Anselm 's Ontological Argument On The Existence Of God

935 Words Oct 12th, 2015 4 Pages
Anselm’s Ontological argument sets out to not only prove God’s existence, but to show that God’s existence is self-evident. Similar to other ontological arguments, it uses a priori knowledge to argue its validity, meaning that the propositions made are derived from internal reasoning instead of sense experience. The argument begins with Anselm defining the term God as “that, than which nothing greater can be conceived” (pg.26). Although simple, once this term is accepted Anselm believes he has successfully proven the existence of God. This becomes clearer with further analysis. If God is a being that, than which nothing greater can be conceived, it naturally follows that God would possess all properties of greatness. An example of this would be omnipotence. Omnipotence would be such a property because it is greater to have ultimate power than to have limited power, therefore, God being the greatest conceivable being would possess the property of omnipotence. Likewise, it is greater for something to exist in both reality and the mind, than to exist only in the mind. Thus, just as omnipotence was ascribed to God so must the property of existence, for if God did not exist, he would be lacking a great making property, and consequently would be only a great being, but not the greatest conceivable being.
Existence being am inherent property of God’s essence is why Anselm believes God’s existence to be self-evident. However, as Anselm states “the fool has said in his heart, There…
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