- May 2, 2020
Existence of God
DoesGod really exist? This is one question that people have been askingfor centuries. Both St. Thomas and St. Anselm’s tried to prove thatGod exists. They even developed some original theories to verify thesame. St. Anselm formulated the ontological argument which was laterdeveloped by St. Thomas. Opinions made by Anselm and Thomas as to thenature of God are relatively similar, although it can be seen thatAnselm lacks the proof to back up his claims. Anselm proposes thatGod is something greater which can be conceived out of nothing(Cameron 1). What he means is that God is the highest possible humanbeing i.e. He is the greatest of all beings. Thomas believes in thesame argument, of which he seeks to ask whether it can bedemonstrated that God actually exists.
Thequestions of how to debate for the existence of God has occupied theminds of many theologians and philosophers. For this reason, quite anumber of rational proofs have been established to support thereasoning of God’s presence. The greatest approaches acknowledgedfor these are the cosmological and the ontological arguments. Thecosmological theory comes from the notion that since the earthexists, it must have been created by something beyond itself. St.Thomas wrote in his SummaTheologica,five ways in which it can be perceived that God exists. One, heclaims that there are those things that can only be stimulated whileothers can move on their own or can be progressed (Bonevac 1). Thesecond proof comes from an argument of the first clause which relieson the impracticality of an unlimited regress. The third rule claimsthat there must be an eventual cause of all needs. The fourth proofimplies that there exist numerous perfections that must have aperfect source while the last evidence holds that everything thatexists in the universe has a particular purpose. St. Thomas believedthat all coherent understanding can be increased through sensualexperience (Cameron 1). On the other hand, ontological argument triesto prove the existence of God through depending upon posterioriargument i.e. sense experience.
Basically,it applies an approach independent from sense experience and dependson reasons. St. Anselm started his argument with the explanation thatGod is something that anything superior cannot be assumed. Hisargument majorly relies on the proposition that existence is anecessary part of perfection (Bonevac 1). The above argument isintriguing as it states that God must be present in all probablesituations so as to content the explanation of precision. The twoproofs are based on the priori and the posteriori reasoning. ThePriori argument is concerned with the truth of the premise that doesrely on prior experience. It depends upon the knowledge gainedoutside own experiences.
Theontological argument revolves around the concept of reasoning. Thebasis of this argument relies on one`s understanding of physicalnatures of God. It attempts to prove God`s existence through themeaning of God`s word. On the other hand, the cosmological proof is apriori argument that holds that the truth of any premise can only bepresumed as true after empirical knowledge is utilized to prove thetruth or false statements (Cameron 1).
Inconclusion, the arguments have their own share of promoters andrivals. They may not demonstrate the presence of God since they canbe contended. They tend to argue from both experience (cosmologicalargument) and reason (ontological argument) with the ontologicalproof being exposed to critical scrutiny. The ontological argumenttries to propose the existence of God or a creator.
Bonevac,Daniel. Arguments for God’s Existence: Anselm and Aquinas, n.d.
Cameron,Janet. Decoded past. Proving God Exists – St Thomas Aquinas DeniesSt Anselm’s Ontological Argument, 2013.