Why is the ontological argument considered an a priori argument?

Asked By: Jeneba Kalaidovich | Last Updated: 14th May, 2020
Category: religion and spirituality atheism
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Anselm's ontological argument alleges that “God exists” is a statement that, if we are thinking clearly and understand the definition of “God,” we can know to be true a priori. Compare Anselm's argument to Paley's design argument for God's existence.

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Correspondingly, what kind of argument is the ontological argument?

Ontological argument. An ontological argument is a philosophical argument for the existence of God that uses ontology. Many arguments fall under the category of the ontological, and they tend to involve arguments about the state of being or existing.

Additionally, why is the ontological argument analytic? In other words, ontological arguments are arguments from what are typically alleged to be none but analytic, a priori and necessary premises to the conclusion that God exists. The first, and best-known, ontological argument was proposed by St.

Likewise, is the cosmological argument a priori or a posteriori?

Recall that one of the noticeable features of the Ontological Argument is that it is a deductive argument that claims to be a priori--i.e., it claims that its premises can be known independent of experience, with only logic and language alone. In contrast, the Cosmological Argument is an a posteriori argument.

Does the ontological argument succeed?

The argument entails that any conclusive ontological arguments would contradict the very nature of God. In short, it leads to the conclusion that no ontological argument can be successful. It should be noted that the above argument has the general form of a reductio ad absurdum.

37 Related Question Answers Found

What are the 5 arguments for the existence of God?

They are:
  • the argument from "first mover";
  • the argument from causation;
  • the argument from contingency;
  • the argument from degree;
  • the argument from final cause or ends ("teleological argument").

What is an ontological argument for God's existence?

An ontological argument is a philosophical argument for the existence of God that uses ontology. Many arguments fall under the category of the ontological, and they tend to involve arguments about the state of being or existing.

What was the best argument against the ontological argument?

Perhaps the best known criticisms of ontological arguments are due to Immanuel Kant, in his Critique of Pure Reason. Most famously, Kant claims that ontological arguments are vitiated by their reliance upon the implicit assumption that “existence” is a real predicate.

What is the ontological argument simple?

The ontological argument is an idea in religious philosophy. It is supposed to show that God exists. There are different versions, but they all argue something like: because we can imagine a perfect being, there must be a god. The idea is that existing makes a good thing better than one that's only imaginary.

What is the point of Pascal's wager?


Pascal's wager is an argument in philosophy presented by the seventeenth-century French philosopher, mathematician and physicist, Blaise Pascal (1623–1662). It posits that humans bet with their lives that God either exists or does not.

Does the ontological argument beg the question?

The SOA does of course openly beg the question--"God" is there defined in part as an existing being. But nowhere in the premises of Rowe's version of the OA is God defined as an existing being, nor do any of the premises assume that God exists. Thus the OA at least does not obviously beg the question.

What is Descartes cosmological argument?

Descartes' cosmological (or causal) arguments for the existence of God are often thought to be among the least plausible aspects of his philosophy and, perhaps as a result, have been relatively neglected by commentators.

What is Descartes trademark argument?

The trademark argument is an a priori argument for the existence of God developed by French philosopher and mathematician, René Descartes. In the Meditations Descartes provides two arguments for the existence of God.

What is an example of a priori?

A Priori and A Posteriori. For example, the proposition that all bachelors are unmarried is a priori, and the proposition that it is raining outside now is a posteriori. The distinction between the two terms is epistemological and immediately relates to the justification for why a given item of knowledge is held.

Why is it called the cosmological argument?


The word logos suggests a study of something while the noun cosmos means order or the way things are. Thus, a cosmological argument for the existence of God will study the order of things or examine why things are the way they are in order to demonstrate the existence of God.

What did Thomas Aquinas argue?

Rather, he is arguing that things that only have partial or flawed existence indicate that they are not their own sources of existence, and so must rely on something else as the source of their existence. The argument makes use of the theory of transcendentals: properties of existence.

What is a contingent being?

A contingent being (a being such that if it exists, it could have not-existed or could cease to exist) exists. This contingent being has a cause of or explanation for its existence. The cause of or explanation for its existence is something other than the contingent being itself.

Can infinite regress exist?

An infinite regress is a series of appropriately related elements with a first member but no last member, where each element leads to or generates the next in some sense. An infinite regress argument is an argument that makes appeal to an infinite regress.

What is a necessary being?

logical necessity: a logically necessary being is a being whose non-existence is a logical impossibility, and which therefore exists either timeless or eternally in all possible worlds.

What is the argument from contingency?


The “Argument from Contingency” examines how every being must be either necessary or contingent. Since not every being can be contingent, it follow that there must be a necessary being upon which all things depend. This being is God.

When was the ontological argument created?

The first, and best-known, ontological argument was proposed by St. Anselm of Canterbury in the 11th century C.E. In his Proslogion, St. Anselm claims to derive the existence of God from the concept of a being than which no greater can be conceived.