Name the scholars who support the Ontological Argument
Anselm, Descartes, N Malcom, Plantinga
Name the critics of the Ontological Argument
Gaunilo, Kant, Hume, Russell
What is Anselm’s definition of God?
That than which nothing greater can be conceived
What is Anselm’s starting point in his first argument?
“The fool says in his heart, there is no God”, a quote from the Psalms
What is Anselm trying to do with his ontological argument?
It is a prayer, trying to show how evident it is to him that God exists.
What does Anselm suggest is greater?
To exist in the mind and reality, is greater than existing in the mind alone
What is Anselm’s example
The painter and the painting
What example did we use in class to support Anselm’s idea of mind and reality?
What is Anselm’s conclusion?
As God is the greatest conceivable being, and it is greater to exist in mind AND reality, God must exist
What does Anselm add in his second argument
The idea of necessary and contingent beings
What does necessary mean?
Cannot fail to exist; relies on nothing for its existence
What does contingent mean?
Can exist or not exist, relies on something else for its existence
What analogy does Gaunilo use to challenge Anselm’s first argument?
The greatest conceivable island
What is Gaunilo’s other argument against Anslem?
What is Gaunilo’s book called?
“On behalf of the Fool”
What does Plantinga mean by intrinsic maxim?
Maximally great, cannot be improved or made greater
How does Plantinga support Anselm against Gaunilo?
The island has no intrinsic maxim (it can be improved) but God has an intrinsic maxim
What is Descartes’ definition of God?
A supremely perfect being
What does Descartes state about existence?
Existence is a predicate
What is a predicate?
It adds to the description of the subject or object
What are Descartes’ two examples?
Triangle and mountain / valley
What is the essence or predicates of a triangle?
Three sides and angles adding up to 180 degrees
What is the predicate of God?
What is the predicate of a mountain?
What does Kant argue about Descartes’ use of predicates?
Existence is not a predicate
What is Kant’s example?
100 thalers (silver coins) - existence does not add to their value so existence is not a predicate
What does Kant say about statements of existence?
All existential statements are synthetic and require verification
What is a synthetic statement?
A statement which needs external evidence to verify if it’s true/false.
What is an analytic statement?
A statement that contains the truth needed to verify it within the statement itself
What did Kant say it was logical reject?
Both the concept and its predicates
How does Hume argue against the Ontological argument?
You cannot define something into existence
What does Russell suggest is needed to establish existence?
An instance of something
According to Russell, what syllogism would be true if Kant was right?
Men exist, Santa Claus is a man, Santa Claus exists