be thought. 2.1 Faith Seeking Understanding: The character and purpose of Anselm's theistic proofs. The premises for an ontological argument are derived from sources other than observation of reality, that is, solely from reasoning. This idea of proving the existence of God by thinking alone was later adopted by many, including Rene Descartes in the 16th century. ( M 22) So at least part of the reason for holding that God is timeless is that the nature of time would impose constraints upon God, and of course it is better to be subject to no external constraints. He says in On Free Choice of the Will.10, And you surely could not deny that the uncorrupted is better than the corrupt, the eternal than the temporal, and the invulnerable than the vulnerable; his interlocutor replies simply, Could anyone?
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However, there is no defined maximum number of trees or beaches that an island could possibly have; for any one conceivable island, there is another, even-more -perfect-island with one more exotic fruit tree and one more white sandy beach. William was intent on maintaining royal authority over ecclesiastical affairs and would not be dictated to by Archbishop or Pope or anyone else. That one thing, of course, exists through itself, and so it is greater than all the other things. The single argument produces conclusions about the divine attributes only when conjoined with certain beliefs about what is greater or better. This fool has said that in his heart, that there is no God, or denying the existence of God.
But of course nothing exists through nothing, so every existing thing exists through something. Apart from divine grace, then, fallen human beings cannot help but sin. It obviously follows, as Anselm points out, that freedom of choice neither is nor entails the power to sin; God and the good angels have freedom of choice, but they are incapable of sinning. The only critical difference between Anselm's argument and Gaunilo's argument is the use of the perfect-island in place of God. For an agent who is coerced into doing what is right is not willing rectitude for its own sake; and similarly, an agent who must be bribed to do what is right is willing rectitude for the sake of the bribe, not for the sake. A concept of a thing should focus on its defining qualities, such as cold and Budweiser, rather than on its existence. Anselms argument can therefore only work for those who conceive God as a being and excludes the rest of the population (Rowe, 49). Suppose there are more than one. A monk named Gaunilo wrote a Reply on Behalf of the Fool, contending that Anselm's argument gave the Psalmist's fool no good reason at all to believe that that than which a greater cannot be thought exists in reality. (This reading of the argument of the Proslogion is developed at length in Visser and Williams 2009, chapter.).1 Proving the divine attributes Recall that Anselm's intention in the Proslogion was to offer a single argument that would establish not only the existence. The fool believes in his understanding that there is no God, but cannot think of any being greater than God. F in different degrees, we must understand them as being F through F -ness; F -ness itself is the same in each of them.