Charming jokes

Schopenhauer called the ontological argument for the existence of God a "charming joke". What a charming way of putting it!

Some may think being a charming joke is not that bad for a philosophical argument; at least it is not as bad as just being a joke. However, when a philosopher gets carried away by his cleverness and produces a philosophical argument that is nothing but a charming joke, he may never be able to see that it is nonetheless still a joke simply because it is charming and because the charm is a result of his cleverness. For this reason, a charming joke is worse.


  1. When I first get into Anselm's ontological argument, 'what?!' pops out in my mind at once

  2. Solomon,

    I was just puzzled when I first read the argument.

  3. I think Anselm confidently made this kind of argument because at that time the main epistemic basis (or say, belief) was rationalism (in contrast of empiricism) due to the overwhelming influences of Aristotelian philosophy in the Middle Ages.

    Please correct me if I was wrong.