A summary of Gaunilo’s perfect island objection to Anselm’s ontological argument . argument for the existence of the perfect island in his On Behalf of the Fool. Gaunilo of Marmoutiers’ criticism of Anselm’s ontological argument present in his On Behalf of the Fool. From On Behalf of the Fool, Gaunilo, a Monk of Marmoutier 1. IF one doubts or denies the existence of a being of such a nature that nothing greater.

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There is, therefore, some one being which is supremely good, and supremely great, that is, the highest of all existing beings. Hence we are compelled to believe in a being which is the cause of every existing thing, without being caused by anything itself, and which for Edition: Therefore God necessarily exists.

Therefore, thou, Lord, art peculiarly uncircumscribed and eternal; and yet other spirits also are uncircumscribed and eternal.

Anselmus, it is true, protests against such an interpretation of his theology. We conclude, then, that there is some nature which is one and single, and which is so superior to others that it is inferior to none.

Help me, just and compassionate God, whose light I seek; help me to understand what I say. Nevertheless, it by no means exists through Edition: For, as God will have power to do what he wills, through himself, so they will have power, through him, to do what they will. Web Design and Coding by Technokinetics. In religion faith plays the part played by experience in the understanding of the things of this world.

In the first place, he misquoted the argument which he undertook to refute.

Philosophy of Religion

Pity our toilings and strivings toward thee, since we can do nothing without thee. Seeing, however, that the author of these objections is by no means a fool, and is a Catholic, speaking in behalf of the fool, I think it sufficient that I answer the Catholic.

God, the unitary being to whom all other beings owe their origin.

In this way, therefore, without contradiction thou dost justly punish and justly spare. I, so far as actual knowledge of the object, either from its specific or general character, is concerned, am as little able to conceive of this being when I hear of it, or to have it in my understanding, as I am to conceive of or understand God himself: But how has the fool said in his heart what he could not conceive; or how is it that he could not conceive what he said in his heart?


In this way, then, it appears that thou hast no parts, and that thy eternity, which thou art, is nowhere and never a part of thee or of thy eternity.

For, if the distinction of degrees is infinite, so that there is among them no degree, than which no higher can be found, our course of reasoning reaches this conclusion: BUT, you say, it is as if one should suppose an island in the ocean, which surpasses all lands in its fertility, and which, because of the difficulty, or the impossibility, of discovering what does not exist, is called a lost island; and should say that the be no doubt that this island truly exists in reality, for this reason, that one who hears it described easily understands what he hears.

If any of these arguments is sound, it seems, then they must all be sound. God is not contingent or temporal. If our idea of God is God himself, it is evident that this idea is the immediate and incontrovertible proof of the existence of God.

They and we have the same object in view; but inasmuch as they do not believe, they cannot arrive at ghe goal, which is to understand the dogma. Behlf would argue that this line of om does not work for everyday objects. Nay, not only have I fallen into it, but I feel that I am enveloped in it. Therefore, O Lord, our God, the more truly art thou omnipotent, since thou art capable of nothing through impotence, and nothing has power against thee.

Truly, in him we all fell, in whom we all sinned. The existence of this being is proved, in the first place, by the fact that he himself, in his doubt or denial regarding this being, already has it in his understanding; for in hearing it spoken of he understands what is spoken of.

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Hogg, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. In what way all other beings exist through this Nature and derive existence from it. AGAIN, you say that it can probably never be believed that this being, when it is spoken of and heard of, cannot be conceived not to exist in the same way in beehalf even God may be conceived not to exist. Because Gaunilo’s phrase did not contain the words “can be conceived”, his counter-argument cannot generate the contradiction from which Anselm concludes that something than which a greater cannot be conceived is in reality.

ot O boundless goodness of God, how passionately should sinners love thee! God is life, wisdom, eternity, and every true good. But that is truly impossible; there thus Edition: This, I think, will be evident to every moderately attentive reader. For how did it understand this, except by seeing light and truth?

Gaunilo of Marmoutiers – Wikipedia

For not even beings of a relative nature ggaunilo thus mutually, the one through the other. For that alone is just which thou dost will; and that alone unjust which thou dost not will.

For the non-existence of what does not exist is possible, and that whose non-existence is possible can be conceived not to exist. And what gauinlo belong to him, and what shall not belong to him? But this it is impious to suppose. The thanks of the reading public are due to all these gentlemen for their gratuitous labors in behalf of philosophy. But behlf he does conceive, he certainly conceives of a being which cannot be even conceived not to exist.

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