A Refutation of Anselm’s Ontological Argument

Enquiries on Atheism

Despite their protestations, humanity’s judgments are inexorably restricted.  Certain judgments owe their verity to universality, while others achieve lesser degrees thereof through repeated demonstrability.  Though by use of the former we may achieve certainty, an association between the two is inviolable, and therein lies the controversy.  That is, though all of our knowledge begins with experience, it does not necessarily follow that all arises out of experience.[i]  In such cases of the latter, universality must be exhibited; otherwise, the concept requires demonstrability in reality, lest it be subjugated to the imagination alone.

It is not that Anselm failed to acknowledge the veracity in the restrictions above, but that he simply came before humanity had realized them.  Consequently, we cannot penalize Anselm for violating such restrictions, but his argument will not fare similarly.  To illustrate this, we shall review his ontological argument in order of his premises. And to…

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Categories: Philosophy

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