What ontological arguments don’t show
Author ORCID Identifier
Mylan Engel Jr: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0262-7195
International Journal for Philosophy of Religion
Daniel Dombrowski contends that: (1) a number of versions of the ontological argument [OA] are sound; (2) the deity whose existence is most well established by the OA is the deity picked out by Hartshorne’s neoclassical concept of God; (3) skeptics who insist that the OA only shows that “if God exists, then God exists necessarily” are contradicting themselves, and (4) the OA is worth a great deal since it effectively demonstrates the rationality of theism. I argue that theses (2) and (3) are clearly false and offer a presumptive case for thinking that (4) is false, since, absent an independent proof of God’s existence, the theist appears to be in no position to rationally assert (1). I also show that the Anselmian OA harmonizes rather poorly with a Hartshornean neoclassical conception of God. I conclude by assessing the philosophical and dialectical worth of ontological arguments vis-à-vis establishing the rationality of theism.
Ontological argument, Philosophical worth, Possibility, Rational acceptance
Engel, Mylan, "What ontological arguments don’t show" (2020). NIU Bibliography. 132.
Department of Philosophy