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Anselm & Gaunilo
Updated: 8/27/2020
Anselm & Gaunilo
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Storyboard Text

  • The Medieval Era of Philosophy is theocentric. One of the famous discussions from this era was St. Anselm's ontological arguments.
  • I am Anselm of Canterbury, and I have arguments to prove that God exists.
  • St. Anselm argued that God, as the greatest being conceivable, must NECESSARILY EXIST. His arguments opened important discussions that led to the perspectives that we know today.
  • I am Gaunilo of Marmoutiers, and I would love to hear your arguments
  • God is that than which nothing greater can be conceived. Don't you agree?
  • Indeed. To exist is even better than be a mere thought. So, God, as the greatest thing imaginable, MUST necessarily exist.
  • Of course. God is a perfect in our minds. But to exist in the reality is far better than existing in the mind.
  • We can conceive of an idea of a perfect being by starting from the less perfect beings and ascending to greater attributes until we form an idea of a perfect being.
  • But as mere humans, we cannot think nor imagine an idea and reality like God. If we even dare to do so, it would only limit God's unlimited greatness.
  • But, still, imagining a perfect being does not necessarily prove its existence. I can think of a perfect island that has everything I need and want but it does not mean that it truly exists.
  • However, your perfect island is not the greatest thing conceivable, which is why it does not exist.
  • There cannot be more than one thing than which nothing greater can be conceived because having a co-equal being means that it is not the greatest being. Only God is the perfect being that cannot not exist.
  • As a Benedictine monk, I do agree that God is a perfect being. I merely cannot believe your explanation of His existence. Nonetheless, let's agree to disagree and continue improving our philosophies.
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