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Lecture 9

PHIL 102 Lecture 9: Ontological Argument, St. Anselm

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San Diego State University
PHIL 102

Philosophy 102 Cosmological Argument: An argument that makes an inference about certain alleged facts about the world (cosmos) to the existence of God. Ontological Argument: An argument that aims to prove the existence of God, not on the basis of observable facts about the world, but from the facts that can be known by reflecting on the very notion of God. St. Anselm (10331109) Benedictine monk and archbishop of Canterbury Existing in the Mind vs. Existing in Reality X exists in the mind = we have the idea of x X exists in reality = X really exists Anselms Ontological Argument (**He does not believe 1, believes 2 3) Suppose (1) God exists only in the mind, but not in reality (2) We can conceive of God existing in reality (3) Existing in reality is greater than existing in the mind alone (4) We can conceive of a being that is greater than God (5) A being is God only if it is the greatest conceivable thing So, (6) we can conceive of a being that is greater than the greatest conceivable thing Therefore, (7) God exists in reality as well as in the mind
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