Anselm attempts to prove God's existence through a well-structured and extraordinarily creative argument. Upon first examination the argument seems to be sound and any good philosopher (one who is guided by the argument and not partisanship) who accepts the first premise is heavily persuaded to consider Anselm's conclusion. Aside from the objections presented in the book, which will not be mentioned and I believe rob the philosophy student of a full chance to evaluate and criticize the argument using his own mental devices, I will present my own objection that I developed over the course of last summer.
Anselm's ontological argument for God's existence is structured as follows: (1) God is that which nothing greater can be conceived. (2) If anyone hears the definition of God, he understands it. (3) If he understands it, it exists in his understanding. (4) Assume God exists only in understanding. (5) If (4), we could still conceive God to exist in reality, which would be a greater God than one that only exists in understanding.
(6) But if (4) and (5) are true, God is not that which nothing greater can be conceived. (7) Therefore, God is not that which nothing greater can be conceived. (8) But (1) and (7) are contradictory. (9) Therefore, God does NOT only exist in the understanding: God exists in reality.
Wow! That was a big time argument. GOD! However, I believe this argument to be highly flawed. A minor objection that I have to the argument is with premise (5), which states, "If (4), we could still conceive God to exist in reality, which would be a greater God than one that only exists in understanding." Anselm is a Christian and is therefore referring to the Christian God in this argument. The Christian God has constructed a world...