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Aquinas and Anselm – Arguments for the existence of God

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  1. Introduction
  2. Aquinas' criticisms and Anselm's ontological argument for the existence of God
  3. Thomas Aquinas
  4. The two theories put forth by Aquinas and Anselm
  5. Anselm's ontological argument
  6. Conclusion

Within the field of philosophy, more specifically, the philosophy of religion, many thinkers have employed theories (or proofs as they would say), arguing for the existence of God. One prominent theorist was Saint Anselm who sought to prove the existence of God through his ontological argument. Since then, many theorists have put forth their own theories that have been designed to refute this argument; among them was the well-known Saint Thomas Aquinas.

[...] It can be seen that both Aquinas and Anselm are religious individuals that desperately want to prove the existence of that which they believe in, but neither is able to do it. Both arguments, when scrutinized from a distance (like is being done in this paper), can be shown to be nothing more than arguments for language, not God. Language is an important part of religion but neither of these theorists are able to use language to actually prove the existence of God, they are only able to use language to make their arguments work (instead of proving the existence of God). [...]

[...] Anselm would say that Aquinas' theory is thus illogical because he does not give an adequate reasoning for the way that he generalizes the existence of things in the real world with requiring a cause of the world itself. In other words, Anselm would charge that the logical connection of steps in Aquinas' argument is in fact not logical as the first two steps argue that everything requires a cause, but then the third step says that there is something that does not require a cause. [...]

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