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Anselm On God

In the beginning of Scholasticism, one of the biggest problems is the place of
dialectic, because it was often inconsistent with theology. Anselm made a
moderate point between dialectic, philosophy and theology; “We believe in
order to understand rather than understand so that we may believe”. From that
point of view, He proved the existence of the God. In the “Proslogium”,
Anselm began his dialectic argument to define the God as
?something-than-which-nothing-greater-can-be-thought’. He stated, the idea
of the greatest being cannot be separated from its existence, because if it
lacks existence, a still more perfect being could be thought. Whereas, the God
is necessary to exists, not just in the understanding. In order to support the
proof, Anselm used an example of the Fool. He insisted that the God existed even
in a mind of the Fool who said, there was no God. Anselm stated, because when
the Fool hears ?something-than-which-nothing-greater-can-be-thought’, he
understands what he hears, and what he understands is in his mind. Thus, the God
is in his mind. In the “A reply to the forgiving by a certain writer on behalf
on the Fool”, Gaunilo wrote an attack on Anselm’s argument that the god
could not be conceptualized by human being. He stated that the fool would make
an objection because if the god could exist in his mind, other unreal thing also
could exist. He also criticised that the example of the painter could not
support Anselm’s argument. Gaunilo supported his criticism using a parody on
Anselm’s argument in which he proves the existence of the most excellent
island. He replaced ?the most excellent island’ for
?something-than-which-nothing-greater-can-be- thought’ and show that we
could prove the existence of almost anything using Anselm’s style of argument.


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