impossible to think of anything with greater value or which has qualities (knowledge, power, etc.) to a greater degree. According to Anselm, even “the fool” (Psalm 14) who denies God at least has a concept of God present in the mind. Now everyone has a concept of God, one can ask, does God exist merely in the understanding or in reality as well? Anselm argues that if God existed merely in the understanding, then we could conceive of a being great (one which existed). Therefore, the greatest conceivable being cannot exist in the mind only, but must exist in reality as......

Words: 262 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Explain Kant's Moral Argument

...Kant’s moral argument focuses on the notion that God must exist to provide structure to the moral universe. Technically he did not believe that is was possible to prove the existence of God through rational or empirical means. It is important to outline two key ideas before explaining the details of the moral argument. These ideas centre around his assumptions of the universe: that the universe was fair; and that the world around us is fundamentally rational. He begins with the unspoken assumption that the world is fair, owing to the dominance of the enlightenment belief that the universe was fundamentally knowable through reason. It is important to note that Kant began a new way of looking at knowledge. He believed that we could know the world through reason in a prior synthetic way. This was a complete change from how the world had been view previously and was known as Kant’s Copernican revolution. In essence Kant believed in two separate worlds of knowledge: noumenal and the phenomenal worlds. The noumenal world is the world as it truly is without being observed. It is fundamentally unknowable because the act of observation changes the very thing that we observe. It is as though human beings have a specific set of spectacles that cannot be taken off and like the proverbial rose tinted ones they change our perception of the world around us. This personalised view of the universe is the phenomenal world. However, what is key to explaining Kant’s moral argument is the fact......

Words: 1159 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Explain the Issues to the Claim to the Right of a Child. 25 Marks

...Explain the issues of the claim to the right of a child. Some people see rights as gifts from god, as humans were made in God’s image, making humans sacred. Being sacred gives us rights. People hold this view, while others don’t. That argue that rights come from nature, simply because we hold more intrinsic value than other creatures. Other would even argue that rights come from the responsibilities and duties that we have towards others. Rights are then simply a result of being human; this has an impact on every part of society. This raises many issues in today’s society. The main question surrounding fertility treatment is “Is having a child by artificial means playing God?” Fertility treatment raises a few ethical issues, such as: “Who has the right to fertility treatment?” “When does life begin?” and “Do homosexual couples and single women have the right to fertility treatment?” People who follow the teachings of Christian ethics would say that life is a gift from God. This means that they would say tat nobody has the right to have a child if it involves having a child through artificial means by playing God. Christians believe in the sanctity of life. This means that all life holds intrinsic value and therefore life begins from contraception. This would mean that embryos cannot be used for fetal research, with uses such as IVF. And tr shouldn’t be disposed of if they are unwanted. Some Christians would argue that women have some rights as men, as far as being...

Words: 1061 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Part a: Explain and Illustrate Two Problems with the Argument from Design (15 Marks)

...Hume criticism of the teleological argument questions the strength of Paley’s watchmaker analogy (although it must be noted that Hume’s criticism came 23 years before Paley made his argument) by debating whether the universe and watches are actually alike. If the universe and watches were alike, then it would be supposed that the universe has a designers because as Hume says ‘like effects presuppose like causes.’ For instance, if I saw two chocolate Mars bars I would be able to assume that they had the same cause, i.e. the same starting ingredients. However, Hume rejected Paley’s use of analogy as the watch and the universe are not similar. This is because the watch is mechanical while the universe is organic. We can assume a house has an architect and a builder because a house is unnatural and cannot be produced by nature. The universe on the other hand is natural however (unlike the watch used in Paley’s analogy), so the universe and the watch are not ‘like effects’, with Hume saying the analogy would work just as well between the watch and a giant vegetable. Evidently, it would not be plausible to conclude that the vegetable was designed. People have seen watches being made, so it cannot be debated whether they are designed, but no one has seen a universe being constructed neither is it as evident of design as the watch. Because of this Paley’s is flawed and cannot infer a designer. Although the world appears designed, this does not mean that the best explanation for......

