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05 SEPTEMBER, 2017 (MAINS)

TODAYS ANSWER WRITING CHALLENGE FROM PHILOSOPHY PAPER – 2 – PART B

Q1. Discuss the ontological argument for the existence of God and show its merits and demerits. (2014/15)

 

Please write the answer in comments section

  • jaish

    Ontological arguments are the a priori arguments regarding the existence of God. It is not based on any empirical fact. In these arguments which are based on the idea of the perfect God, the existence of God is deduced.
    Arguments:
    *St.Anselm, “god is a being than which nothing greater can be conceived. But such a being can be either in thought or in fact as well as in thought”. In this way, with such statement of Anselm, it is deduced that God has existence.
    *Descartes has presented ontological arguments in two ways:
    As per Descartes, as idea of the triangle proves its three angles, in the same way, idea of perfect god proves the existence of God. A perfect being evidently possesses every good attributes.
    It is also said by the Descartes that we have in our minds an innate idea of perfect and infinite God, but we being as a imperfect and finite being cannot be the cause of this innate idea, therefore infinite being is cause of such idea which proves the existence of God.
    *Hegel has also stated that we can prove the existence of God on the basis of idea of God.

    Merits:
    As we have idea of a thing in our mind, then its existence comes. This gives us a progressive attitude. If we don’t accept ideas prior to existence then we cannot prove the existence of anything. Moreover these arguments are complementary to the other arguments for the existence of God. This argument also gives the satisfaction to the religious persons.
    Demerits:
    If an idea can make the things in existence then with mere idea in our mind existence of any imaginary objects can be proved.
    It is also said that those things which are in existence, then they can be treated as contingent in nature, in this sense God is not perfect being.
    It is also criticised that this arguments lead to the fallacy of petitio principi.
    But such arguments are refuted by the religious persons. As a matter of fact, faith is important for the existence of god rather than reason.