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Ontological Argument Most people have not witnessed or experienced God and therefore are confused about its existence In Western theology three theories have emerged to demonstrate the existence of God These theories are the ontological argument the cosmological argument and the teleological argument St Anselm of eleventh century and Descartes of seventeenth century have used the ontological argument for proving the existence of God The God for them is supreme needing nothing outside himself but needful for the being and well-being of all things Pg 305 St Anselms account of the ontological argument for the existence of God deals with the existence in the understanding vs existence in reality He defines God as the greatest conceivable or possible being He adds that any person who hears this statement describing God understands what is meant His argument is that if God did not exist then a being greater than God would be possible This being then would be greater than the greatest possible being which is impossible Therefore he proves that there is no being greater than God and hence God exists His argument is also based on the premise that the idea of an eternal being who either does not yet exist or no longer exists is self-contradictory so that the very idea we have of such a being requires existence Pg 307 In his Meditations Decartes offers the following version of the ontological argument He considers the idea of God a supremely perfect being just as real as the idea of the existence of any shape or a number His understanding of Gods existence is no less clear and distinct than his proofs for the existence of any shape or number Therefore he adds although all that I concluded in the preceding Meditations were found to be false the existence of God would pass with me as at least as certain as I have ever held the truths of mathematics Pg 308 Initially
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