more from Anselm

Single Idea 21247

[catalogued under 28. God / B. Proving God / 2. Proofs of Reason / a. Ontological Proof]

Full Idea

If anyone does think of something a greater than which cannot be thought, then he thinks of something which cannot be thought of as nonexistent, ...for then it could be thought of as having a beginning and an end. And this is impossible.

Gist of Idea

Nonexistence is impossible for the greatest thinkable thing, which has no beginning or end


Anselm (Proslogion [1090], Reply 3)

Book Reference

'The Existence of God', ed/tr. Hick,John [Macmillan 1964], p.28

A Reaction

A nice idea, but it has a flip side. If the atheist denies God's existence, then it follows that (because no beginning is possible for such a being) the existence of God is impossible. Anselm adds that contingent existents have parts (unlike God).