In this post I will look at a modified Anselmian model of the Divine Essence. I will argue that this modified version is more reasonable than not and that it is wholly incompatible with the Eastern view of the Divine essence, thereby showing that Eastern Orthodoxy is necessarily false.
Here are some ontological arguments and then after I will briefly show how these are incompatible with the Eastern view of the Divine Essence:
The Three strongest ontological arguments:
The one that is falsely attributed to Anselm, but it is still valid and sound:
1) I can think of the greatest possible being (or I define God as the greatest possible being)
2) It is better to exist in reality and in thought than just merely in thought
3) Since the greatest possible being is the greatest then he will have everything that is better to have rather than not to have those great things
4) If the greatest possible being does not exist in reality and in thought then he is not the greatest possible being
5) The greatest possible being would not be the greatest possible being which is a contradiction
6) Therefore, The greatest possible being exists in reality and in thought and this is what we call God
Answering the most popular objection: It is often objected to this argument that just because I can think of the greatest possible thing doesn’t mean that it exists because I can think of the greatest possible Island, animal, house, or girl but that doesn’t mean that those things exists. The problem with this counter argument is it over looks the definition of God as being the greatest possible being. If God is the greatest possible being then he would have only those attributes that would be great to have rather than not have those attributes. One of those great making attributes is that God is entirely unique from the creation which is his creation is lesser than God in many ways. One of those ways in which his creation is lesser is that God is the only being that in his definition or nature there contains a claim of existence. In other words God would be better if he was the only being that could be shown to exist merely by contemplating him rather than not. Since God is the greatest possible being then he is the only being that could be shown to exist merely by contemplating him since this displays a great making property of God, namely his utter uniqueness from the lesser created things.
Here is my version of the argument:
P1: I can think of the greatest possible being (G*)
P2: It is better to be necessary iff one were G* rather than not
P3: G* entails that he will have every property that is better to have rather than not
P4: G* is necessary
C: Hence, G* exists and exists necessarily and we call this being God.
Here's Moreland’s formulation of the ontological argument:
1. A maximally perfect being possibly exists.
2. If a being is a maximally perfect being, it exists
in all possible worlds.
3. The actual world is a possible world.
4. Therefore, a maximally perfect being exists in the
Now let's get to the incompatibility with this reasonable and ontologically robust view of the Divine Essence's with the Eastern view of The Divine Essence.
P1: A Essential feature of Eastern Orthodoxy is the rejection of God's existence
P2: Anselmian Perfect being theology demonstrates that God exists necessarily
C: Hence, Eastern Orthodoxy is essentially and necessarily false
The Divine Essence in Eastern Theology does not exist but it is not true that it doesn't exists (the way of negation), but in Anselmian perfect being theology God's essence exists because this is true by definition thus the eastern view is necessarily false since they believe that God's essence doesn't exist. Furthermore, The East doesn't think the Divine Essense is contigent or necessary, but on perfect being theology and philosophy (the second and third argument) the divine essence exists necessarily thus if one holds to perfect being theology he would be most reasonable in thinking that the conception of the Divine essence in Eastern Orthodoxy is necessarily false. From these conclusions it is more reasonable than not that eastern orthodoxy in necessarily false if one wants to think that God is the greatest possible being.