- Slides: 28
Ontological Argument Teleological argument depends upon evidence about the nature of the world and the organisms and objects in it. Cosmological argument is based on the observation that something, rather than nothing exists. What types of arguments are these by definition?
Ontological Argument Because this argument does not rely on external evidence or sense experience it is what sort of argument?
Ontological Argument Warburton states (p. 18) that it is an attempt to show that the existence of God necessarily follows from the definition of God as the supreme being. Because this conclusion can be drawn prior to experience it is a priori argument
Ontological Argument Once we understand the concept of God i. e. perfection, we will realise that perfection must include existence in order to be perfect.
Ontological Argument St. Anselm (1033 -1109) Defined God to mean ‘that than which nothing greater can be conceived’
Ontological Argument St. Anselm (1033 -1109) He also asked what is greater – God as an idea or God as an existing thing? He went for God as an existing thing
Ontological Argument St. Anselm (1033 -1109) 1) God is the greatest conceivable entity Can you think of anything ‘greater’?
Ontological Argument St. Anselm (1033 -1109) 2) God can be thought of as an idea or as existing What is the difference?
Ontological Argument St. Anselm (1033 -1109) 3) Existence is perfection i. e. it is better to exist than not to exist If we exist, does this mean we are perfect? Can existence be defined as a property?
Ontological Argument St. Anselm (1033 -1109) 4) Therefore, God exists. 5) Since existence is part of the definition of God, God doesn’t just exist, He exists necessarily. This means it is impossible for God to stop existing or not to have always existed
Ontological Argument St. Anselm (1033 -1109) The Great Chain Of Being Hierarchical scale
Ontological Argument The Great Chain Of Being God Angels Humans Animals Plants Elements Properties Ideas Non-existence
Ontological Argument The Great Chain Of Being What is non-existence? What are ideas? What are properties?
Ontological Argument The Great Chain Of Being If the chain is correct, then, existence is part of it by definition – therefore God not only exists but He is also perfect
Ontological Argument The Great Chain Of Being Descartes argued that the Ontological Argument was as rational as the sum of a triangles interior angles will always be 180 degrees
Ontological Argument Task p. 30
Ontological Argument Criticisms 1) Leads to absurd consequences Gaunilo said it allowed us to define all sorts of things into existence
Ontological Argument Criticisms This means that if we imagine the most perfect thing then it exists Plato used a similar argument but called it Forms
Ontological Argument Criticisms Gaunilo stated it was a faulty argument because it did not work He used the analogy of a perfect island Warburton uses the perfect beach
Ontological Argument Criticisms Anselm countered that the argument only applies to God Why?
Ontological Argument Criticisms 2) Existence is not a property Kant refutes Descartes claim that God’s existence was as rational as the angles of a triangle
Ontological Argument Criticisms Kant argued that existence is not a quality because saying that something exists doesn’t tell us any new characteristic of something
Ontological Argument Criticisms What is the defining property of a bachelor? What is the defining property of being homosexual? What is the defining property of being vegetarian?
Ontological Argument Criticisms These are defining properties and they could not be applied unless the people actually existed Therefore, perfection/greatness rely upon existence and not the other way around
Ontological Argument Possible answer Existence is a special type of property All other properties depend upon existence
Ontological Argument 3) You cannot define God into existence Acceptance of God’s existence does not define the way the world really is
Ontological Argument 3) You cannot define God into existence We can define the existence of a cow because we know what it is Does this work for God?