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Flashcards in Ontological Argument Deck (13):

Is it inductive or deductive



It is a priori or a posteriori?

A priori


Anselm’s ontological

proslogion 2- definition of god says he’s that than which no greater can be conceived-the greatest conceivable being so he must exist in reality not just in your mind


What did Gaunilo of Marmoutier say?

‘In defence of the fool’
Jut because you can imagine an island doesn’t make it real


What does anselm respond to gaunilo?

Proslogion 3
The island analogy is unfair, god is perfect and can’t be added to but an island can be
An island has contingent existence but god is a necessary being


What is Descartes ontological argument?

Premise: god is a supremely perfect being
Premise: existence belongs to a supremely perfect being
Conclusion: god exists


What examples does Descartes give?

Can’t think of a triangle without it having three sides, can’t think of god without existence
Can’t have a valley with mountains, can’t have god without existence


What was kant’s criticism?

Existence is not a proper predicate as it doesn’t give extra information at all
100 gold coins being round, dirty, shiny etc


What’s Norman Malcolm’s ontological argument?

In 20th century
Agreed with Kant, disagreed with Descartes
Went back to the proslogion 3 about necessary existence

If god is the greatest conceivable thing he must have necessary existence
So two options: god exists necessarily or it is impossible for him to exist
It’s not a contradiction for god to exist necessarily so it is possible, so he must exist


Criticisms of Malcolm

Hasn’t proven he exists, just that if he does it would be necessarily
Even Malcolm says the argument wouldn’t convince atheists
Jesus came into existence so must be contingent


Strengths of the ontological argument

The deductive structure is sound, if premises are true so is the conclusion
Descartes and anselm were right saying the idea of god is self evident, you have to think of god to deny his existence
Works well for religious people, fits their definition of god


Weaknesses of the ontological argument

It’s a circular argument, uses a definition to prove his existence
Deductive structure works logically but not in reality
Gaunilos arguments
Kants arguments
Malcolm’s argument is really bad


What’s a cumulative argument?

Adding the arguments together to prove god’s existence
But Anthony Flew: 10 leaky buckets does not a good argument make