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Ontological and Wager Argument Essay


There are many theories that try to prove the existence of God. Ontological argument stipulates that God exists because atheists contradict themselves in how they perceive the existence of God. Therefore, according to the argument, the existence of these contradictions gives a confirmation that God exists.

Although many philosophers support the ontological argument, some philosophers have made serious criticisms on the existence of God. According to Anselm, since God is a supreme being who is believed to be above all creatures, it implies that any argument that concerns his existence requires a careful scrutiny from both atheists and non-atheists (Rauhut 176).

While Anselm and Wager are major proponents of the ontological argument, Hume and Kant are some of the opponents of the ontological argument. Therefore, this essay analyzes the objections of Hume and Kant and assesses their differences with the objections presented by Pascal’s argument.

According to Hume, there is a clear impression of the existence of animals such as dogs and cats as one can derive the concepts from practical impressions. He argues that, since there are no clear impressions on the existence of God, his existence can only be in our minds.

Thus, Hume objects the ontological argument by saying that God only exists in our minds as blurry idea, which depicts God as the greatest being. In his assertion, David Hume concludes that “any existence claim seem to require matters of fact and can never be a mere analytic judgments” (Rauhut 179). Hence, it is not plausible for one to use analytic judgments in proving the existence of God.

Comparatively, critics of Wager cite beliefs as the major shortcoming of the ontological argument. They argue that one cannot use beliefs to prove the existence of God. Moreover, in their argument they state that beliefs are not usually under the voluntary control of an individual, and thus lead to the complexity of many gods worshipped by many religions.

Another philosopher, Kant notes that real existence is greater and more convincing than imaginative existence. Kant argues that if something exists in reality, it cannot be greater than the object that exists in understanding (Rauhut 180). Hence, he believes that for one to prove the existence of an object, it should be real.

Thus, Kant objects the ontological argument because the argument is based on imaginative existence of God, which does not provide the reality concerning his existence. In comparison, critics of Wager’s arguments highlight that Wager uses beliefs and faith to prove that God exists. The critics claim that the use of belief is confusing because people are unable to control their beliefs, which consequently subjects them to many gods.

Ontological argument is a controversial argument that supports the existence of God. The argument states that, since scholars and philosophers who oppose the concept regarding the existence of God contradict themselves, they prove that God exists. According to Hume and Kant, something must be real and visible for it to exist. For instance, Hume and Kant use visible and tangible objects in their arguments.

Furthermore, Hume and Kant argue that the ontological argument is not practical because it only presents God as a supreme being who is invisible and only exist in one’s mind. Moreover, critics of Wager’s argument noted that ontological argument has its basis on beliefs. According to the critics, beliefs are not under one’s control, and thus cannot be used to prove that God really exists.

Works Cited

Rauhut, Nils. Ultimate Questions: Thinking about Philosophy. New York: Prentice Hall, 2010. Print.

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IvyPanda. (2019, July 9). Ontological and Wager Argument. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/ontological-and-wager-argument/

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"Ontological and Wager Argument." IvyPanda, 9 July 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/ontological-and-wager-argument/.

1. IvyPanda. "Ontological and Wager Argument." July 9, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/ontological-and-wager-argument/.


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IvyPanda. "Ontological and Wager Argument." July 9, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/ontological-and-wager-argument/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Ontological and Wager Argument." July 9, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/ontological-and-wager-argument/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Ontological and Wager Argument'. 9 July.

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