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God's Existence According to Anselm, Kant

An ontological argument is used in ontology as an argument for the existence of God. If the organizational structure of an argument is true, it provides reasons why God must exist.

The first ontological argument was proposed in 1078 by Anselm of Canterbury in his work Proslogion. His definition of God is that God is something greater that can be created by the imagination. He believed that if people have knowledge of God, one must exist because it is impossible to imagine God.

Immanuel Kant made the most influential criticism of the ontological argument. He thought that the ontological argument is confusional. Kant believed that existence is not a predicate, meaning that it is not a property that something can either lack or possess. When people say that God exists, they do not say that there is a God and he has the property of existence. If that were the case, then people would say that there is a God and he does not have the property of existence. According to Kant, it is correct to say that the concept of something is exemplified in the world. Existence is not a matter of a thing possessing a property; it is about corresponding to something in the world.

To understand this better, for instance, we give a description of an object, its weight, of its size, its color, etc. If we just say that the object exists, we do not add anything to the concept of the object. The object remains the same regardless of whether it exists or not. The correct saying is that the concept of the object is exemplified in the world. To say that the object exists is to say something about the world, related to matching that concept, but it is not saying anything about the object.

If Kant is right that existence is not related to a property of objects, then it is impossible to compare an existing God with the one that does not exist. According to Kant, both Gods are the same and then Anselm’s opinion that a non-existent God is lesser than not an existent God is false because both are the same.

Although criticism of Kant of the ontological argument is accepted, there have been several opposing opinions. Some people concluded that saying that an object exists can alter the way that people conceive of it. This means that extra information can change the way of people’s thinking of an object. So, if God is not a figment of imaginations, but exists, it adds something to the concept of God. So far, there are no reliable proves of God’s existence.

An ontological argument is used in ontology as an argument for the existence of God. If the organizational structure of an argument is true, it provides reasons why God must exist.

The first ontological argument was proposed in 1078 by Anselm of Canterbury in his work Proslogion. His definition of God is that God is something greater that can be created by the imagination.

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100002489
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CREATED ON
October 18, 2016
COMPLETED ON
October 19, 2016
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