Atheism- Theism – The Ontological argument for God

The ontological argument attempts to prove that a “maximally great being” must exist, that being God.

God is the greatest thing ever. Things that exist are greater than things that don’t. Therefore, God must exist.

Is existence better?

The argument asserts that non-existence is a flaw. Since God, by definition, has no flaws, he must exist. It’s better to exist than not exist.

That’s a rather peculiar way to look at the world. Are unicorns more flawed than horses?

Think of a webpage chocked full of text, images and more. It would be unreadable, unusable even. That’s why in web design, there is ‘white space’ around the elements of text and images there is white space. This non-existence or emptiness allows the page to be understood. Without such space the parts would all be crammed up against each other.

In Japanese art, this emptiness or negative space (Ma) is significant, even a part of the composition of the art.

Left panel of the Pine Trees screen (Shōrin-zu byōbu (松林図 屏風)) by Hasegawa Tōhaku. From Wikipedia

Non-existence is necessary, because space is room for motion to occur. Most of the cosmos is empty space, the atom is almost all empty space.. Therefore non-existence is critical for existence.

Another thought is non-existence of life is the building block of life—the matter of atoms and particles. So existence of life is born from non-existence of life. No empty space, no chemistry, no life.

In Buddhism, the boundless emptiness is what existence is. It’s the Idea of Non-Self or Anatman in Buddhism. There is no intrinsic, fixed, perpetual self to existence—everything is in motion.

Limited by Thought

God is defined as that ‘which no greater can be conceived’

The oddity of the statement further suggests that God is the greatest thing we can think of.
But does this limit God to our thoughts? If I can’t be thought of, it doesn’t exist.
It suggests that God has limits, as our minds do. Showing that people create gods. Gods exist as we define God. It’s our creativity as it works here.

By drawing up boundaries (what something is and is not) and creating a concept or a being, we give existence to the imagination. Did atoms not exist prior to our idea of them? Viruses? Black Holes? Maybe they did, and it was ignorance on our part.

The objection here is you can’t make existence predicated on defining things. The cosmos doesn’t fit itself to our ideas (or their absence); we fit our ideas to the cosmos. To merely state something exists or doesn’t does not make it so. To believe the cosmos bend itself to fit our knowledge or ignorance is to follow the fallacy of Hypostatisation.


God is imagined as maximally great at the thing we value and like, but what of the those things we don’t. What about negative features, things we don’t like, are they maximally incoherent, vague?

If not then it’s cherry picking feature, limiting god to what thing we find desirable, and therefore showing god to be man made, a way to assuage our insecurity. They way they use logic and reason means it’s always a slave to their neediness.

The greatest thing we can imagine, but are we imagining the God? God is often portrayed as mysterious beyond comprehension, beyond imagination, conceptual. So God is not maximally great because to be great is what we can’t conceive.