Words: 424 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

The Ontological and Cosmological Arguments

...The ontological and cosmological arguments The ontological and cosmological arguments Does God exists? Has been asking this question over and over, but there may not be an exact answer to this question. Over the time this topic has been disputing among the philosophers and the people who tried to answer it. . There are many questions and issues that are related to this question. Depending on the people if they are believers or not? Or what are the essences of a person religion? There is no specific answer to any of these questions and therefore one would ask. When people are asked about God existence, from their answers we can classify them in to two groups, the first group would be the believers whom answers will be yes based on the person’s believes. The second group would be the atheist who does not agree on God existence. However, whether a person is a believer or an atheist, there cannot be a significant prove that God exist or not. There two argument to the question of whether God exist or not. The Ontological Argument and the Cosmological Argument. The ontological argument is presented by St Anselm and the Cosmological Argument is presented by Saint Thomas Aquinas. In this essay I am going to explore both argument. The Ontological Argument The first argument I am going to explore is The Ontological Argument explained by St Anselm. In exploring St Anselm argument we can summarize it in the following characteristics. The first characteristic of Anselm ontological......

Words: 1076 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Explain Aquinas' Cosmological Argument

...Explain Aquinas’ Cosmological Argument The basis of the cosmological argument is that the universe cannot account for its own existence. There must be a reason, the argument says, for the existence of the universe and the reason has to be something which is not part of the physical world of time and space. The cosmological argument was used by Thomas Aquinas (1225-74) in his five ways, which were ways of demonstrating the existence of God through inductive argument based on observation and evidence. In Aquinas’ view, knowledge of God could be reached in two ways; one through revelation for example, through the words of the Bible and the other is through our own human reason. Aquinas thought that if we applied reason to the evidence that we see around us then we would be able to reach valuable truths. To show that God exists, Aquinas had presented it through five ways because he was convinced that although the existence of God was not self-evident, it could be demonstrated with logical thought. He wrote about the five ways in his book Summa Theologica. Of Aquinas’ five ways, the first three are different alternatives of the cosmological argument. His version of the argument was based on two assumptions: the universe exists and there must be a reason why. This was used as a starting point to explain the fact that there must be an explanation of why anything exists. In his first way, Aquinas concentrated on the existence of change or motion in the world. He considered the......

Words: 652 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Ontological Argument

...i) Examine the ontological argument as an a priori proof for the existence of God. (18) Ontology is the branch of philosophy that explores the whole concept of existence. Sometimes scientist have to assume that something exists in reality in the physical world even if they have never come across an example of it, because a combination of factors indicate that there must be X, even if we have not found it yet, in order to explain other things. The ontological argument for the existence of God is an a priori argument, working from first principles and a definition in an attempt to demonstrate the existence of God. It is also a deductive argument, using logic rather than depending on the evidence of sense experience. In this way, then the ontological argument is different from other attempts to argue for the existence of God. The ontological argument argues that almost everything, which exists, does so in a contingent way; it depends upon other factors. We as individuals are contingent beings; everything else apart from God exists contingently. God, however, it is argued by religious believers, is necessary rather than contingent, there was no time when God didn’t exist. There is nothing that could happen which would cause God to cease to exist. The ontological argument begins with assumptions about God, without any empirical evidence such as the characteristics of God: Omnipotent, omniscient and omnipotent. This is what makes the argument an a priori argument, as most of......

Words: 1496 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Price Elasticity of Demand (25 Marks)

...“Evaluate the view that the ability of firms to exploit their customers depends on the price elasticity of demand for their products" 25 marks Callum Barnett Price elasticity of demand is the proportionate change in demand for a good, following an initial proportionate change in the good’s own price. Most goods are either elastic or inelastic. Elastic demand means that consumers are really sensitive to price changes. If the price goes down just a little, they'll buy a lot more. If prices rise just a bit, they'll stop buying as much and wait for prices to return to normal. Inelastic demand is demand for a good or service that does not increase or decrease in response to changes in price. Demand for goods that are life necessities, such as water, or economic necessities, such as fuel, tends to be inelastic, since people cannot greatly change how much of these goods they consume, even if the price changes dramatically. So when demand is elastic firms can’t exploit consumers as much as they are very sensitive to price, so if there is a slight increase in price in the product then demand will fall more significantly than the price rise meaning the firms would lose more customers and profits due to the decrease in demand as this diagram shows: as you can see, let’s say a price of a good has increased from 18 to 20 that is an increase of just over 11%. Before this increase they were......

Words: 671 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

“the Ontological Argument Doesn’t Prove Anything” to What Extent Do You Agree?

