Ontological Argument Analysis

Describe and critically analyse the ontological argument for the existence of God.

Ontological arguments are arguments that some philosophers claim, definitively prove and conclude on the existence of an omniscient ‘God’. These arguments are structured in a specific analytical, deductive, a priori style. The analytical, a priori aspect of the argument means that the conclusion is based on the understanding of a definition. Meaning that the truth of the conclusion can be determined before experience as the predicate is already determined in the definition of the subject.

One critical analysis of ontological thinking concludes that the argument structure is invalid and such thinking cannot conclude logically on the existence of a God (Oppy,2016).
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Kant’s objection cites the flawed nature of the ontological argument, suggesting the invalid nature of arguments for the existence of God that rely on the proposition that God in reality is greater than God not in reality (Plantinga, 1966). The reason that arguments that rely on this premise are invalid is due to their use of existence as a predicate, where we define ‘predicate’ as a quality a thing either possesses or does not posses. Kant deems that existence cannot be understood as a matter of property that can be attributed to the definition of something. Suggesting instead that the definition of a being, even if it included existence, would have to be checked with reality for validity an truth. “If you accept that there is a God, it is logical to accept also that His existence is necessary. But you don’t have to accept that there is a God.” It is this conclusion that you can deny the existence of God that tears down the validity of the ontological argument.

The critical analysis of ontological thinking in this essay concludes that the argument structure is invalid and applied ontological thinking cannot conclude on the existence of a God with any validity. This serves to refute the structure of Anselm’s classical ontological argument due to its reliance upon the use of ‘existence’ as a predicate of God and the structural errors highlighted by Gaunilo’s counterargument. Collaboratively this concludes that the ontological argument, specifically Anselm’s ontological argument, cannot be used to deductively prove the existence of

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