Prove The Existence Of God Term Paper

Length: 3 pages Sources: 1+ Subject: Black Studies - Philosophy Type: Term Paper Paper: #28733196 Related Topics: Descartes Meditations, Meditation, Metaphysics, God
Excerpt from Term Paper :

¶ … Existence of God

This report has the difficult task of trying to prove the existence of God. But there is a silver lining in this challenge -- we have ancient philosophy to help. By using the beliefs, works and philosophies of Saint Anselm and Descartes, this report will have the benefit of using ontological argument to assist in the task. The main idea of the paper is to prove that God exists by trying to use the opinions of the philosophers Saint Anselm and Descartes. Descartes has been credited with one of the most interesting but also one of the least understood arguments in regard to the existence of god. Fascination with his argument comes from the fact that his effort to prove God's existence was a very simple premise. Saint Anselm's goals was to prove the existence of God with logical and philosphical understanding which in modern times has often been interpreted as an attempt to replace 'faith' side of the argument. By digging deeper into each of these philosphies we can interpret if they actually achieved their goals.

An argument used to support the existence of God is called an ontological argument. There are various models of ontological arguments but the majority of them are different versions or interpretations of the Saint Anselm argument. Saint Anselm's ontological argument that supported the existence of God was from the "Proslogion of Saint Anselm." Saint Anselm was the Archbishop of Canterbury around 1030 A.D. Historians have credited the concept of Ontology to Immanuel Kant who was an eighteenth century philosopher in what is now modern day Germany. Ontology is considered a type of metaphysics or a philosophy that studies the nature and cause of things. "Clearly, this distinction between the ontological argument employed to defend the validity of metaphysics and the same argument employed to demonstrate the necessity of theism, is one of profound importance. Plato centuries before Anselm, and Hegel centuries later, both used...


Saint Anselm's proof therefore was his attempt to demonstrate if God was real or not. Saint Anselm proofs defined his idea of the divine nature, sin, and redemption.

Saint Anselm defined God by first saying that there could be nothing greater than God. Saint Anselm used the argument that all things in existence existed through one thing and that every existing thing exists either through something or through nothing. Since nothing can exist through nothing, every must exists through something. That something was God. "Thus Christian philosophy for Anselm does not mean a dialectical process which begins with everyday, external and common-sense things, whose reality is accepted at their face value by all mankind, and then proceeds to demonstrate certain less evident, or perhaps even entirely unknown, truths. Rather it discovers one experience, our inward experience of God given in and through our self-consciousness, to be supremely revealing and significant among all other experiences, and then goes on to interpret all other experience in terms of it. God is not known through nature but nature is known in God."(Langmead, 59)

From that he generated list of possible divine attributes. In other words, God equates to perfection and is the greatest thing possible. From this supposition, Saint Anselm showed that there are some consequences because of the definition. For example, God is basically omnipotent so can he break basic rules such as can he create a round square. If basic problems exist in this type of reasoning, could God exist therefore? If some assumed functions or powers of God are questioned, should the definition of God be curtailed? In other words, God would be omnipotent but could only do 'almost' anything. Since Saint Anselm was basically proving that God did exist, he worked on the assumption that God was omnipotent and…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Dicker, Georges P. Descartes: An Analytical and Historical Introduction. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1993.

Langmead, J.V. The Christian in Philosophy. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1951.

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