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ASSIGNED to Rosie November

by | Mar 26

1. Find a criticism of Anselm’s Ontological Argument from another philosopher.        You may search any source you desire. 

2. Use our course tools to evaluate the argument you found. Tell me if it is valid, sound, question-begging, etc. Explain yourself.



                                                               Lost Island Argument

To response to the argument of Aselm, Gaunilo gave an argument to prove that Aselm failed to explain the existence of God which is called Lost Island argument.


Gaunilo’s “Lost Island” argument. 

1.The Lost Island is that than which no greater island can be conceived.

2.The Lost Island exists in the mind, but not in reality. 

3. Existence in reality is greater than existence in the understanding alone. 

4. It is conceivable that the Lost Island exists in reality. 

5. It is conceivable that there is an island greater than the Lost Island. 

(Follows from 2, 3, and 4)

6. It is conceivable that there is an island greater than that island than which no greater island can be conceived. 

This argument takes the same example from the argument of Anselm. The wrong thing makes Gaunilo’s argument become invalid is that the definition in the fourth premise because the lost island is not real and cannot conceive in people’s mind.   Also, if it appeared in the real world, people could conceive it as a lost island. Looking at the structure of the premise two and four, it is confused that when one states that the Lost Island is not in reality while another one states reversibility. There is no persuasive premise to have a true conclusion. The truth is the lost island only exist when it is out of people’s imagination. Similarly, it cannot assume that the Lost Island exist when nothing else greater than it while it does not exist. Besides, the conclusion has something wrong since people cannot identify and do not have enough understanding to know which island is greater can be conceived. Therefore, the false of the premise and the conclusion makes the LOST Island argument unsound. Additionally, Gaunilo seems to beg question in this situation because he assumes the conclusion about the Lost Island is true then he applied to explain Anselm’s argument about the existence of God with parallel structure, but he failed to do that. 



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