Ontological proof: "Waltzing St. Anselm"

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Feb 7, 1983, 9:51:51 PM2/7/83
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"Waltzing St. Anselm"

Lyrics by St. Anselm and Charles S. Harris

To be sung (with some ingenuity) to the tune of "Waltzing, Matilda"


If that than which nothing gre-a-ter can be conceived
Can be conceiv'ed not to exist,
Then 'tis not that than which nothing gre-a-ter can be conceived;
This is unquestionable, I insist.

Thus spake St. Anselm, thus spake St. Anselm--
Never forgotten, though centuries dead.
And we're awed as we read his proof so ontological;
How can we question a word that he said?

For in that case a being gre-a-ter can be conceived,
Whose major traits we can easily list:
Namely, that than which nothing gre-a-ter can be conceived,
And which can NOT be conceived not to exist.

Chorus

If that than which nothing gre-a-ter can be conceived
Has no existence outside of Man's mind,
Then 'tis not that than which nothing gre-a-ter can be conceived,
Due to the way that the words are defined.

For in that case a being gre-a-ter can be conceived--
This is, of course, analytically true--
Namely, that than which nothing gre-a-ter can be conceived,
And which exists in Reality, too.

Thus spake St. Anselm, thus spake St. Anselm,
Thus spake St. Anselm, with weighty intent.
And we're awed as we read his proof so ontological;
Would that we could understand what he meant.

_______________________________________________________________
Copyright 1961 by Charles S. Harris.
This song may be sung or reproduced, without written permission,
by students or faculty members in any department of
theology or philosophy.

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