God has always been a subject of debate and it will probably always be so. One of the reasons leading to this perpetual debate is that people have never agreed on the concept of God. Some religions (e.g. Hinduism) believe that there are several Gods whilst others (e.g. Christianity, Islam, Judaism) believe that there can only be one. However, all these religions do believe that God exists. That might be obvious for the believers but it is not so for the others. The philosophy of religion has sought to give an answer to that question by developing several arguments who tend to show (or not) the necessity's of God's existence. One of these arguments is the Ontological Argument, primarily developed by Saint Anselm in the 11th century. The argument then faded away because of its weaknesses. It was first in the 17th century that another Ontological Argument was thought of, this time by Descartes.
[...] The many faced argument, Recent studies on the ontological argument for the existence of God. Macmillan, London p. Hyper grammar by the writing centre at the University of Ottawa, http://www.uottawa.ca/academic/arts/writcent/hypergrammar/grammar.html Kant, Immanuel. Critique of pure reason. Translated by Meiklejohn, J. M. D. London : J. M. Dent & sons, ltd. New York, E. P. Dutton & co., inc p. Philosophy pages, http://www.philosophypages.com/index.htm Philosophy of Religion lectures by Robin Taylor, University of Kent at Canterbury Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, entry: René Descartes, http://www.rep.routledge.com/article/DA026 Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, entry: Descartes' Ontological Argument, http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/descartes-ontological The free dictionary, http://www.thefreedictionary.com Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, entry: Ontology. [...]
[...] Critique of pure reason. Translated by Meiklejohn, J. M. D. London : J. M. Dent & sons, ltd. New York, E. P. Dutton & co., inc p I find myself unable to form the slightest conception of a thing which, when annihilated in thought with all its predicates, leaves behind a contradiction; and contradiction is the only criterion of impossibility, in the sphere of pure a priori conception” Kant, Immanuel. Critique of pure reason. Translated by Meiklejohn, J. M. D. [...]
[...] The Ontological argument rests on priori' knowledge: it starts with a commonly accepted definition about God then it tells you that one of God's attribute, according to that definition, is its existence and that therefore God exists. So this argument is a deductive one: the conclusion follows logically from the premises. Whether the argument is sound or not, depends on the premises. Let us now see how Descartes formulates his (ontological) argument for the existence of God. It his mainly in his Fifth Meditation that Descartes reflects upon the existence of God. [...]
[...] But that is precisely the point: the definition of God is by definition a conceptual truth, whether or not the definition actually matches an existing object in the real world is a totally different problem. Kant also shows that God's existence is not necessary. Kant has agreed that, by definition, if God exists he must exist in reality as well as in mind (because existence as he saw it was existence in the real world). You must not however accept this concept of a being who possesses all perfection. [...]
[...] Pierre Gassendi, a contemporary of Descartes, said “Existence is not a perfection neither in God nor in anything else; it is rather that in the absence of which there is no perfection” Davies, Brian. Thinking about God. Goeffrey Chapman, London p Kant, Immanuel. Critique of pure reason. Translated by Meiklejohn, J. M. D. London : J. M. Dent & sons, ltd. New York, E. P. Dutton & co., inc p.349. An analytic proposition is when the concept of the predicate is already contained in the subject. [...]
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