How Medieval Philosophers Attempted to Prove the Existence of a God

Historical analysis and comparison of theories from St. Anselm and Ibn-Sina

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St. Anselm

“Even the fool is forced to agree that [something god-like] exists in his mind, since he understands this when he hears it, and whatever is understood is in the mind. And surely that [something god-like] cannot exist in the mind alone.”

“Suppose it exists in the mind alone: then it can be conceived to exist in reality; which is greater…Therefore, if that [something god-like] exists in the understanding alone, the very being, [something god-like], is one that which a greater can be conceived. But obviously this is impossible. Hence, there is no doubt that there exists a being, [something god-like], and it exists both in the understanding and in reality.”

Avicenna

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