Activity – Ontological Argument

August 16, 2018
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Answer the question at the end of these dialogues.

Dialogue 1: How does your reply relate to Kant’s argument?

Wizard: I can create anything that you can imagine.

Boy: I am imagining a unicorn.

Wizard: Describe it to me.

Boy: Well, basically it’s a white horse with a golden horn in the middle of its forehead. And it has a brown patch on its left flank. And it answers to the name of ‘Rupert’.

Wizard (waving his wand): Now, open the door.

Boy: Gracious, it’s my unicorn! Hello, Rupert.

Wizard: So how does your description of your imagined unicorn differ from your description of this real unicorn? Are they the same or not?

Dialogue 2: What, according to Kant and Russell, is the error contained in the following dialogue?

President: I need a new Secretary of State.

Adviser 1: Well, there’s Smith, Mr President. He speaks eight languages, is very rich, and thinks you’re wonderful.

Adviser 2: And then there’s Jones, Mr President. He also speaks eight languages, is very rich, and thinks you’re the best President we’ve ever had. President: What sensible men! But how can I choose between them? They seem identical.

Adviser 1: Oh, Smith’s the better choice, Mr President. He has one quality that Jones lacks. President: What’s that?

Adviser 1: He exists.

source: Michael Palmer A Question of God, page 13


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