...The Ontological argument is a debate created by St. Anselm and his book, Proslogian, this argument was created, as stated by Anselm, to re-inforce faith but not proves God’s existence, this is stated by Anselm as Proslogian is a supplementary prayer book. However the argument itself does border on trying to proves gods existence, this argument is as follows: God is a being that which no greater can be conceived, a being that exists in reality is better than one that just solely exists in the mind, therefore god must exist in reality. Anselm himself argued that even through reason, those without faith could not truly understand god, as Anselm stated that the argument was never meant to for faith upon someone but this argument itself was only for the reassurance of faith, he himself already accepts gods existence. Anselm considered that reason alone can lead to error and therefore has to be supported by faith as it is only through faith that greater understanding can be achieved. if the believer accepts there is god then the ontological argument may be a valid argument that god’s existence is necessary. In the same way a triangle has 3 sides, for a believer that believes they understand the concept of god then for them god exists to quote Anselm: “For I believe this too, that ‘unless I believe I shall not understand’”. Therefore Anselm himself believes that it does not actually prove anything unless you have this preconceived notion about the existence of god, this is also......

Words: 1066 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Assess the Arguments in Favour of the Greater Use of Direct Democracy in the Uk (25 Marks)

...Assess the arguments in favour of the greater use of direct democracy in the UK (25 marks) Direct democracy is a form of government in which all laws are created by a general vote of society. Direct Democracy is supposedly meant to remove the division between the government and the people being governed. The UK currently has a representative democracy with aspects of direct democracy. Direct democracy is genuine democracy in action. With popular participation emerges the precise and true view of all the citizenry. The people determine their future and shape accurately their society. There is no vacuum or distinction between the government and the people. For example this clear link can be seen in the case of the Scottish referendum on independence in 2014. However, the above may be more a reflection of an ideal and an aspiration than a functional practical possibility. In a large scale society direct democracy is not achievable, with voting population of almost 45 million. This means there is too many varying opinions for the public to come up with clear concise decisions. Representative Democracy requires the voter to vote for some candidate or party with whom they are very unlikely to agree on everything - the 'take it or leave it' option. Direct Democracy allows voters to vote on the issues separately. The problems with representative democracy can be seen in the case of the Liberal democrats as once they got into office very few of their policies came to fruition...

Words: 781 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Ontological Argument

...a) Analyze the distinctive features of the Ontological Argument for the existence of God (18) The Ontological Argument is an a priori and deductive argument which attempts to prove God’s existence. It is also a reduction ad absurdum argument which shows that the existence of God could not be denied because to do so would involve adopting an illogical argument. It was formed by St. Anselm (1033-1109), but is still a strong argument for the existence of God today. Anselm firstly argues nothing greater than God can be conceived and secondly, it is greater to exist than not to exist. He next explains that if we conceive of God as not existing, then we can conceive of something greater than God. To conceive of God as not existing is not to conceive of God. Anselm states that it is inconceivable that God doesn’t exist and therefore God exists. Anselm thought that not believing in God is ridiculous, claiming it is better to exist in the mind and in reality than to just exist in the mind. Existence is a predicate of perfection. Therefore God must exist in reality. ‘The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’’ (Psalm 14).Anselm stated that even an atheist must have a definition of God because even the suggestion that God does not exist requires the concept of God. It seemed logical to conclude that to argue that there is no God; even the fool must understand the concept of God. Since the greatest thought must have an equivalent reality to be greater than even the least......

Words: 1675 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Using the Data and Your Knowledge of Economics Assess the Arguments for and Against the Government Intervening in the Uk Electricity Industry. (25 Marks)

...June 2015 Unit 3 Context 1 Q3 ‘Critics of Big Six might argue that electricity companies should not have electricity companies should not have been privatised as they can never behave or perform like supermarkets.’ (Extract C, lines 15-16) Using the data and your knowledge of economics assess the arguments for and against the government intervening in the UK electricity industry. (25 marks) The big six energy firms effectively have an oligopoly on the UK energy market despite the existence of some smaller firms who are mainly involve in the retail aspect of the market (extract A). The market concentration of these firms and the significant profit margins that they enjoy, as referred to in extract B, would suggest that there exists a strong argument in favour of government intervention in order to protect consumer interest. However any government intervention must be based on sound information so as not to further disrupt the market and potentially result in government failure. Furthermore, if the energy companies’ claim of needing these supernormal profits for the purposes of future investment holds true the government would need to consider the long term implications of intervention such as windfall taxes. Firms in oligopolistic markets have market power and therefore can often use this power to act in an anti-competitive way which is damaging to consumer interests...

Words: 1199 - Pages: 5