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Flashcards in The Ontological Argument Deck (42)

what is the ontological argument based on?

the statement 'god exists' being analytically true (therefore it is incoherent to reject god's existence)


what does analytic mean?

ridiculous to think of as false/true but definition


what does synthetic mean?

degree of truth depends on collectable evidence


where did anselm's publish his 1st argument?



what did anselm quote in the proslogian? (1st argument)

Psalm 14.1 - "the fool says in his heart 'there is no God'".


what is anselms reflection on psalm 14.1?

his ontological argument


what is the first step in anselm's ontological argument?

'god is that than which nothing greater can be concieved'


what is the second step in anselm's ontological argument?

god can exist either in the mind alone (in intellectu) or in reality (in re) too


what is the 3rd step in anselm's ontological argument?

3) existing in the mind and reality is better than just in the mind (imagined existence)


what is the 4th step in anselm's ontological argument?

4) god must exists both 'in intellectu' and 'in re'


what is anselm's first argument a reply to?

the fool, and assume the fool has an idea in his head of what god is (greatest possible being) that can be thought of


why is it better to exist in the mind and in reality?

because these things have the added quality of existence


who was gaulino?

benedictine monk who wrote 'on behalf of the fool'


what did gaulino argue?

that it is 'unintelligible' to say god cannot fail to exist


what did gaulino say was impossible?

to ontologically prove the existence of god


what does gaulino say about gossip?

the fool can thinkk of anything that doesn't exist in reality - gossip is unreliable


what does gaulino argue about defining things into existence?

you can't demonstrate existence purely through an idea


what was gaulino's island analogy?

anyone can think of the perfect island but that doesn't make it exist


what does gaulino think is absurd to think?

that something exists purely because you have an idea of it. teller.believer of this analogy must be an actual fool


what did anselm reply to gaulino saying?

god's existence is necessary. the perfect island can be conceived to not exist


what did alvin plantinga say?

no matter how perfect an island is, it can always be improved; it has no INTRINSIC MAXIMUM


what did alvin plantinga say is impossible?

it is impossible for a being greater than god to exist, so you cannot compare it to an island which has no intrinsic maximum


what was anselm's second argument?

also in response to gaulino's criticisms


what is the 1st point in anselm's 2nd argument?

1)'god is that than which nothing greater can be concieved'


what is the 2nd point in anselm's 2nd argument?

something which cannot be thought not to exist is greater than something which can


what is the 3rd point in anselm's 2nd argument?

it is impossible to think that this being cannot exist


what is the 4th point in anselm's 2nd argument?

this being we call god


what can we conclude from anselm's 2nd argument?

it is impossible for god not to exist = god must exist. it is a philisophical and logical contradiction to say 'god doesn't exist'


what is necessary existence?

when something has to exist and cannot fail to exist. it exists by necessity


what is contingence?

a contingent thing must refer on something else in order to fully explain its existence


what does anselm say about god and necessary/contingent existence?

god must necessarily exist because if he depended on something else for his existence, he would be less great than a necessary being


where does descartes ontological argument come from?

'meditation on philosophy' - given in meditation 5


what does descartes say showing god's existence is about?

it is about showing there is no reason to doubt god's existence


what did descartes say about triangles?

nature of a triangle is that it has three sides and three internal angles adding up to 180 degrees - it is a triangle regardless of whether we have an idea of the nature or not


what is a predicate of god?



summary of descartes argument

1) god is a supremely perfect being
2) existence is a perfection
3) god, being perfect, must logically exist


what is existence to descartes?

existence is a perfection - something not lacking any 'good' quality. something cannot be perfect unless it exists in reality


what does descartes say god and existence go together like?

the mountain and the valley


why should we believe?

1) by studying the biblical idea of god, it is clear that perfection existence is part of god's nature
2) existence is a perfection - god, the 'supremely perfect being', must exist


evaluation :kant and others

existence is not a predicate - one can imagine a unicorn but that doesn't mean it exists in reality. existence is a part of the concept of god, but this isn't evidence for god's existence in reality


what are all philosophical statements about existence?

synthetic - god's existence must be verified


although the concept of a necessary being is explainable by logic, what doesn't it make it?

a reality