Anselmian Perfect being theology and philosophy argues for the Divine properties from the conception of God being the greatest possible being. In this blog post I will argue for the traditional western conception of God on the basis of Perfect being theology and philosophy.
The formula to determine what properties God has in Anselmian Perfect Being theology is the following propositions:
P1: God is the greatest possible being
P2: God being the greatest possible being entails that he will have every property that is better to have rather than not.
P3: It is better to have x rather than not
C: Hence, God has x
This is an example of how this would work in practice: Reformed Theology wants to say that God is omniscient which means He knows all true propositions even future ones.
Lets apply this to the argument formula provided above:
P3: It is better to have omniscience rather than not
C: Hence, God is omniscient
This seems pretty reasonable considering that we think that it is better to know things rather than being completely ignorant. Thus, it seems more reasonable than not to think a greater being would know every truth rather than not.
From this example we see that the concept of God as the greatest possible being acts as a sort of divine properties generating machine; that is to say: we can apply this formula to warrant many of the properties we would want to predicate of God.
Here are some more Divine Properties that God has in Reformed Theology and in Traditional Western theology:
1) Omnipotence: being able to do anything that is logically possible and great (this is a good combination of Anselm's and Aquinas's Definition of omnipotence)
2) Morally Perfect: Being of the highest moral perfection and grounding moral perfection it-self
3) Omnipresent: God being conscience of ever event and point in History, God is not bound to any particular historical event but is boundlessly present at every point in the natural world.
4) Immutability: God's essential, necessary, and intrinsic properties are such that they are not subject to any sort of change.
5) Impassibility: No one can act on God, God only acts on all things. Thus, God in his Divine nature cannot be destroyed, suffer, or be injured.
6) Atemporal: God is timeless. He is not bound by time or bound inside of time.
7) Eternal: God does not begin to exist, but he always exists.
8) Aseity: God is only dependent upon himself.
Reasons for believing 1-8 (the numbers below corresponds with the numbers above)
1) When we think of a great being we tend to think of him being able to a lot of great things rather than being able to either do a) really bad things or b) nothing good at all all.
2) This one is perhaps the most obvious a perfect being is better than a evil being.
3) A God that is everywhere at once is better than a God that is limited to time and space.
4) If God is already the greatest possible being then why would he need to change if he already is the greatest.
5) A God that can be damaged and is not the source of action on everything is not as good as a God who cannot be damaged and acts on everything.
6) A God who is bound by time is not as great as a God who is not constrained by time or atemporal.
7) If God is the greatest possible being then it would be better if he always existed rather than not because this makes him unique from his creation and the it is better for the best to always be existing.
8) Everything outside of God is not as great so it seems that a being that is only dependent upon himself as the greatest possible being would be the greatest possible being.
All one has to show is that there is more reason to believe that 1-8 is greater to have rather than not in order to show that God has these properties. The way we justify that these properties are better to possess rather than not is our intuition. Intuition is basically our mental seeing. We sort of just see that 1+1=2 and we just sort of see that murdering infants for fun is in fact wrong. We cannot give arguments for these sort of things but they are reasonable to believe. This is just like it is reasonable to believe that you see a tree in front of you and that you believe rightly that a tree exists in front of you. You cannot give any argument apart from saying "look and see the tree is in front of me". Likewise, you cannot give a argument for these apart from just using your mental conception to see that one is better to have rather than not.
The Divine properties 1-8 are properties had by the traditional Western concept of God and since these properties are more reasonable to believe rather than not then we are warranted in believing that a God such as this exists.