Anselm’s Ontological Argument
Understanding the Possibility of existence of God
Anselm’s ontological argument advocates for the existence of a Supreme Being. His motive is to prove that there is God, a being who is supreme and superior to other beings (Malcolm 42). He disproves those individuals who deny Gods existence. The individuals understand the statement of a Supreme Being existence but fail to accept His existence. Anselm’s motive is to prove that understanding and failing to accept Gods existence is inconsistent. An individual who knows God exists can be directed to see God’s existence. According to Anselm, an atheist not only is he or she erroneous but also not consistent (Malcolm 45).
Anselm defines God as an unlimited being who cannot be surpassed, and no idea or thought is beyond Him. He points out that a foolish individual perceives in his heart that God is not there. The individual listens to the references of God, comprehends them and whatever he comprehends remains in his mind. He fails to comprehend the actual existence of God. It shows that a foolish individual has a clear understanding of God but is not ready and willing to accept His existence (Malcolm 45). Analysing Anselm’s remarks comprehend what he hears and whatever he comprehends remains in his mind. He purports to relate the comprehension as a place and assumes that if one comprehends references about God, then God surely exists in his or her mind.
Anselm exclaimed that it was one thing to comprehend the existence of an article on one’s mind and for one to have realistic comprehension. For instance, one may think about fairies, dragons, and other mythical beings. One may speak of having an idea about these creatures. Anselm tries to unravel that there is a deviation between an object existing in one’s comprehension and believing in its existence. Fairies and dragons may exist in one’s comprehension but may not believe in their existence (Luis Pojman 57).
Anselm goes further to point out that the Supreme Being exists both in mind and in reality. He argues that God is not constrained to our mere understanding but truly exists in reality (Malcolm 47). For instance, fairies and dragons are creatures that are in mind alone; George Bush is present both in the mind and reality; aliens and other undiscovered wonders reside in the reality segment but do not present themselves in the comprehension segment because no being has pictured them on their minds.
In the case of the foolish individual, God exists in mind and not in reality. Contrary to this, God can exist both in mind and in reality. For instance, we can opt to imagine God does not exist though we do not claim it to be true. It is, therefore, most important for something to be in reality than for it to be in the mind of a person (Luis Pojman 59). When a person can acknowledge the existence of God in real life even if he or she does not physically see Him, it becomes easier to live since he or she will have limited questions about God.
We are made to believe a superhuman can be perceived in mind to appear more powerful, but this is not logical. Therefore, God cannot be only in the mind of a person, and it’s foolish to think that because God exists in real life as well as in mind. There is the existence of a being that is more powerful than what the mind can perceive and is existent in both the mind and in reality. The mind cannot be able to comprehend things that are beyond its ability since God is greater than the perception of a person.
Absurdity reduction is choosing a contradicting option or an opposite when assuming a conclusion. Assumption means the conclusion that has been drawn by an individual is an unwarrantable claim and proof is not available. The contradicting function leads to the absurd nature. Anselm utilized the absurdity reduction to explain and support his stand on the existence of a Supreme Being. Anselm utilized the opposite of what he aimed to prove by pointing out that if an object only existed solely in mind but not believed to exist in the real world, that object is believed to have superiority than it has.
An object that exists in the understanding solely has lower significance, but the one in the real world is at its perfection. God can, therefore, be believed to be better, perfect and supreme. Absurdity is brought out where an object which is believed to be better and perfect than anything is believed to be better than it. In the case where a supreme being exists then, he is perceived to be present in all existence. God is referred to as the perfect being in the universe (Malcolm 59). The notion is correct, and so His greatness is similar in other forms of existence. God is perfect, and human beings should acknowledge that since the proof is openly available even in nature.
Argument for the soundness of St. Anselm’s Ontological Argument
The argument makes sense in that there is proof that God exists. It can be related to the belief in aliens and dragons. People do believe that aliens and dragons existed and still exist up to date even if they have never seen them. Believing in the existence of God is all about having faith in the unraveled. God manifests His power in many ways such as the rising and setting of the sun, seasons and other natural occurrences. If there were no supreme being controlling the world, then there would be no explanation of nature. It can be related to organizational structure and institutions such as schools where we have managers and school heads respectively.
If, for instance, there are no leaders, then the institutions are bound to collapse since there will be no set objectives and goals that will enable the smooth running of operations in these settings. Chaos and disorganization will be rampant, and no success can be achieved. It is the same case with nature, where, there must be someone who is controlling it to minimize calamities. It is therefore stupid not to believe in the existence of God. The existence of God can also be proven by concepts of life, death, and belief in eternal life after death.
The air that we breathe does not just happen to exist by coincidence, growth, and maturity of living things has to be controlled by someone. Human beings cannot be able to control the existence of these things. Death is a concept that can be used to show the superiority of God. It means that there is a being that controls life in living things in that there is the possibility of death. Human beings also did not just happen to naturally exist. In the Bible, there is a description of how God made man and plants. If God did not exist, then there would be no living things and the world would be inexistent too.
The Bible is also a clear illustration of the existence of God where stories narrated give a clear overview of the power of God. For instance, how God saved the Israelites from misery in Egypt. We see how God uses people to accomplish his missions. Those who did not believe or listen to God received punishments such as king Nebuchadnezzar who ate grass for years. This shows the supreme power of God and His existence. If God did not exist, then mysterious things that we see today would not be happening. It is all about the faith we put into believing in God that makes God exist in our lives.
I agree with the theory of Anselm that it is stupid to believe in something that only exists in our minds and not in reality. The mind may not be able to comprehend the nature of God because it is something that has no limit and trying to figure out where God came from or how He sustains the world is absurd. Anselm explains the nature of God as someone whose power cannot be perceived by normal human beings.
Anselm’s argument is impressive and rigid in that it can convince the reader about the existence of God. Therefore, the power of God is manifested everywhere in our daily lives, and human beings should acknowledge the existence of a superior being which controls the whole world, who is God since no man can control nature nor life and death other than a supernatural being.
Malcolm, Norman. “Anselm’s ontological arguments.”The Philosophical Review 69.1 (1960): 41-62.
Luis Pojman, Robert Solomon, Michael Rea. Encountering The Real: Faith and Philosophical Enquiry. Ohio: Cengage Learning, 2013.