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The Ontological Argument Presented By Descartes And The Cosmological Argument Presented By Aquinas

1455 words - 6 pages

The Ontological Argument Presented by Descartes and the Cosmological Argument Presented by Aquinas

Descartes, often called the father of modern philosophy, developed
Anselm’s argument, in attempting to prove God’s existence from simply
the meaning of the word ‘God’. The ontological argument is a priori
argument, such arguments use logic to prove an initial definition to
be correct. The basis of these arguments depends upon one’s
understanding of the nature of God. Anselm’s definition of God being
“a supremely perfect being”, is the basis of his argument. God must be
such a thing that cannot be thought not to exist if he is:

“Than that which nothing greater can be conceived”. (Anslem)

Descartes points out that if you imagine a triangle, one of its main
properties is that it has three sides and three corners. These are the
predicates of a triangle. Descartes expands his point, this time
referring to the properties of God. If something perfect is imagined,
it must be even more perfect if it was in existence. Furthermore, the
most perfect thing has all properties including existence. Descartes,
therefore, believes, that a supremely perfect being has all
predicates. Hence, if a perfect being has all predicates one of the
properties must surely be existence. Therefore, if God is the greatest
conceivable being and has all qualities, he must have all predicates,
one of them being existence, therefore God must surely exist.
Descartes says that trying to imagine God without the predicate of
existence is illogical, like imagining a triangle without three

In conclusion to Descartes’s argument, if the most perfect thing has
all predicates, then one of those properties must be existence. God is
the most perfect and flawless being, hence, he must exist.

Similar to the ontological argument, the cosmological argument, also
known as the first cause argument, is a classical argument for the
existence of God. However, unlike the ontological argument, it derives
the conclusion that God exists from a posterior premise (with
evidence), as it is based on what can be seen in the world and the
universe. It points the belief that there is a first cause behind the
existence of the universe.

The cosmological argument is based on contingency (dependent on
something else) and points out that things come into existence because
something has caused them to happen, i.e. this essay would not exist
without myself writing and producing it. The argument also states that
things are caused to exist but they do not have to exist and that
there is a chain of causes that goes back to the beginning of time,
i.e. I would not be able to produce this essay without the movement of
muscles in my fingers, moreover, the muscles would need impulses from
the brain to tell the fingers what to do, hence there are a...

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