Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

ANSELMIAN ARGUMENT

The famous argument of St. Anselm (1033-1109) of Canterbury (1033-1109) for the existence of God. It is an argument a priori, drawn from the idea of God rather than a posteriori, from the works of God. Anselm used it to refute the fool who says there is no God (Psalm 13). He argues as follows: We call God a being so great that nothing greater can be conceived. This definition is accepted even by the atheist, who admits that God exists at least in the mind of the believer. But that which is so great that one cannot imagine anything greater, cannot exist only in the mind. why not? Because on this supposition one could think of something greater, namely, the same being existing outside the mind, i.e., in reality. Therefore, God exists both in mind and reality. Anselm's argument depends on the realistic metaphysics of Plato and has been the subject of learned discussion over the centuries.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The Complexity of Reforming Religious Communities 2 hours ago
Speaking Softly to Women Religious 24 hours ago
In showdown with American sisters, the Vatican blinked December 16
Policing, torture, reasons of State, and our Christian mistake December 16
Can torture ever be justified? Round II. December 15

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - 1 hours ago