Ontological Argument Essay

1368 Words 6 Pages
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). This essay will analyse and refute Anselm’s classical ontological argument. Contending that it cannot be used to deductively prove the existence of God due to a number of criticisms that refute both its structure and content. More specifically, it will criticise its reliance upon an agreed definition of God, the way the argument uses ‘existence’ as a predicate of God, as well other conceptual issues that result in circular type logic.

Ontological arguments rely on the idea that once we comprehend and understand the ‘idea’ of God, we can be certain that God exists. This style of philosophical argument was used by 14th century French Monk Anselm. Anselm’s argument follows a pattern of reduction ad absurdum thinking; whereby

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