Anselm’s Response to Gaunilo Essay

Each person has arguments, beliefs, and perceptions about the existence or absence of a fact or being. The position taken by an individual depends on the belief and background, as well as the knowledge that one possesses (MacIntyre 2). This justifies the reason why people take different stands on the diverse issues affecting the human beings in their personal lives and the world at large. One of the many problems that have repeatedly been debated in the world is in the existence of God, or the Supreme Being that controls the universe. Every person, depending on the information, knowledge, experiences, and encounters they have had in the world, believe that indeed God exists, while others think that the belief in a God is far-fetched.

Different authors have given their arguments and perceptions on the existence of God and defended their positions with facts. However, the decision to believe or not believe is a personal, as each must have their reasons for taking a side. Anselm responds to Gaunilo, who had written his position on the existence of God. Gaunilo argued that indeed God existed and his belief that the Supreme Being created him is a justification for the worship that he should accord God. In addition, he argued that it was impossible to comprehend God, since He is superior to every creation He made. The fact that God exists is a connection to the faith that one has and anyone that professes that God does not exist is considered a fool. This is because when people perceive that their feelings exist but they cannot touch them, yet God, the Creator of everything is there, and it is possible to have a personal encounter and experience with Him. Anselm confirms that the belief in God lies in the apprehended conceptions, knowledge and properties attached to the Supreme Being.

The issue about the existence of God depends on the belief system that a person possesses, as well as the perception towards general knowledge in things of the world (Kenny 56). For instance, the belief that one has a brain that allows them to think even though they have not seen it depends on the information given to them. On the other hand, the belief about God depends on the experience that one has had with the Supreme Being, as well as the reasoning that one has towards other things in life (Spitzer 12). This paper will use Anselm’s argument on the existence of God, as well as the arguments that he gives before he takes his position on the power and influence that the Supreme Being has on people. Anselm’s argument is right as he illustrates the belief and knowledge that people have in shapes or numbers. For instance, everyone is taught that a triangle has three sides. This means that despite the additional knowledge that one acquires, the concept of a triangle remains the same (Descartes 24). In addition, the fact that whoever identified the shape of a triangle, the number of sides, or its angles, is a confirmation that perception has a role to play in influencing the belief system of a person. Hence, the belief in God is an idea perceived in the mind of an individual, and the understanding of whether He exists or not, is a confirmation that He has power and influence over people. The perfection of existence lies in the experience that one has, or the knowledge that one has acquired to attach value to God (Cathedral 3). Therefore, God exists and His essence lies in the Supremacy that He possesses as well as the freedom that He gives people, irrespective of whether they believe in Him or not.

Argument Section
Indeed, God exists. This is justified by the many questions surrounding His existence, with some agreeing while others disagree that He does not live. However, the fact that people have had interest in the topic justifies that He influences the lives of people, both directly and indirectly. The conception of God in the minds of human beings allows them to think of a Superior Power that controls the universe, that which created them, despite the fact they no individual has had the chance to meet God face-to-face (Moreland 34). In addition, the belief that God exists in His perfection is proof that man considers himself as one that has failed to meet the status of God. However, as God possesses characters like being loving and caring, He continues perfecting the people, despite being on different levels of perfections. Further, God does not impose His power on anyone, and everyone is at liberty to think differently, or have diverse views on whether He exists or not (Nagasawa 9). The confirmation that God exists is in the experience that people have with Him. Whereas people expect to experience Him in a physical way, He manifests Himself in the natural way of life, as well as in the comfort that He gives those that believe in Him.

Despite the argument and affirmation that God exists, it would be prudent for one that believes in Him to present evidence of His existence, as well as the influence that he or she has had after interacting with the Supreme God (Nadler and Steven 19). Kant says, existence is not a prediction, which means that proof and the aspect of touch must be present to affirm that God is alive and exists. The fact that no person has ever seen God is a confirmation that His existence is questionable (Mitchell and Peter 10). Further, the fact that He does not force Himself on people, despite the perfection quality attached to Him is an assurance that His existence and influence on the world is questionable. Stenger (20) argues that people believe that a certain shape is a rectangle since they can see it with their eyes. This concept is taught in school and learners can easily identify the shape in the midst of others. Hence, since God is untouchable and incomprehensible, then it would be justifiable to question His existence.

Reply: Response to the Objection
A reason for objecting to the position picked on the belief of the existence of God is the absence of facts like those that exist in the world. The belief that He exists is penned on the belief that people have towards the Superior Being. One can only imagine something before it can be transformed into reality. It means that for one to believe or think that God exists, he or she must have an imagination of the perfection that God possesses before they can attach the character of the Supreme Being in their lives. The most important aspect is having comfort with either belief system, and respecting the perception that others have towards religion or existence of God.

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Works Cited
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MacIntyre, Alasdair. God, philosophy, universities: A selective history of the Catholic philosophical tradition. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2011.
Mitchell, Stephen, and Peter Van Nuffelen, eds. One god: Pagan monotheism in the Roman Empire. Cambridge University Press, 2010.
Moreland, James Porter. Consciousness and the existence of God: A theistic argument. Routledge, 2010.
Nadler, Steven M., and Steven Nadler. The best of all possible worlds: a story of philosophers, God, and evil in the age of reason. Princeton University Press, 2010.
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