Arguments by Anselm and Maimonides About the Existence of God



Arguments by Anselm and Maimonides About the Existence of God

Anselm presents ontological arguments about the existence of God by first presenting premises that cannot be justified through the experience before concluding that God exists based on pure logic. Based on the selections provided, it is evident that the main focus of Anselm is to disapprove the fool’s assertion that God does not exist. The author points out that the fool is well informed that God exists but fails to believe it. Anselm starts by defining God and noting that he is “something than which nothing greater can be thought”. Anselm’s a priori reasoning can be summarized as follows: That God is a being. Moreover, it is not possible to imagine anything greater than him. Furthermore, he points out that the idea that God exists is in the mind. He then proceeds to note that a being that exists both in reality and in mind is better or greater than the one that only exists in the mind in form of an idea. Therefore, if God’s existence is limited to just an idea, it is possible to imagine something else greater than God. However, it would be in contradiction to assume that one can imagine something greater than God, the greatest possible being that one could possibly imagine. Anselm, therefore, concludes that God exists.Arguments by Anselm and Maimonides About the Existence of God

Maimonides, on the other hand, makes three important propositions about God. He argues that God exists and that he is one and incorporeal. He accepts Aristotle’s physics but rejects his theory about the eternity of the world. In summary, Maimonides argues that time, motion, and the universe are eternal and have always been. Moreover, the movement of everything is caused by another. Logically, there must be the first cause of movement is a given series of movers. This primary mover is incorporeal or without magnitude.  Maimonides uses honey-vinegar as proof that the mover and the object being moved are separable. Additionally, he provides explanations and an example of objects that act both the mover and the body being moved with the aim of showing that unmoved mover exists. Moreover, Maimonides uses efficient cause as proof of God’s existence. He points out that according to the order that defines efficient causes; every object has its own primary efficient cause. Since it is not possible to have an endless regress of these causes, a primary efficient cause must exist. He identifies this cause as God.Arguments by Anselm and Maimonides About the Existence of God

Of the two arguments, about the existence of God, the one that seems best to me is the one by Maimonides. Although his proof that God exists has been drawn from Metaphysics II that is viewed as lacking in authenticity, his arguments are supported by the scriptures. On the other hand, Anselm’s arguments about God’s existence are highly questionable given that he translates from the existence of an idea to that of a being, which resembles the purported idea. Therefore, his argument can be objected given that he tries to define an object into reality or existence. Furthermore, although God’s existence could be considered as self-evident, it would be misleading to think that every person who hears the word “God” develops the view of the greatest thing that one can imagine. This is because some people have viewed God as a body.