Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Philosophy of Religion
Philosophy of Religion
Throughout this class one reoccurring topic of discussion has seemed to be God. In the beginning of the semester, I did not want to discuss my personal opinions on the matter. The reason I felt this way was because the topic of religion is kind of a touchy subject. People get angry if you disagree with their viewpoints, or they fail to see the other perspective of the argument. It is just a controversial topic all together and I did not want to be caught in the middle of it. Since I have made it the topic of my first installment you can see that I no longer feel that way.
As you know the question of whether God exists has been around for a very long time. Some people argue that there is not a God because there is no evidence to support the claim. Others argue that God is real, but they still have no evidence of proving it. This is common for most people who believe that God is real. They have faith which is unprovable, but one philosopher argued that he could prove the existence of God.
Eleventh century French monk, Anselm of Canterbury, argued that God’s existence is provable. Based on what he understood the nature of God’s being Anselm argued a deductive argument for the existence of God. His argument was and ontological argument. An ontological argument is defined as a philosophical argument for the existence of God that uses ontology. Anselm said, “God is that which no greater can be conceived.” He thought that God was the best possible thing that we can imagine. Basically, that meant that God must exist in our minds, and since he exists in our minds he must exist in reality. Anselm concluded there were two ways things can exist. They can exist only in our minds, or they can exist in our minds and in reality.
Anselm made the argument that the only way to make something better that existed in our mind is for it to be real. Therefore, he came to the conclusion that God must be real since he is the best possible thing we can imagine. He believed he had found the way to prove God existed. A friend of his said that the argument can be used for anything that you most wanted, but it would not make it real. Anselm argument crumbled when he tried to explain himself, but ultimately used God as a way to define himself which is a fallacy. Immanuel Kant tried to tweak Anselm’s argument by noting that existence is not a predicate.
Since we are still having this debate today on whether God exists or not we know that Anselm’s argument did not hold up. I want to leave you with a few questions to think about as well. Is God real? Is there or will there ever be a way to prove his existence? Is it a waste of time to try and prove or disprove the existence of God?
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