The ontological argument is like:
Clear and distinct ideas cannot be doubted and must be trueI have a clear and distinct idea of a triangle. I also have a clear and distinct idea of an absolutely perfect being. The existence of any particular triangle is not included within my conception of a triangle: “A triangle is a planar object made of three straight lines joined at vertices adding to 180deg” does not tell me anything about whether or not there’s a triangle in the real world.
But for an absolutely perfect being to not exist would contradict my definition of an absolutely perfect being, so the existence of a particular absolutely perfect being is contained within my conception of an absolutely perfect being.
Therefore, since clear and distinct ideas cannot be doubted and must be true, it cannot be doubted and must be true that there is an absolutely perfect being, that is to say: a God.
Of course, for hundreds of years now people are like:
Who knows the relationship of your human reasoning to Reality?
Human reasoning can’t stand outside of itself and assess itself against some Absolute Standard of Truth.
Human reasoning can’t say whether or not there even is a Reality, let alone how that Reality relates to human assumptions, perceptions, and logics!
You cannot define God into existence! That’s crazy!
And if people counter with:
But how could I have the idea of perfection in me when I’m not perfect?
The obvious answer is:
You have the sense towards “better” and the sense towards “more” and you can concatenate and iterate them and get “better, better, better ….” , which creates (in a calculus-like sense of ever-approaching though never-reaching) “perfection”.
But what about this idea:
Let me search for a clear and distinct idea of a True Good, aka a Light, aka a God, aka an Absolutely Infinite Substance, aka a True Perfection, etc.
Let me search inside to see if I can discover a clear and distinct idea of Perfect Goodness
Such an idea could not be understood literally. It could not be contained within words. For how could any words really contain that which words like “God” and “perfect being” are attempting to point towards?
What kind of an idea am I then looking for?
We cannot use concepts to prove or disprove the existence of God.But concepts can help both with an inner search for God and with communicating an insight about God (if found) to one’s larger thought.
To the degree concepts adequately point towards God and Godliness and are adequately understood by the contemplater, they can help in both the discovery of an adequate sense of God and Godliness and the philosophical and practical translation/implementation of that adequate sense of God and Godliness.
Good ideas well considered can help one become wiser.
Do we have within the sense of an Absolute Infinite Substance?
Of a Light that creates, sustains, shines through and love-lifts everything and everyone 100%?
Of an aware, honest, clear, kind, joyfully sharing Way?
Can we prove God to ourselves experientially by contemplating an ontological proof of God?
I find perfection within me, though I am not perfect.
Therefore, God exists.
I have a clear and distinct idea of an absolutely infinite substance, which is a self-caused and self-sustained entity whose existence flows perfectly from its perfect essence.
But the essence of an absolutely infinite substance, unlike the essence of a triangle, contains existence within it: for an absolutely infinite substance to not exist contradicts the essence of an absolutely infinite substance (which includes all perfections, none of which are very effective without existence) and thus also the essence of the idea of an absolutely infinite substance contains existence in it.
So the absolutely infinite substance necessarily exists.
There can’t be more than one absolutely infinite substance because the ais is complete and infinite, leaving no space of any kind (mental, material, spiritual) within which anything that was not dependent upon and flowing off of the ais could exist. But another ais would be self-caused and self-sustained. Therefore (as we said already), there can only be one ais.
Everything in existence must either be the ais or that which the ais causes and sustains.
All the universes must therefore flow off of and be sustained by the ais.
Pretty metaphysical poetry; but what if meditating on it starts to build an experience within us that transcends the ideas that sketch it?
How would that work? And what use could we make of such an experiential proof of God?