So the argument is right as long as it is a description of the way in which man encounters reality, namely as finite, implying and being excluded from infinity. The argument is doubtful, is a conclusion which can be attacked, if it is supposed to lead to the existence of a highest being. That is what I wanted to say. Therefore I speak of the “so-called” argument – it is not an argument but an analysis – of the “so-called” existence of God; God is not a being in itself, not even the highest.
In the Proslogion Anselm himself criticizes this argument because it starts with the conditional and makes it the basis of the unconditional, Anselm is right in his criticism if we consider the second part of his argument. but he is not right with respect to the first part, namely there he doesn’t base the infinite on the finite but analyzes the infinite within the finite.
But Anselm wanted more. He wanted a direct argument which doesn’t need the world in order to find God. He wanted to find it in thought itself, Before thought goes outside itself to the world, it should be certain of God. Now this is really what I mean with theonomous thinking. Now how does he do this? I give you now the argument, very slowly, and you should follow it and try to understand it – probably with very little success, because it is extremely Scholastic and extremely far from our modes of thought, I give you then, later, an attempted commentary to it.
He says: “Even the fool is convinced that there is something in the intellect of which nothing greater can be thought, because as soon as he (the fool) hears this, he understands it; and whatever is understood is in the understanding. And certainly, that of which nothing greater can be thought cannot be only in .the intellect, If, namely, it were in the intellect alone, it could be thought to be in reality also, which is more. If, therefore, that of which nothing greater can be thought is in the intellect alone, that of which nothing greater can be thought is something of which something greater can be thought. But this certainly is impossible, Therefore, beyond doubt, something of which nothing greater can be thought, exists in intellect as well as in reality, And this art Thou, our Lord.” Now this last sentence is remarkable because I haven’t read such a sentence in any of our logical treatises in the last few hundred years, that after they have gone through the most sophisticated logical arguing, the end is “and this art Thou, our Lord.” Here again is what I call “theonomy,” It is not a thinking which remains autonomous in itself, but a thinking which goes theonomously into the relationship of the mind and its Divine Ground.
What does this arguing mean? I will give you a point by point analysis: 1) Even the fool – the fool of the Psalms, who says in his heart,”There is no God, understands the meaning of the term “God.” He understands that in the term “God” the highest, the unconditional, is thought. So he has an idea in his mind of something unconditional.