form of the cosmological argument, which, as we now see, must be valid if the ontological is so.) But, as is logically self- evident, from an abstract proposition alone only abstract propositions can follow. For the more concrete a proposition is, the logically stronger it is, or the more it asserts; and from the logically weaker, the logically stronger cannot follow. Moreover, a proposition can scarcely be weaker than 'something exists'. Hence 'divinity exists', which follows from it, as from any proposition, must be similarly abstract or weak in what it commits us to. In addition, any necessary proposition whatever that is true of God must be on the same level of abstractness. Take, then, the proposition, 'God knows that you and I exist'. This proposition has concrete reference and so cannot be necessary; nor can it follow from the proposition, 'God, an omniscient being, exists'. For this might be true though it were also true that you and I did not exist, and obviously what was false would not be known to be true, even--of especially--by God. Thus Anselm, had his mind been free to reflect without fear or favor on the meaning of God's necessity, should have seen that God's necessary existence must be very different indeed from His total concrete or factual reality. The divine necessity is that such abstract traits or 'perfections' as 'knowing all there is to know' must be realized in some concrete form, with respect to some concrete world of knowable things, but not necessarily in the form and with respect to the world which actually obtain.
Suppose that what we have said so far is correct; would it follow that God has been proved to exist? Not quite. The
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Publication information: Book title: Anselm's Discovery:A Re-Examination of the Ontological Proof for God's Existence. Contributors: Charles Hartshorne - Author. Publisher: Open Court. Place of publication: La Salle, IL. Publication year: 1965. Page number: 48.
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