St. Anselm

The Ontological Argument

Why God Can't NOT Exist

(St. Anselm of Canterbury 1033-1109)
  1. Anselm's Definition of 'God' -

    God is: "That than which nothing greater can be conceived"
    The greatest conceivable Being

  2. An Argument in Two Stages -

    Note: Two Modes of Existence -

    First Argument: To actually exist is greater than to only potentially exist.

    Note: Existence is greater than non-existence.

    Second Argument: God is a necessary being.

    Note: Two more modes of being -

  3. Gaunilo's Objection: Conception does not entail existence (e.g., the greatest conceivable island)

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