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Two Dozen (or so) Arguments for GodThe Plantinga Project$
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Jerry L. Walls and Trent Dougherty

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190842215

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190842215.001.0001

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The Ontological Argument

The Ontological Argument

Patching Plantinga’s Ontological Argument by Making the Murdoch Move

Chapter:
(H) The Ontological Argument
Source:
Two Dozen (or so) Arguments for God
Author(s):

Elizabeth D. Burns

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190842215.003.0008

William Rowe claims that Anselm’s ontological argument, as restated by Alvin Plantinga, begs the question because, in order to know the truth of the key premise—“It is possible that God exists in reality”—we must know, independently of the argument, that God exists in reality. This chapter argues that Rowe focuses on Plantinga’s restatement of Anselm’s argument at the expense of Plantinga’s own version of the argument, and that Plantinga anticipates and addresses Rowe’s objection. Although Plantinga concedes that a rational person could reject his argument’s central premise, it might be possible to build on Plantinga’s argument by adding a further step derived from Iris Murdoch, which shows that the existence of God is not only possible but necessary, and therefore actual. This reconstruction is not an ontological argument in its purest form, but a fusion of elements from ontological, moral, and cosmological arguments for the existence of God.

Keywords:   ontological argument, fusion argument, Anselm, Alvin Plantinga, William Rowe, Iris Murdoch

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