Almost everyone at some particular point in his or her life has
reasons. For example he or she might have been at a point in
their life when their faith alone was just not enough for them to
believe. Humans have a natural instinct to find reasons for
events that can t be explained. For some, the existence of God
confronted God s existence was Anselm.
Anselm was the Archbishop of Canterbury and was a very
proposed his argument for God s existence. His ontological
Anselm s argument is different from other philosophers
simply because of it s premise. He saw a need for a precise
logical philosophy as a way for making faith mature, not as a
substitute for faith. Because Anselm already believed in God, he
was only looking for rational support for this belief. Therefore
Anselm s method of proving God s existence is called Faith
seeking understanding. He proclaims I do not seek to
understand in order that I may believe, but I believe in order
that I may understand (Stumpf, 372-372). Anselm had to believe
in God in order to support his own rational for God s existence.
To help prove his belief, Anslem he uses his mind. He
exist? (Stumpf 373). Anselm also sites Psalm 13:1 which reads,
greater can be thought really exist, he understands what he is
hearing. The fool follows what this question because it is in
Next Anselm shows how something can exist in the intellect
even before the intellectual knows that it exist. He tries to
explain this statement by giving an example of a painter
contemplating what he is going to paint next. At this point the
painter has in his intellect an understanding of what he will
paint but not an understanding that the portrait prevails.
Because of this the fool can comprehend something than which
nothing greater can be thought even though he doesn t know that
After showing that even the fool agrees with the idea of God
existing in the mind, Anselm moves toward implementing the idea
that God exists outside of the mind. Anyone can think of
something greater than a being which exists as an idea in the
intellect. That is the actual existence of that being for which
there is no greater (Stumpf 373). As an example, one can think
of an island which exists only in his intellect. Since it is
only in his intellect as an idea, he then can think of something
greater. That something greater would be the island actually
existing. So, if something exists only in the mind, like a
yellow island, a greater something can be thought of, such as a
real yellow island. Therefore, if God is only present in the
mind, it is possible to think of something greater. However, if
even a fool agrees with the statement, that something than which
nothing greater can be though exists in the mind (Stumpf 373).
Therefore, this something, or God must exist in reality. This is
because nothing greater can be thought of other than God.
This theory or proof put forth by Anselm came under though
inspection by a Benedictine monk named Guanilon. He argued that
the proof Anselm offers is inadequate. He disputed that the
first part of the proof was literally impossible. It requires
that there be in the understanding an idea of God, that upon
hearing this word the fool is expected to have a conception of
that which there is no greater (Stumpf 374).
Guanilon continues to state that a fool could not possibly
from such an idea. A fool does not have the previous experiences
or realities to compare to such a great being. He claims that if
a human could create such a great being, no proof would be
necessary. Guanilon find the fault in Anselm s argument because
the argument only tries to prove the concept of the existence of
that it can be proved.
Western intellectualism and education reached a peak in the first
flowering of the great universities (Aquinas, xix). His life
as being an innovator of philosophy for his thoughts on proving
God s existence.
In the proof from efficient cause, Aquinas states, Whatever
belongs to a being is either caused by the principles of its
nature… or it comes to it from some extrinsic principle…it is
impossible that the act of existing be caused by a thing s form
life is based on a previous happening. As long as the cause
comes before the effect, nothing can be before itself. There has
to be a series of efficient causes since it goes along with the
thought that a being cannot cause itself. In this series there
is three causes. The first being the ultimate causes which is
brought on by the intermediate causes. The intermediate causes
stems from the primary causes. Therefore, if there be no first
cause among efficient causes, there will be no ultimate, nor any
intermediate cause (Stumpf, 380). We must then conclude that an
original efficient cause is existent. This element has no prior
cause because by definition it is the first efficient cause.
This first cause is therefore has to be known as God.
ontological proof and Aquinas efficient cause. One of them is
it is all verbal exercise, for the essence of this proof is that
since we have the idea of a most perfect being, it would be
contradictory to say that such a being does not exist (Stumpf,
390). The contradiction arises because of humans idea of a
perfect being. The ontological argument says that a being which
does not exist can hardly be considered a perfect being (Stumpf,
390). The outstanding flaw in this proof is that there is no
statement way it is a necessity to have a God. A contradiction
occurs when everyone agrees that a perfect being does exist but
was not all knowing. Kant s argument establishes the fact that
by simply saying a supreme being is all knowing does not prove
God s existence.
Kant then challenges Aquinas proof of efficient cause.
Kant says that man has knowledge of causality but insisted that
experience in one sense, yet experience cannot show us that
every change must have a cause since we have not yet experienced
every chance (Stumpf, 299). Because of this humans have to rely
solely on their rational judgment for things that cannot be
experienced. However, this rational judgment is also, limited
by the manner in which our faculties of perception and thinking
organize the raw data of experience (Stumpf, 304). In other
words, everything that is known is only known by how the mind
lets us know it. Things that are visualized by humans are not
always received in the mind the way that they appear in reality.
The mind can perceive things the way it wants to.
Through the philosopher s arguments covered in this paper,
there is legitimate proof for and against the existence of God.
In my opinion, a God can only exist if one wants Him to.
Although one can always rely on he arguments to help support his
views. If one does not truly believe that a God exists he can
find another argument to support God s non-existence. I have
been brought up to believe in the existence of God however, I
have come to question His existence. When I was younger, I used
to believe but as I gained new knowledge I began to question if
there really was a God.
Some people can have faith alone and succeed just fine,
while others need written proof of the existence of God. All of
the philosophers mentioned either give support for or against for
those who need written proof. I believe that He was created for
some sort of higher level than everyone else. If God does really
exist then those who believe now will eventually reach their
ending place in life. For those who live in question of His
existence will also end up at their own future ending place.