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The existence of God - Approaches/Criticisms

Uploaded by Kdish on Jul 03, 2002

There are three major arguments that attempt to explain the existence of God. Firstly, it is important to establish a definition of God. According to philosophers God is an infinitely perfect being that upholds a divine unity of ultimate goodness and of ultimate power. God is referred to as Omniscient, Omnipotent and Eternal. God has unlimited knowledge and intelligence, so basically God is the ultimate model of perfectionism. Though all Philosophers agree with this definition of God, it does not state whether or not this ideal concept of God exists. The Ontological, Cosmological and Teleological have been developed throughout time to attempt to prove God existence. There have also been many criticisms into these arguments, which attempt to disprove each argument.

The Ontological argument was developed by Anselm; a theist who argued for the existence of God. In his argument he refers to God as a perfect being, therefore ‘that than which nothing greater can be conceived’. He began his argument by saying that even a ‘fool’ (atheist) can grasp or understand the concept of a being than of ‘which nothing greater can be conceived’ as they already have an understanding or idea of what it means in their mind. Though this idea exists in their mind, it does not mean God doesn’t exist in reality. Anselm refers to God as a perfect being, and because he is so perfect he must have infinite perfectionism, therefore Anselm is arguing that if God lacked existence he would not be perfect, as he is perfect he must exist.

There are many criticisms to why Anselm’s Ontological argument fails. Kant saw Anselm’s argument as merely a word game, playing on words and not reality. In this sense, Kant sees the Ontological argument as an exercise in verbal analysis, the means where anyone can anaylse the meaning of a word or concept, and draw a logical explanation from it. Therefore, Anselms’ words ‘necessary existence’ are logical part of a defined concept of God but they do not reveal whether God exists in reality. Kant’s second criticism outlines that an idea of something does not automatically make it exist in reality. Its actual existence is something additional to the idea of a thing. Kant referred to this concept where ‘existence is not a predicate’; that is it is not a defining quality of a thing like size, colour, shape and so on.

The Cosmological argument...

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Uploaded by:   Kdish

Date:   07/03/2002

Category:   Religion

Length:   5 pages (1,225 words)

Views:   1075

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