God Exists: The Ontological Argument

God Exists: The Ontological Argument
This is part three of a four part series of articles on the ‘evidences’ of the existence of God.  They aren’t intended to help you win an argument with an unbeliever about the existence of our God, rather they are intended to describe what is considered the ‘basic views’ which point to the existence of agod.  Unless you start with the point of view of belief in the God of the Bible, you will never lead someone to an understanding that includes Him, you will simply lead them to deism.

The Ontological Argument

the branch of metaphysics dealing with the nature of being. [1]

That we are able to imagine anything at all requires that there be something greater than that which we can imagine.

I’ll let that sit there for a moment, it’s kind of heavy, and hard to process.

The  argument above, similar to the others that come before it (the Cosmological and the Teleological) is somewhat based within the concept of causation, or the ‘relationship between cause and effect’ [Google, 1];  that in order to be, something must first have been designed, created, or caused in some manner.

Unfortunately, that’s just too easy, and by itself, doesn’t really ‘prove’ (or even argue for that matter) the point very well.  The statement leaves too much relying on the supposition that one would have to accept anything other than an ‘undefined natural force’ as the origin of the species, which is an argument often dismissed as no solid proof can ever be argued for.

Rather, the ontological argument posits that God exists because He Himself is greater than anything than we ourselves could conceive.  “How is it possible” you may be wondering, “that there would ever exist something that is greater than I could imagine?  I can’t imagine anything greater than I can imagine!”

To which I would reply “Exactly.”

You see, the basis of this line of philosophy is that there are two states of ‘existence’ which can overlap: existence in the understanding ( the understanding of man, or in your mind) and existence in reality.  If you have heard of something and comprehend what you have heard, then that which you have heard about exists within your mind, and it exists within your understanding.  To deny it’s existence there would be illogical.

Moving further from that inherently true point, we take the statement that God Himself is a supreme being, or one who cannot be any greater than He is, and posit the following:  If the being of which nothing greater can be conceived exists only in the understanding, than the one who is understanding the greater being, is the greater being.  Since this is impossible – we cannot be greater than what we understand to be greater than ourselves, something greater than our understanding must exist in reality.

In other words:  because we can imagine that there exists something greater than ourselves, something greater than ourselves must therefore exist.

If nothing else, with this argument, you can walk away from a particularly hostile conversation while the other party is trying to comprehend the mind-bomb that just went off in their head.

Do you take issue with this argument?  We’d love to hear about it in the comments below!  Next, we will be looking into the teleological argument for the existence of God.

Where no direct citation occurs, the following resources were used in the formulation of this article:

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