Anselm's Argument For The Existence Of God Analysis

1033 Words 4 Pages
The ontological argument, first proposed by Anselm of Canterbury, is an argument that uses premises and reason to prove that God exists. In this paper, I will explain Anselm’s arguments for the existence of God and Guanilo’s response against Anselm’s reasoning. I will then evaluate the arguments given by both Anselm and Gaunilo. In his work, Proslogion, Anselm uses reductio ad absurdum to argue that God exists. Reductio ad absurdum is a form of argument where a premise is disproven by following its implications, leading to a contradiction or a ridiculous conclusion and showing that the premise is false. We can see that Anselm starts using this strategy in the fifth paragraph.
Anselm’s first premise is that God exists in our minds. The Fool
…show more content…
He takes the position of the Fool and assumes that ‘g’ does not exist in reality. However, Anselm argues that ‘g’ cannot exist only in the mind due to the Great-Making principle. The Great-Making principle states that if ‘g’ exist in the mind but not in reality, and if it is possible that ‘g’ did exist in reality, then ‘g’ could’ve be greater than it is. We can use a winning lottery ticket as an example. The winning lottery ticket exists in our mind, but not in reality. It is possible for that ticket to exist in reality and if it did exist in reality, it would be better than the ticket existing in our mind. Using this principle, Anselm argues that ‘g’ could have been greater than it is now. This, however, leads to a …show more content…
A parody is a form of argument where the subject is replaced by another object, and by following the same logic, one will reach an absurd conclusion. He uses the same logic as Anselm, but replaces God with an island. He first conjures an image of an island that is superior in everyway. This “most excellent” island exists in the mind. Let’s call this island ‘i’. This is Gaunilo’s first premise: that this superior island exists in the mind. His second premise states that there isn’t an island greater than ‘i’ because ‘i’ is an ‘island than-which-nothing-greater-can-be-thought’ that exists in the mind. His third premise assumes that ‘i’ doesn’t exist in reality. This is the assumption for reductio ad absurdum. His fourth premise uses to Great-Making principle to argue that ‘i’ could’ve have been a greater island if it were to exist in reality. This leads to his fifth premise: ‘i’ is an island-than-which-nothing-greater-can-be-thought-of and island that could’ve been greater if it existed in reality. This contradiction shows that premise 2 is false, then premise 3 must also be false. This leads to the conclusion: ‘i’ does exist in

Related Documents