Occasionally I get sucked into posts that my Google alerts find me, and recently I got sucked into this one. I think what may annoy me the most about religious postings is the attempt to justify belief through logic. The post is about the Ontological argument of St. Anselm. Aside from the amusement of the argument and the author’s attempt to explain it is his all too quick retreat, when questioned, to two of the most common religious cop-outs, the link to someone else who explains it better and my favorite, “you just need faith.” When you can’t adequately explain something yourself, then that’s a problem and calls into question why you should believe something that you can’t explain. When the only real way to believe something is to use faith however, then that should be a red light.
The author claims the argument is a brain twister. The only brain twisting is done by the believer who tries, against all reason, to make this failed argument support their belief. If you don’t come to the argument already believing what it tries to prove, then it’s quite a simple and easily dismissable argument. It does beg the question why, if one already believes, that they’d need this “proof”. Is faith not enough? The author said, “Reason, for all its wonder, has its limit and can become rationalization. It needs faith, like faith need it.” It appears to me that it’s faith, for all its wonder, that has its limit and requires reason. When it can’t get it, it resorts to rationalizations, and those rationalizations can be quite brain twisting.