By Peter Cole
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Its scope is greater than that of the other arguments since they can give only a limited view of what God is like, while the concept of God as ‘the most perfect being’ implies a whole range of other qualities. 22 PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION b) Anselm’s argument Key quotes God is ‘a being than which nothing greater can be conceived’. ’ ANSELM i) First form Anselm began by defining God as ‘a being than which nothing greater can be conceived’. However, if it is the greatest, then it must be something more than merely existing in people’s thoughts.
Lower level answers would tend to list the strengths and the weaknesses. Higher level answers would involve some comparisons and weighing one against the other. 2 Discuss how far Anselm’s ontological argument proves the existence of God. This involves both an AO1 element of showing knowledge and understanding of Anselm’s ontological argument, and an AO2 element of assessing whether such an argument is a proof. Lower 32 PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION level answers will tend just to give a general outline of the ontological argument.
Its origins date back to about 850CE to a group which belonged to the Islamic Kalam tradition of philosophy. However, the argument was used by John Locke (1632–1704) and has had a revival in the late twentieth century, mainly through the writings of William Craig. This argument claims that everything that begins to THE EXISTENCE OF GOD Key question Did the universe have a beginning or has it always existed? Key question Can something come into existence without a cause? Key word Big Bang theory: the theory of an expanding universe that began as an infinitely dense and hot medium at some finite time in the past.