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Does God Exist? Essay

1412 words - 6 pages

Almost everyone at some particular point in his or her life haschallenged the existence of God. This may happen for a number ofreasons. For example he or she might have been at a point intheir life when their faith alone was just not enough for them tobelieve. Humans have a natural instinct to find reasons forevents that can't be explained. For some, the existence of Godmay help give them the answers they are looking for.Philosophers spend a great deal of their time trying to prove orto disprove the existence of God. One philosopher thatconfronted God's existence was Anselm.Anselm was the Archbishop of Canterbury and was a veryinfluential philosopher between Augustine and Aquinas. Heproposed his argument for God's existence. His ontologicalargument is based on the thought of God as the highest being.Anselm's argument is different from other philosopherssimply because of it's premise. He saw a need for a preciselogical philosophy as a way for making faith mature, not as asubstitute for faith. Because Anselm already believed in God, hewas only looking for rational support for this belief. ThereforeAnselm's method of proving God's existence is called "Faithseeking understanding." He proclaims "I do not seek tounderstand in order that I may believe, but I believe in orderthat I may understand" (Stumpf, 372-372). Anselm had to believein God in order to support his own rational for God's existence.To help prove his belief, Anslem he uses his mind. Heclaims, "Now we believe that You are something than which nothinggreater can be thought." He then questions, "Does thissomething, than which nothing greater can be thought, reallyexist?" (Stumpf 373). Anselm also sites Psalm 13:1 which reads,"The fool has said in his heart: There is no God." When a foolhears the question, "Does this something than which nothinggreater can be thought really exist," he understands what he ishearing. The fool follows what this question because it is inhis intellect.Next Anselm shows how something can exist in the intellecteven before the intellectual knows that it exist. He tries toexplain this statement by giving an example of a paintercontemplating what he is going to paint next. At this point thepainter has in his intellect an understanding of what he willpaint but not an understanding that the portrait prevails.Because of this the fool can comprehend "something than whichnothing greater can be thought" even though he doesn't know thatit exists.After showing that even the fool agrees with the idea of Godexisting in the mind, Anselm moves toward implementing the ideathat God exists outside of the mind. Anyone can think ofsomething greater than a being which exists as an idea in theintellect. That is the actual existence of that being for whichthere is no greater (Stumpf 373). As an example, one can thinkof an island which exists only in his intellect. Since it isonly in his intellect as an idea, he then can think of somethinggreater. That something greater would be the...

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