St. Anselm Essay
& # 8217 ; s God Necessarily Exists Essay, Research Paper
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Throughout history It has been adult male kinds quest to happen a cogent evidence of the being of God. Even today, spiritual archaeologist, loot the Earth, looking for Noah & # 8217 ; s Ark, The Ark of the Covenant, or the site Jesus Christ was thought to hold been buried. These work forces and adult females are seeking for artefacts to turn out the being of God to people who believe there is no God. Many people, nevertheless, do non necessitate artefacts to turn out God & # 8217 ; s being, they have faith, and like St. Anselm of Canterbury, believe that God is the greatest of all imaginable things, nil else can be thought to be greater than God.
St. Anselm states that he wants to happen a cogent evidence of God, non because he does non believe in God, but because he believes in God, he wants cogent evidence of his belief. This means he is non seeking for cogent evidence for his ain interest, for he already believes God exists, he is seeking for cogent evidence for his belief & # 8217 ; s interest. He believes he was put on Earth to happen God, and he has non yet accomplished what he is seeking for. Knowing this, St. Anselm sets up an ontological statement to turn out the being of God.
First of wholly, to to the full understand this perplexing statement, you must strongly believe the definition of God St. Anselm gives, which is as followed: God is something that which nil greater can be conceived. This means that no 1 can believe of anything that is greater than God. Even if a individual does non believe that God exists, every bit long as the individual believes this definition of God, St. Anselm can turn out the being of God. The 2nd thought you must believe, in order to to the full understand the statement, is, it is greater to be than non to be.
Following, St. Anselm describes two sorts of being: being in the head, and being in world. Being in world is really easy to believe. If you can touch, see, smell, hear, or gustatory sensation something, in world it exists. Being in the head is harder to understand for some, because many people merely believe what they see. St. Anselm gives a beautiful illustration of how he can turn out that something can be in the head, and besides in world. He gives us the illustration of a painter, before the painter paints a image, in his head he has an apprehension of what the picture will look like. After the painter has made the picture, the painter will believe it exists in his head, for he had the vision of the picture before he performed it, and in world, because now he can see the picture with his ain eyes.
Now, St.Anselm has proven two things: God is that which nil greater can be conceived, and it is greater to be than non be. Given you already know that something can be in the head every bit good as in world, you are now to the full ready to understand St. Anselm & # 8217 ; s ontological statement. Which is as follows:
God is by definition the greatest being possible.
A being who fails to be is less perfect than a being who exists.
Therefore, God must be, needfully.
If a being failed to be, the being would be, that than which nil greater can non be conceived. Since God is a being that than which nil greater can be conceived, God must be non merely in your head, or understanding, but besides in world. Therefore God exists. Now so, anyone who truly believes the defin
ition of God can still state God does non be in their head. However, in world, the individual who genuinely understands this ontological Argument can non deny the being of God. For God is that than which nil greater can be conceived.
After St. Anselm foremost interpreted this ontological statement, it was no surprise to that some one would state that his statement was flawed. Gaunilo was a monastic in the church along with St. Anselm. Gaunilo believed that you could put up this statement with anything, every bit long as it was by definition perfect, and do it look to be. The illustration Gaunilo gives is an statement of the perfect island. Gaunilo says that there is a lost island that no 1 has of all time found, it possess the most fertile dirt and wealths beyond any adult males dreams. Having no people on it, the island is more perfect than any other state. The statement is as follows:
The perfect Island is the greatest possible island.
An island that fails to be is less perfect than an island that does be.
Therefore, the perfect island exists, needfully.
St. Anselm responds by stating that, this would be true if perfect island was defined as that than which no greater can be conceived. Since about anyone can gestate something greater than an island, Gaunilo & # 8217 ; s statement is flawed.
Gaunilo is non the merely other philosopher who has tried to happen defect in St. Anselm & # 8217 ; s otological statement. Many have tried but it is about impossible. First of all, no 1 can gestate of anything greater than God, even if you did St. Anselm would state it is impossible. It could be possible to turn this ontological statement into a mathematical equation to happen merely how unflawed the statement is. For illustration, you can alter the sentence, & # 8221 ; God is by definition the greatest being possible, & # 8221 ; into, God is the greatest figure possible. Given that you know that the greatest figure possible is infinite, we would name God- all Numberss conceivable. The following sentence is & # 8220 ; A being who fails to be is less perfect than a being who exists. & # 8221 ; We could turn this sentence into, a figure who fails to exists is non conceivable and a figure that does be is conceivable. Therefore, God is all conceivable Numberss. Here once more, if I can non believe of a figure it does non be, if I can believe of a figure no affair how large it is, it will ne’er be bigger than God. This equation was non set up to demo any significance or to confute St. Anselm statement, it was set up to reenforce merely how unflawed it is.
The lone existent defect in the statement is how one sided it is. First of wholly, if you do non believe in St. Anselm & # 8217 ; s definition of God, or if you do non believe to be is greater than non to be you can non utilize this statement. The statement merely proves that God exists merely if you believe that God is the greatest possible being. It has been proven over clip that this statement has non changed everyone & # 8217 ; s mind that God exists. If an archaeologist was to happen the Ark of the Covenant, or Noah & # 8217 ; s Ark it would hold much more impact on peoples beliefs in God than this statement. Second, If a individual believes that something, besides God, is the greatest possible being, so the statement would work for that. Then once more, I am certain St Anselm would state that whatever it was I believed in that was the greatest possible being, that thing would be the same as God.