The Argument For God 's Existence And Nature

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Question 2 In part IX of Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, Deamea, the orthodox Christian, confronts Philo’s skepticism towards the arguments for God’s existence and nature that have thus far be discussed. Deamea presents a version of the ontological argument that he believes should provide undeniable proof of the truths found in religious dogma. However, Philo is not convinced with this argument because of the nature of the argument. Philo describes Deamea’s ontological argument as an a priori argument. In Latin a priori is means “from before” but when this term is used in philosophy it is meant to mean from before experience. These kinds of arguments are arguments that anyone can come to see as being true from the comfort of…show more content…
These arguments argue for something through the use of empirical evidence. An example of a posteriori knowledge would be the statement, “Barack Obama is the current president of the United States." This is an example of empirical information that cannot be proven through reason alone. The different viewpoints between a priori and a posteriori arguments can be seen in works for Thomas Aquinas and Anselm of Canterbury. Both Saints believe that God is self-evident. However, Aquinas uses a priori arguments and Anselm uses an a priori argument. I believe that Aquinas does not reject Anselm’s argument because it is a priori. Aquinas’ issues with Anselm’s argument lies in Anselm’s misuse of his definition of God and humanity’s inability to understand this definition. In his ontological argument, Anselm defines God as “that than which nothing greater can be thought.” According to Aquinas, this is where the main issue lies in Anselm’s argument. Aquinas believes that everyone must have the same concept of God in order for Anselm’s definition of God to work. Not everyone will define God as "that than which nothing greater can be thought." This definition is the basis of Anselm’s argument and if people cannot come to define God as Anselm did then the argument fails. Aquinas’ second issue with Anselm 's ontological argument comes from the fact that even if everyone comes to accept God as "that
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