is necessary existence. But then, since 'necessarily-existing cat', like 'perfect island', is an absurdity, the reductio is therefore invalid (since anything can be deduced from an absurd concept, taken not to be absurd).
Concerning particular and universal statements: 'God exists' is not 'particular' in the same sense as 'cats exist' is so. As we saw in Part One, 'Greatness exists' is, in a relevant sense, as nonparticular as 'some individuals exist', which Reichenbach in his logic allows to be an assumption of logic itself.
I think we can dismiss this refutation, along with so many others like it, as missing the mark.
The most important contribution since Kant to the Anselmian controversy, on its skeptical side, has in my judgment been made by this author.
The proofs [for God's existence] based on the necessities of thought are universally regarded as fallacious; it is not thought possible to build bridges between mere abstractions and concrete existence . . . Religious people have . . . come to acquiesce in the total absence of any cogent proofs of the Being they believe in; they even find it positively satisfying . . . And nonreligious people . . . don't so much deny the existence of a God, as the existence of good reasons for believing in Him. We shall, however, maintain that there isn't room, in the case we are examining, for all these attitudes of . . . doubt. For . . . the Divine Existence can only be conceived, in a religiously satisfactory manner, if we also conceive it as something inescapable and necessary, whether for thought or reality. From which it follows that our modern denial of necessity or rational evidence for such an existence amounts to a demonstration that there cannot be a God.
. . . We ask . . . whether it isn't wholly anomalous to worship anything limited in any thinkable manner. For all limited superior-