A2 Philosophy (Ontological Argument)

Alanis  Harridine
Flashcards by Alanis Harridine , updated more than 1 year ago
Alanis  Harridine
Created by Alanis Harridine almost 6 years ago


A2 level Philosophy and ethics (A2) Flashcards on A2 Philosophy (Ontological Argument), created by Alanis Harridine on 05/18/2015.

Resource summary

Question Answer
What type of argument is the Ontological argument? It is an argument for the existence of God, where it aims to show that belief in the existence of God is rational.
What type of argument is it? It is a priori and analytic argument.
Name the two main philosophers? 1. Anselm 2. Descartes
What was Anselm's first argument? 1.) God is the greatest conceivable being possible 2.) God may exist either in the mind alone (in intellectu) or in reality (in re) as well. 3.) Something which exists in reality and in the mind is greater than something that exists as an idea in the mind alone. 4.) Therefore God must exist in reality and in the mind.
What did he mean by this argument? Anselm, suggested the definition in the mind of God even for the atheist (fool) is the greatest conceivable being. Anselm's argument depends on the assumption that existence in reality and in the mind is greater than existence in the mind alone. It has a quality of existence. Anselm is saying that God is the GCB that can only be though of, part of being a 'being' or 'thing' of any sort is that to exist, so therefore God must exist.
What was Anselm's second argument? For Anselm God's existence is thus analytic, the second argument: (God is impossible for God to not exist) 1.) God is that being nothing greater which can be thought of. 2.) Something in which cannot be thought not to exist is greater than anything which can be thought not to exist. 3.) Therefore it is impossible to think that this being cannot exist. 4.) & this being is what we call 'God'.
What did his 2nd argument mean? God's existence is necessary (not dependant). His island does not have to exist - its contingent as the greatest being possible being God must exist. And is not dependant on anything else to exist.
What was Plantinga's argument? 1.) He suggested that for Anselm to use an analogy of an island is a poor one because it can always be improved, however, God has no 'Intrinsic maximum'. God is maximally great, cannot be bettered/improved therefore cannot be compared to the island. 2.) Plantinga suggested that in many parallel universes including our own. If God existence is necessary he must exist in all of them because God is supported to be "Maximally good" and "Maximally excellent".
What was Descartes argument? 1.) God has placed in us the concept of God. He compared it to the trademark that belongs to a 'craftsman'. 2.) Something's are beyond doubt e.g. Maths can be demonstrated to be true. Also priori evidence. It cannot be doubted once it has been clearly demonstrated. 3.) Demonstrating God's existence is about showing there is no reason to doubt God like Maths.
What did Descartes mean by this argument? Descartes used the analogies of the triangle having three sides and the mountain having a valley, to show that there is an objective necessity connecting the existence of God in the same way that you cannot have a triangle without 3 sides or a mountain without a valley.
What did Malcolm argue? Necessary existence 1.) God is that which nothing greater can be thought of. 2.) Necessary existence is a perfection. 3.) If God possesses all perfection he must possess necessary existence. 4.) A necessary being cannot not exist. 5.) If God could exist then he would necessarily exist. 6.) It is contradictory to say that a necessary being does not exist. 7.) Therefore God exists.
What were the criticisms against Descartes argument? Kant argued that we do not have to accept that statement 'God does not exist' is self-contradictory. It is wrong to suggest that you are enquiring open minded into God's existence & then introduce the concept of existence as a necessary part of your description of God. All propositions to do with Gods existence are synthetic. Existence is not a predicate - it is not good enough to simply say 'God exists' as it needs verifiable proof for the statement to be true (existence is NOT predicate).
What was Hartshorne's counter criticism to Kant's argument? Hartshorne argued against Kant - The full quality and reality of God is not expressible (He is out of our world) - existence is not a predicate.
What was the ANTI-REALISM approach to the Ontological argument? Christians are committed to claims especially that God is greatest conceivable being. In this case God is necessary and self-evident and is based in reality of the believer. God is not objectively true but subjectively true.
What did Guanillo argue against Anselm? His argument was entitled on behalf of the fool (atheist) and is a defence of this fool against Anselm's ideas. He calls Anselm's confusion that God cannot fail to exist "intelligible" this says Anselm's argument cannot show that God necessarily exists. GOSSIP - all sorts of things exist in the mind and not in reality gossip for example is unreliable and not necessarily true. DEFINING THINGS INTO EXISTENCE - we cannot prove from what is said (de dicto) what exists (in re).
What was GUANILLO'S ISLAND? Just because you have an idea of something (perfect island) it does not mean it exists. He concludes that Anselm cannot probe the idea of God as the greatest possible being, means that God exists in reality.
What did Thomas Aquinas argue? (AGAINST OA) He rejects 'God exists' as an analytic statement, we cannot understand God or his nature, so we cannot KNOW God exists as an analytic statement unlike synthetic evidence if the design/cosmological arguments.
Who and describe the other philosophers arguments AGAINST? HUME - thinking that something exists does not necessarily require its actual experience. RUSSELL - the OA only adds to our description of God (predicative) it does not show that he actually exists (existential). MACKIE - it is one thing for a concept to exist it is quite another for it to be realised. DAWKINS - its a play on words, you can describe something without it actually not existing, reality over mind.
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