Kant's Objections To The Ontological Argument

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Theology – Mr. Mayemba Kate Foote 12Ben

- Explain the objections of Gaunilo and Kant to the ontological argument.

Gaunilo and Kant both had objections to Anselms ontological argument. While Kant argued that the problem in the argument lay in it’s claim that existence is it’s predicate, Gaunilo argued that there must be something wrong with it even though he could not identify a specific fault.

Kant argued that existence cannot be a predicate because it does not add any new information to an understanding of the subject. To say that something exists is not genuinely communicating anything about the subject, nor, likewise with God. A predicate is a property that the subject can either possess or lack,
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Gaunilo gave us his perfect island as an example, the perfect island must exist, for if it did not then it would be possible to create in the mind and island greater than that island which no greater can be conceived. Gaunilo said that if the ontological argument works, then the perfect island idea must also work, this is because the two arguments have the same logical form. Similar perfect subjects were created, the perfect baseball pitcher and husband for example. Clearly, though, these arguments are not all sound; the perfect baseball pitcher does not exist, and neither does the perfect husband. There is something wrong with the logic of these arguments. Each of these ontological arguments, though, uses the same logic. They must therefore all be unsound. The fact that there is no perfect island, and no perfect baseball pitcher, then, shows that the logic of the ontological argument for God’s existence is flawed. These objections however do not specify where or how the ontological argument goes wrong, they simply argue that if it is a “sound’ argument then many other arguments with the same logical form. This means that if this works we must be able to conclude that if one argument with the same logic as the ontological argument works, then so must other arguments and the ontological

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