In my essay I decided to take on the second and third topics. I’ll first address and examine Anselm’s ontological argument for the existence of God while restating and critically examining Aquinas’s first argument for the existence of God. After I finish with that topic I will then take on Paley and his argument and whether or not it thoroughly proves the existence of God conceived as a supremely perfect being and why or why not this is. During this topic I will bring in Dawkins’ and Hume’s criticisms of the argument also I will try to differentiate between Aquinas’ fifth cosmological argument from the eighteenth-century deistic version of Paley and whether or not it succeeds against Dawkins and why or why not this is.
The heart of Anselm’s argument is the understanding of necessary existence, and from that you can take away two simple concepts. The first is “necessary” which simply means something cannot not be. The second is “contingent” which implies the opposite, that something can cease to exist. Basically he is saying you can’t take away everything or else there would be nothing, so somewhere along the line there were things that were created which are necessary for living beings. It may be hard to find what exactly these things are but with his argument it is safe to say they exist. The example that comes to my mind would be something as simple as air, obviously the human race as well as an infinite amount of other things could not survive without it. With that being said there must be some things on an even larger scale which Anselm is making reference to by saying without them “we” could not, not be.
Anselm continues his argument with a series of simple steps. He starts by saying, “Either God exists, or God does not exist.” This is pretty self-explanatory so from that he will say If God does exist, His existence must be necessary. This of course comes along with the understanding that God is omnipotent or all-powerful. At this point if one was to...
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