Ontological And Cosmological A


Most people have not witnessed or experienced God and therefore are confused about its existence. In Western theology, three theories have emerged to demonstrate the existence of God. These theories are the ontological argument, the cosmological argument, and the teleological argument. St. Anselm of eleventh century, and Descartes of seventeenth century, have used the ontological argument for proving the existence of God. The God, for them, is supreme, "needing nothing outside himself, but needful for the being and well-being of all things." (Pg. 305).
St Anselm's account of the ontological argument for the existence of God deals with the 'existence in the understanding' vs. 'existence ...

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being who either does not yet exist or no longer exists is self-contradictory, so that the very idea we have of such a being requires existence." (Pg. 307).
In his Meditations, Decartes offers the following version of the ontological argument. He considers the idea of God, a supremely perfect being, just as real as the idea of the existence of any shape or a number. His understanding of God's existence is no less clear and distinct than his proofs for the existence of any shape or number. Therefore he adds, "although all that I concluded in the preceding Meditations were found to be false, the existence of God would pass with me as at least as certain as I have ever held the truths of mathematics." (Pg. 308). Initially, this might not be all clear, and may have some appearance of being a sophism. He argues that unlike other things he might persuade himself that existence can be separated from the essence of God, and hence that God can be thought of as not existing. He ...

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evidently not a real predicate, or a concept of something that can be added to the concept of a thing. It is merely the admission of a thing, and of certain determinations in it." (Pg. 311). His argument is that it is all right to say that God has certain characteristics but it is another to say that such a God exists.
Many contemporary philosophers agree with Kant's argument, but many others do not. Furthermore, contemporary logicians have developed versions of the ontological argument that can even dispense with the controversial notion of existence as a property. It is clear that, considered simply as a logical argument, the ontological argument does not have the power to convert ...

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Added: 8/24/2006 04:10:06 AM
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