The Ontological Argument for God’s Existence

First, a word from me. Saint Anselm was a great theologian and doctor of the Church who was a light in the eleventh century. Let us not forget that.The argument he espoused is simple. He said it came to him as a gift while in prayer:

“If that, than which nothing greater can be conceived, exists in the understanding alone, the very being, than which nothing greater can be conceived, is one, than which a greater can be conceived. But obviously this is impossible. Hence, there is no doubt that there exists a being, than which nothing greater can be conceived, and it exists both in the understanding and in reality.”

It was rejected by Saint Thomas and others before him. Satisfactorily? I tend not to think so. As a reductio ad absurdum, the monk Guanilo, Anselm’s contemporary, said that one could conceive of an island “than which none greater can be conceived” but it wouldn’t follow that such a perfect island actually exists. Well, that absurdity just begs the question. What the saint is talking about is God and His Infinitely perfect Being not an island. Creatures are contingent beings. God is a necessary Being. He is defined as “necessary.”

I think, too, that Saint Thomas, misses this point, a point that is so essential to the “ontological” argument. The Angelic Doctor logically assumes that one cannot argue from the conceptual to the actual or from the possible to the real. Therefore it is illicit to argue that our concept of God necessitates His actual existence. Hhhmm? Saint Thomas, of course, is correct when it comes to unnecessary contingent being. But is he right when it comes to God whose existence is necessary in order for God to be God.

Just asking. Opinions welcome. Just don’t jump from opinion of the mind to fact in reality. This is not a de fide issue.

Catholic Answers, Trent Horn: Chutzpah is an English word that comes from the Hebrew hutspa, which refers to a kind of audacious courage or a maddeningly reckless self-confidence. It can be a complement or an insult depending on how it’s used. Either way, if there’s one argument for the existence of God that is full of chutzpah it’s the ontological argument. Read article here.