1 (a) Outline both the cosmological argument as presented by the Kalam tradition and the ontological argument as presented by Anselm. (20 marks)
(b) “There is a posteriori and a priori reasoning. There are inductive and deductive arguments.”
Explain the type of reasoning and argument used in the ontological argument, and assess how far
the argument proves the existence of God. (30 marks)
1 (a) Outline the cosmological argument as presented by Aquinas and the ontological argument as presented by Descartes. (20 marks)
(b) These arguments have been presented as “proofs” of the existence of God. Examine what is meant by “proof” in this context, and assess how far these arguments may be considered to be proofs of God’s existence. (30 marks)
Deductive – if premise is correct, conclusion is definite/necessary
If we define “God” we conclude God must exist – impossible for God not to exist
“ from a definition of God to the reality of God” Vardy
Main proponents: Anselm, Descartes
Main opponents: Gaunilo, Aquinas , Kant
Match the words and their definitions… A priori Based on logic and definitions A posteriori Based on reasoning/evidence Analytic The statement is correct by definition Synthetic The statement is not necessarily correct by definition
In order to understand the Ontological argument the difference between the above must be understood:
An ANALYTIC statement is one where the predicate is included within the subject. Thus ‘All bears have bones’ is an analytic statement (provided we are referring to real live bears and not to teddy bears)
A SYNTHETIC statement is one where the predicate is NOT included within the subject. Thus ‘All bears are black’ is a synthetic statement. It could only be known to be true by enquiry – by using experience.
A TEST! Are these statements analytic or synthetic?
1) ‘Triangles have three angles’
2) ‘Cars have four wheels’
3) ‘Cats have four legs’
4) ‘A bull has horns’
5) ‘Water is wet’
6) ‘Priests are male’
7) ‘Gay men are happy’
8) ‘Roman Catholic priests are male’
9) ‘God has existence’
‘ God exists’ If you consider that the very essence of God includes existence, then you will hold that this statement is analytic. If you maintain that God may or may not exist, and that it is possible for God not to exist, then you will consider this statement to be synthetic.
2. Pupils will be able to explain Anselm’s Ontological arguments
3. Pupils will be able to identify and explain the problems with Anselm’s Ontological arguments
4. Pupils will understand Descates’ Ontological argument and Kant’s objections
Are these statements analytic or synthetic? 1) ‘Circles are round’ 2) ‘the sun will rise tomorrow’ 3) ‘husbands are married’ 4) ‘husbands have wives’ 5) ‘Water is wet’ 6) ‘the soul exists’ 7) ‘My class will arrive late’ 8) ‘God is the greatest being’ 9) ‘God has existence’
Gaunilo rejected Anselm’s argument by drawing a parallel with a lost island. If we imagine the greatest possible island, then this island must exist… He is effectively saying that we cannot define something into existence.
Anselm’s reply is to say that his argument and the sequence of his reasoning only applies to God – as only God has all perfections.
Gaunilo is saying that God is merely the greatest ACTUAL being just as the island is the greatest ACTUAL island - but this is NOT what Anselm is saying. Anselm is claiming that God is the greatest POSSIBLE being and his argument only applies to God.