Exploring the Ontological Argument

1746 WordsJun 25, 20187 Pages
Exploring the Ontological Argument For nearly a thousand years, the ontological argument has captured the attention of philosophers. The ontological argument was revolutionary in its sequence from thought to reality. It was an argument that did not require any corresponding experiment in reality; it functioned without the necessity of empirical data. Despite flaws and problems found in some ontological arguments and the objections raised to those arguments, ontological arguments still provide a phenomenal vehicle for ontological discussion through St. Anselm’s original ideas and argument, objections raised, and revisions of previous arguments. The ontological argument still intrigues philosophers despite potential objections and flaws…show more content…
258). It does not matter who or what that Greatest Conceivable Being is identified as; anyone and everyone can have an idea of that being. The third premise works off of the idea that it is “greater for something to exist in reality than simply as an idea in our minds” (Cowan & Spiegel, 2009, p. 258). The idea is that existence is a quality that can make something greater than something equal in all aspects except for existence. A red balloon in my mind would not be as great as a red balloon that actually exists. So, in order for the Greatest Conceivable Being to actually be the greatest, it needs to exist in reality. The fourth premise says that if God, or the Greatest Conceivable Being, was only an idea in the mind, then he would not be as great as he could be because he did not exist in reality. So, if God does not exist in reality, then we would be able to imagine or conceive a being greater than him. The fifth premise ties back in to the first: God, by definition, is the Greatest Conceivable Being. If he did not exist, then he would not be the Greatest Conceivable Being. There would be a being that is greater. However, it would be “self-contradictory” to say that there would be a being greater than the Greatest Conceivable Being (Himma, n.d., para. 1). If something is the greatest, there cannot be something greater. The sixth premise brings the argument to a conclusion: if the Greatest Conceivable Being is the greatest, that
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