[Milton-L] Satan and Resentment

James Rovira jamesrovira at gmail.com
Sat Jan 29 11:09:45 EST 2011


Mr. Lindall --

I don't think that you understand Anselm's notion of perfection if you
think that it applies to either the Biblical or Milton's Satan, or to
any other contingent being.  What you are thinking of is the
"Gaunilo's island" refutation of the ontological argument, in which
Anselm's contemporary, Gaunilo of Maumortiers, argued that the most
perfectly conceived island could well be a fiction.  The problem with
this refutation is that Anselm's argument refers to the greatest
conceivable being of all -- a category over all being, not just one
type or expression of being.  God is not one of his own ideal forms
but the ground upon which all other forms exist, so is the greatest
conceivable.  All contingent beings are necessarily lesser beings.

I prefer Kant's refutation of the ontological argument, in which he
asserts that existence is not a predicate.  I have read that there are
versions of the ontological argument that get around Kant's objection,
however.

Jim R

On Sat, Jan 29, 2011 at 10:53 AM, Terrance Lindall <tlindall at gmail.com> wrote:
> Ok. But the arguments AGAINST St. Anslem's argument are precisely that any
> type of perfect being can be proven to exist. Now, to me "that being" might
> be considered to designate any "Thing," going beyond St. Anselm's limited
> intentions. So, St. Anselm's argument is not proven wrong by the criticism
> aforementioned, it merely proves Plato's Theory of Forms. And to me St.
> Anselm's argument has NEVER been proven wrong.


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