ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Arguments For the Existence of God: Part 1 The Ontological Argument

Updated on January 30, 2017

The Ontological Argument Made Simple

Source

The Ontological Argument

Throughout history arguments have been put forward claiming to demonstrate conclusively that God, or an Almighty being exists. In this series we shall examine these arguments, starting with the Ontological argument.

The Ontological Argument

The Ontological argument is solely based on the essence of God (Ontos). This theory is strongly associated with St Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury AD 1033 to 1109

Anselm firmly maintained that it is possible to argue for the existence of God, from the very meaning of the word 'God.' He argued that existence is essential to the very idea of God. He stated:

We believe that God is a being that which none greater can be thought. Now, even a fool knows that a being that which none greater can be though exists at least in the mind alone. It could be thought of as existing in reality as well. That would be greater, in which case that than which greater cannot be thought”

So, essentially the word 'God' refers to a perfect being. The Ontological argument has baffled many a philosopher throughout the ages. Rene Descartes (1596-1650) expanded on the theory by arguing , just a triangle would not be a triangle unless it's angles added up to 180 degrees. So, God would not be God if he did not exist.

Gotfried Leibniz (1646-1716) and Georg Hegl (1770-1813) both defended the Ontological argument. Paul Tillich (1885-1969) spoke of God as 'Ultimate Reality' whose nature people could disagree, but not about whether it exists.

How Convincing is the Theory?

The argument has been strongly criticised through the years. For example, one of Anselm's contemporaries Gaunilio accused Anselm of making an illegitimate jump from existence in the mind, to existence in reality.

He said he could define anything into existence, including a perfect holiday island. He argued that it is cutting corners to hide the notion of existence of God in the word 'God.'

The well known German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) argued that the word 'exists' may not be utilised as a predicate quality of God. The word 'God' should include 'goodness', 'almighty' and 'wisdom.' He also argued that essentially existence needs to be proved. Immanuel Kant compared this to $100, he stated that:

“$100 in mind does not mean it exists.”

He said, we need reasons for believing in the existence of God, not just a definition of God. Because that does not indicate that God does indeed exist.

To read about another philosophical topic Utilitarianism go here

Part 2 of our Arguments for the existence of God series will be on the Cosmological argument.

Source

More Information on Ontological Argument

For more information on the Ontological argument, take a look at the following links:


Anselm: Ontological Argument for God's Existence

Anselm of Canterbury

The Ontological Argument: Princeton University

Ontological Arguments: Stanford University

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • intriguewriter profile imageAUTHOR

      intriguewriter 

      6 years ago from worldwide

      Thanks for your comment...glad someone understand the mechanics of philosophy. although no question can ever fully be answered in this field.

    • penofone profile image

      Anish Patel 

      6 years ago

      An argument exists as Kant would say only if the argument is TERSE and is SuBJECTIVE not an anomaly or an social endeavor to say the least. It does represent a theological aspect of divinity as is later described in the verses of Emmanuel. The theory is that god "exists" only if the mind is developed in the area of Godhead or mutual admiration between god and man. That is Kant and that's how it goes....

      Love ya less,

      Anish

      B,B,

    • intriguewriter profile imageAUTHOR

      intriguewriter 

      6 years ago from worldwide

      The ontological argument does not hold much weight....but it is one of the philosophical arguments isn't it. I am not convinced by it at all. However, it does leave you with something to discuss I guess right! Thank you for stopping by and reading my article! means a lot !

    • Rob Winters profile image

      Rob Winters 

      6 years ago

      A question almost everybody ponders from time to time.The Ontolgical Argument does not seem to hold much persuasion without faith and if you've got faith your not looking for proof.I look forward to the rest of your series.Up & Interesting.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)