The Ontological Argument Is An A Priori Argument

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PHIL-1600, Exam 2, Instructor: Chapman 2
1. Lay out and explain the distinction between an a priori argument for the existence of God and an a posteriori argument for the existence of God and identify which type of argument the Ontological Argument is and which type of argument the Cosmological Argument is.
• A Posterior Argument: Relies substantively on empirical promises, sensory experience, and observations. o The cosmological argument is an a posterior argument
• A Priori Argument: Doesn’t rely substantively on empirical promises. An a priori argument is based off of theory instead of actual observations. o The ontological argument is an a priori argument.
2. Fully lay out and explain Anselm’s version of the Ontological Argument for the
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• The argument is a reductio ad absurdum because it disproves the Ontological Argument using the existence of something that would be absurd. This island which none is greater doesn’t actually exist, and so the logic in the Ontological Argument is disproven.
5. Lay out and explain Kant’s critique of the Ontological Argument.
• Kant argues that existing isn’t a predicate, and existing doesn’t change the set that the descriptions apply to.
• There can’t be an actual comparison between existing and nonexistent things.
• A great thing that exists can’t be compared to a great thing that doesn’t.
6. Lay out the Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God in terms of the notion of explanation.

• Everything can be explained by something else, or it explains itself.
• God is self-explained because his nature explains his existence, and since God is self-explained, he can also be used to explain the existence of how everything else came to be, or at least how it all began.
7. Lay out Clarke’s version of the Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God in terms of the notion of contingency.

• Contingency: it could have been other then it

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