St. Anselm: Proving God's Existence Analytical Essay by Scholar13

St. Anselm: Proving God's Existence
A discussion of Anselm's philosophical approach to proving the existence of God.
# 115626 | 2,140 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2009 | US
Published on Aug 05, 2009 in Philosophy (Religion) , Religion and Theology (Christianity)

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This paper offers a brief synopsis of the 'Proslogion', and Anselm's ontological argument. The writer examines Anselm's first premise of the ontological argument for evidence to prove God's existence via reason, and explains how it is compelling in that it astutely chooses understanding and coherency as foundation to knowing. The second premise follows with a vigilant use of philosophical forms to prove God's existence is reality. The writer concludes that Anselm's work serves as a potent persuasive tool for the theist who is engaged in an ontological dialogue with an atheist or agnostic. This paper contains MLA-style footnotes but does not include a works cited page.

From the Paper:

"First, Anselm writes about understanding, and how understanding and conceiving leads to existence of that which is conceived. If something is understood by a person then it exists. When the concept of God is conceived and understood, God then exists. For example, if an expression X is understood by a person Y, then X exists in the understanding of Y. Second, Anselm's argument informs us that when something exists in understanding it also exists in reality. As a matter of importance, it would be better for it to exist in reality than in understanding. Lastly, if the Supreme Being only exists in understanding, it would then entertain the thought of something being greater than it. If the Supreme Being exists in understanding, it can be "thought" to exist in reality."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Graham Oppy, Ontological Arguments and Belief in God (Cambridge University Press, 1995)
  • Brian Davies and G.R. Evans, Anselm of Canterbury The Major Works (Oxford University Press, 1998)
  • Robert Merrihew Adams, "The Logical Structure of Anselm's Arguments," The Philosophic Review Vol.80 No.1 (1971)
  • D.P. Henry, "The Proslogion Proofs," The Philosophic Quarterly, Vol. 5 No. 9 (1955)

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