Faith and Philosophy

Volume 38, Issue 4, October 2021

Gregory R. P. StaceyOrcid-ID
Pages 431-459

Simply the Best?
Ontological Arguments, Meinongianism, and Classical Theism

Some critics claim that ontological arguments are dialectically ineffective against sceptics, whatever the sceptics’ broader metaphysical commitments. In this paper, I examine and contest arguments for this conclusion. I suggest that such critics overlook important claims about God’s nature (viz. divine simplicity and divine inimitability) typically advanced by proponents of ontological arguments who endorse classical theism. I reformulate two representative ontological arguments in light of this characterization of God, arguing that for philosophers prepared to endorse Meinongianism or modal Platonism, alongside divine simplicity and inimitability, such arguments are not invalid, question-begging, or obviously liable to parody. Accordingly, two species of ontological argument may possess some persuasive force, albeit for a select audience.