Search this journal:     Advanced search
Original Research

How can we know the existence of God: Anselm and Aquinas?

Chibuikem C. Nnaeme

Verbum et Ecclesia; Vol 36, No 1 (2015), 6 pages. doi: 10.4102/ve.v36i1.1486

Submitted: 08 June 2015
Published:  26 November 2015


This article is concerned with how we can know about the existence of God. In attempting to do this, the article will single out two medieval thinkers, Anselm and Aquinas, and will examine their stances on the subject. The former holds, as exemplified in his ontological proof,that human beings can rationally know the existence of God, whilst the latter objects to theformer’s claim by proffering that human beings can know God’s existence through effects of God’s creation. Over the years these positions have appealed to people who defend eitherstr and of the argument. Such a followership makes worthwhile my efforts to contribute to the ongoing debate. It is my intention to show the argument of each of these positions and indicate which is more plausible to human beings. It is vital to note that Anselm and Aquinas both accept the existence of God; therefore, the existence of God is not in question for them.The article will only concentrate on where the two thinkers differ in terms of how human beings can know God’s existence.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This article challenges idealists’philosophy that human beings can prove God’s existence from the concept, God, as epitomisedby Anselm’s ontological argument. The critique of the argument through the application of Aquinas’s realism exposes the limitedness of the human beings in epistemological conception of the absolute metaphysical reality.

Full Text:  |  HTML  |  EPUB  |  XML  |  PDF (198KB)

Author affiliations

Chibuikem C. Nnaeme, Health Economics and HIV and AIDS Research Division, University of Kwazulu-Natal, Westville Campus, South Africa


Total abstract views: 571
Total article views: 1207


No related citations found

Comments on this article

Before posting your comment, please read our policy.
Post a Comment (Login required)

ISSN: 1609-9982 (print) | ISSN: 2074-7705 (online)

Connect on: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube

Subscribe to our newsletter

All articles published in this journal are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license, unless otherwise stated.

Website design & content: ©2016 AOSIS (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved. No unauthorised duplication allowed.

AOSIS Publishing | Empowering Africa through access to knowledge
Postnet Suite #110, Private Bag X19, Durbanville, South Africa, 7551
Tel: 086 1000 381 
Tel: +27 21 975 2602 
Fax: 086 5004 974

publishing(AT) replace (AT) with @

Please read the privacy statement.