Today is the day of St. Anselm according to the calendar of both the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church. Archbishop of Canterbury from 1093 to 1109, Anselm is perhaps most famous for proposing the ontological argument: if the greatest possible being exists in the mind, it must also exist in reality, so therefore God must be real.
I can remember sitting through lessons at school, completely baffled by the idea that you could argue for the existence of God. I used to sit through lessons thinking ‘surely you believe in God or you don’t, and that’s all there is to it!’ Perhaps I was naïve, but if so then I think I still am! If it were possible to prove God’s existence through reason and logic then there would be no need for faith, and surely faith is the foundation of belief in God? Anselm did say that he couldn’t have knowledge unless he first believed:
He wrote, “Neque enim quaero intelligere ut credam, sed credo ut intelligam. Nam et hoc credo, quia, nisi credidero, non intelligam. ” (“Nor do I seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe that I may understand. For this, too, I believe, that, unless I first believe, I shall not understand.”) – thank you Wikipedia!
But I think it’s an interesting idea – trying to prove God’s existence. By trying to do so, it seems to me to be an affirmation of faith and a desire to share faith with others. Although it’s just not my cup of tea!