Proof of God’s Anselmus, Proof of God’s Existence

Proof of God’s Anselmus, Proof of God’s Existence

The first proof of God is actually the approach that is at the forefront of the entire history of philosophy. Accordingly, our minds and senses convey information that there are many good things around us. The basic question at this point is: Are all these good things good for one good thing; or does the good in each one have its own characteristic?

Of course, the answer given by Anselmus is clear: All good things are good for one good. Because the good things of good are very different from each other, and the good they have to be good must be the good that all good things share. It is unthinkable that there is a reason for goodness, which is why everyone and everything is good. If so, then he would not be able to move things outside himself in a certain direction. Therefore, it is necessary to say that the existence of this good is realized through itself. Only He is the highest good above all other good things, and God Himself as the only perfect in all beings.

Almost all of the proofs of God found in medieval philosophy use similar methods. Another proof of God by Anselmus is also evolving to remind us of other proofs. According to him, everything takes its existence from an entity that realizes its existence through itself. Existence involves a certain level of excellence. Every who is more or less perfect receives this perfection from the one who has the highest degree of perfection, and that is God.

The reason why Anselmus’ proof of God is called Ontological Proof of God is because of its extremely realistic approach.

In the history of philosophy, Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), who used the expression Ontological Proof of God, was. He stated that there are three proofs of God that can be performed through speculative reason, one of which is ontological (Critical der reinen Vernunft, A590 / B618). In fact, Kant is not directly to the proof of Anselmus; but he called Descartes’ proof of God, a variant of his. In his Critique of Pure Reason, Kant said that Descartes established the existence of God based on the simple God idiom itself. However, it is controversial whether such an approach applies to Anselmus.

After writing Monologion, Anselmus begins to wonder if there is a simpler way to prove God’s existence. These thoughts lead him to create a very simple proof of God. In his book Proslogion, while guiding the reader, he also determines the way in which God’s proof will be built. This proof will take place through the love and intuition of God. Clearly, Anselmus follows Augustinus in this proof. As Augustine tried to describe God  “the one who cannot be thought of any better than himself” (quo esse aut cogitari melius nihil posit). Those who have been voiced in the history of philosophy have been expressed in one way or another in previous periods. Therefore, there is one who preceded Augustine: The famous Roman philosopher Seneca  understood God  as büyüklük an unthinkable greatness “ .

In the second part of Proslogion, Anselmus says, ız We believe that you (God) are something that cannot be considered greater than that.. In this statement, Anselmus tries to understand in two ways. The first is shaped in the intellect. According to him, even an idiot says, “There is no God. Ese Although he does not develop an understanding of whether these words actually exist, he is able to understand what he says. Thus, everyone, including those who deny God, has a grasp of God in his mind. According to Anselmus, it is not acceptable for God to be just an understanding or idea in the mind. Once God is thought of as the one that cannot be considered greater than him, he will not only exist in the intellect; but it will also take place in reality. Anselmus’ point of departure in this proof is faith in God. Proofing begins in mind as before, and continues with the help of divine enlightenment.

After Anselmus put forward this proof, the most important criticism directed against him was Gaunilon, one of the priests of Marmoutier (Tours). Gaunilon provides two important criticisms of proof. In his small article, “In the Name of Stupid”, Gaunilon admits that the fool can say these words and hear these voices. However, he cannot comprehend this more than he can perceive God. For the fool does not know a reality which is God himself. More importantly, it cannot reach a grasp of God from other realities; because according to Anselmus there is no reality other than God.

Gaunilon’s second critique is even more striking: when we think of something that cannot be considered bigger than that, it is not only in mind; but it is impossible to conclude that it is also in reality. Because we can think about many unreal things like winged horse, unicorn. However, none of them begin to exist in reality either because they exist only in thought. Anselmus’ objection to this objection was not delayed. The question of what exists in thought also exists in reality, applies only to one being, and it is God. For God is unthinkable. The fact that God is  olan one who cannot be thought of any greater than himself da in mind means that  reality is necessarily shaped on this basis of understanding.

This understanding of Anselmus was taken into consideration by many philosophers who came after him. As well as the warm ministers, there are those who do not adopt or reject this understanding. Philosophers such as Bonaventura, Duns Scotus, Rene Descartes, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel; with some changes and appendices, they adopted Anselmus’ proof of God. Among those who agree with Gaunilon and refuse to prove it are Thomas Aquinas, John Locke and Immanuel Kant.

Prepared by:  Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source:  Ömer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Department of Sociology 1st Grade Giriş Introduction to Philosophy ”and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade Tarihi History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook