St. Anselm's and St. Thomas Aquinas' proofs for the existence of God
The very fact that some people believe in God while others object his existence fostered the need to seek evidence and facts that will proof that God indeed exist. St. Anselm's and St. Thomas Aquinas' are the two renowned personalities that worked to proof the existence of God. These two figures offer a philosophical approach in regards to the existence of God. In an effort to explore their perceptions and insights regarding the existence of God in this paper. I will elaborate and explain the similarities embedded in the arguments of the St. Anselm's and St. Thomas Aquinas'. First, I will explain how both the two philosophers approach their reasoning from a philosophical perspective and then explain how these two philosophers essentially allude and reference the work of their predecessor philosophers that include Aristotle and Plato. Subsequent to stating the similarities that relate to the aforementioned, I will establish differences that exist between these two philosophers. The major differences that will be of focus in this essay is that: while Anselm based much of his reasoning on the works of Plato, Aquinas made reference to the works of Aristotle predominantly. The second difference I will explain stem from the fact that Aquinas support his arguments using infinite regress. Where he essentially argues that something must have resulted to the emergence of everything. While Anselm bases his arguments on the ontological argument where he establishes that God must be existent because people at often imagine his existent, he basically use human reason without necessarily presenting evidence or perceptions. Lastly, I conclude by stating why their differences are more established than similarities.
Apparently, the two philosophers mentioned herein are similar in that they both present their arguments by fundamentally employing philosophical perspectives in their reasoning. In essence, both Anselm’s Ontological Argument and Aquinas’ Cosmological Argument have logical reasoning embedded. Based on the Ontological Argument, God is existent because He exists in our understanding. This statement needs logic and insightful critical thinking. From a critical perspective, the statement above accentuates that the idea the God exists is within our mind, and we often think of the supreme God. Additionally, the Ontological Argument further establishes that; since we often think of a supreme being, it is imperative to denote that God might exist in reality. Similar to Ontological Argument, Aquinas’ Cosmological Argument employs the use of logical reasoning in presenting arguments (Velde 40). The Cosmological Argument establishes that God do exist owing because we feel the effects of his presence. To make apparent the notion above, Aquinas engage the reader into an in-depth reasoning by presenting a philosophy where he accentuates that: something must have started everything that he apparently establish to be God.
The second similarity that exists between the two aforementioned figures is that they essentially allude and reference the work of their predecessor philosophers. Apparently, Anselm based his reasoning and philosophical thinking on Plato’s philosophy while Aquinas looked based his philosophical thinking in close association with Aristotle’s philosophy. Apparently, Anselm presented his arguments by essentially using Plato’s philosophy of form. Apparently, Plato argues that we can acknowledge the existence of something because we can effectively acknowledge its essence through its form. The notion above is predominantly used by Anselm when seeking to prove God’s existence. On the other hand, Aquinas references the work of Aristotle in his arguments. He essentially includes God in the works of Aristotle so that the work of Aristotle could be accepted in the Christian society (Velde 42).
In addition to the above, it is of utmost significance to note that though the two figures were similar in the sense that they alluded from their predecessor philosophers. The two are different in the sense that they alluded their work from philosophers who had differing views. While Plato in regards to the work of Aquinas argues that we can acknowledge the existence of something because we can effectively acknowledge its essence through its form. Aristotle’s work was rationalized by Anselm by including God to seek acceptance from the Christian society (Smith 33).
Another major difference that exists between these two philosophers is that Aquinas support his arguments using infinite regress. Where he essentially argues that something must have resulted to the emergence of everything. While Anselm bases his arguments on the ontological argument. Where he establishes that God must be existent because people at often imagine his existent (Smith 77). Primarily, he uses human reason without necessarily presenting evidence or perceptions.
In conclusion, the major similarities between these two figures stem from the fact that they both present their arguments using a philosophical approach. Additionally, they both allude from their predecessor philosophers. The difference between the two stem from the fact that the they adopt differing lines of thought in presenting their arguments.
Smith, A D. Anselm's Other Argument. , 2014. Print.
Velde, Rudi A. Aquinas on God: The 'divine Science' of the Summa Theologiae. Aldershot,
Hants, England: Ashgate, 2006. Internet resource.