Evaluating an Ontological Argument

Evaluating an Ontological Argument

  • Submitted By: joanmasa
  • Date Submitted: 03/19/2009 11:18 AM
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Words: 315
  • Page: 2
  • Views: 752

Whether or not you accept the Ontological Argument, it is important to understand it. Specifically, can you reproduce with understanding Malcolm's version? Bearing in mind that Malcolm is not a fool, can you find any flaws in it? (Pg 305)

Core Idea of the Ontological Argument: Existence is far greater than non existence, (its better to have a million real dollars than imaginary dollars) Necessary existence is greater than contingent existence, so we cant think of the greatest conceivable being as having non existence or merely contingent existence.

After following St Anselms Ontological Argument, Norman Malcolm produced an essay entitled "Anselm's Ontological Arguments" Purposely making it plural to emphasize that their were two parts of Anselms arguments in the Proslogium. Malcolm defended the second part of Anselms Arguement, which revolved around the idea that God is a greater being if he cannot not exist making necessary existence a predicate.

Although the Ontological Argument is known for being picked apart and argued. The only flaws I could find in Malcolm's version were as follows: Malcolm admits a weakness in his argument. He admits that he is unaware of any way to prove that there is no contradiction in the concept of a necessary being. Therefore, it is logically possible that the concept of a necessary being is contradictory. I realize that it is impossible for a necessary being to exist.. But at best, Malcolm's ontological argument only shows that it is most likely that a necessary being exists. For it is always possible that somebody will someday show that the concept of a necessary being is contradictory. Also after reading and re reading Malcolm's version of the Ontological Argument, it was still difficult for me to find if the argument is sound. The persuasiveness of the argument left me irritated and wondering if half the power of the argument is due to the convincing "word magic" used.

Similar Essays