Ontological Argument

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A Levels Philosophy AS (Traditional Arguments for the Existence of God) Mind Map on Ontological Argument, created by katie.browell on 04/18/2014.

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Created by katie.browell over 5 years ago
Ontological Argument
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Ontological Argument
1 Argument - Apriori = based on logic
2 Ontology - The study of the nature, charateristics and defintion of something
3 Ontological Argument - By studying the definition of God, His existence can be proved
3.1 (More of a demonstration rather than 'proof' of Gods existence)
4 Analytical
4.1 A statement that is true by definition
4.1.1 eg. Bachelors are unmarried men
5 Deductive
5.1 A statement that takes one or more premise to draw a logical conlusion
5.1.1 eg. Bachelors are unmarried men. Bill is an unmarried man. Bill is a bachelor.
6 Anselm's First Argument
6.1 His aim was to demonstrate the existence of God to the 'fools' who did not believe His existence. He believed he could construct an argument that would prove it is impossible to state that God cannot exist.
6.1.1 Psalms14:1 'Fools say in their hearts "There is no God."'
6.2 God is the greatest thing that can be thought of
6.3 God may exist in the mind or in reality as well
6.4 Something which exists in realitiy and in the mind is greater than something that exists in the mind alone
6.5 So if there is nothing greater than God, he must exist in realitiy, as well as the mind
6.6 Gaunilo's criticism
6.6.1 Gaunilo believed in God's exist but believed that Anselm's argument was illogical
6.6.2 The purpose of Anselm's argument seemed to be to define God into existence. However this is impossible as how can you move into existence in reality from the mind?
6.6.3 Perfect Island Criticism The most perfect island exists in the mind Because it is most perfect it must exist within the mind and realitiy Therefore the perfect island must exist Gaunilo tried to demonstrate the illogical nature of Anselms argument with his perfect island arguement
6.6.4 Anselm's Second Argument Anselm responded to Gaunilo by stating that you cannot compare God to anything as God is necessary by definition, while all else is contingent He argued that his argument was not intended to prove the existence of contingent things, but is only applicable to the great, perfect, necessary God.
7 Descartes Argument
7.1 Demonstrating the existence of God is not about truth or falsehood, but showing the reason to never doubt God
7.1.1 Descartes definition - God is the supremely perfect being
7.2 Due to Gods perfection he possesses all perfections - which include being eterneral and existence
7.2.1 Descartes believed that existence is perfection itself. Existence is a predicate of a perfect being. Predicates of something are included in the subject you are talking about The predicate of being a widow is that your husband has died - this is part of the nature of being a widow. Therefore would would not state that Mrs Smith is a widow who's husband has died
7.3 God is a supremely perfect being
7.4 A quality of perfection is existence
7.5 Therefore God exists
7.6 eg. You cannot think of a triangle without three sides, they are inseparable from the triangle
7.6.1 Therefore existence is an essential part of what God is
7.6.2 Immutable
8 Critisms
8.1 Kant's Critisms
8.1.1 The 'two type of statement' argument To reject the three sides of the Triangle is contradictory, but there is no problem with rejecting the whole triangle Therefore if you can accept God and then reject his necessary existence is contradictory - However you can reject the entire concept of God and his characteristics
8.1.2 Existence is not a predicate Kant rejects the use of existence as a predicate - he rejects existence as describing something that exists When we add existence to a concept it does not add any more understanding or description Kant concluded that if God' necessary existnce is an analytical statement then it is a definition that tells us nothing about whether he actually exists. Ruling the Ontological Argument pointless
8.2 Gottlob Frege
8.2.1 Distinguishes between 'first' and 'second' order predicates First order predicates tell us about the nature of something eg The horses are brown Second order predicates tell us about concepts of something eg the horses are numerous Anselm and Descartes seem to use existence as a first order predicate when it is second
8.3 Bertrand Russell
8.3.1 Anselm uses the word 'exist' incorrectly
8.3.2 Existence cannot be a predicate, if it were we could contruct the following argument Men exist. Santa Claus is a man. Therefore, Santa Claus exists.
8.4 Evaluation of Critisms
8.4.1 Ontological Argument is not based on evidence or experience, which makes it seem a weak argument to some.
8.4.2 Is Kant correct to state that existence is not a predicate? eg. because we can think of a Yeti and its qualities. When we have actual evidence that it exists, it does add to the idea of a Yeti as it adds existence. Kant states that existence does not add anything to the descirption of something - but when considering something not proved to exist, this clearly does have an effect.
8.5 Modern Responses
8.5.1 Norman Malcom Anselms Second argument was good, as necessary existence cannot be affected by anything - it cannot be altered If God does not exist he cannot be bought into existence, so his existence is impossible. Nor can he cease to exist if he does exist. If God is necessary it is illogical to say that He does not exist
8.5.2 Iris Murdoch Although Anslems logic seems flawed he was pointing to a reason beyond human reasoning. From his failure we can see how transendent God is, as He is so beyond this world and our reasoning
8.5.3 Gareth Moore He compaired God to the equator - no one claims that it does not exist, however there is not a physical line across the world that he can see

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