Of God and His Creatures

St Thomas means: 'If I form a notion of a thing, and then get a name to express that notion, it does not follow that the thing, answering to such name and notion, exists.' St Anselm's disciples reply: 'True of the notions of all other things, as islands or dollars, which may or may not be; but not true of the notion of that one thing, whereof existence is a very part of the notion.' In other words, whereas St Thomas denies the lawfulness of the transition from the ideal to the actual order, they maintain that the transition is lawful in arguing the existence of that one Being, who is the actuality of all that is ideal. 'But is such actuality possible?' 'It is conceivable, therefore possible.' 'It may be conceivable, only because it is conceived inadequately, without insight into the inconsistencies which it involves.' 'You have no right to assume inconsistencies where you discern none,' rejoins Leibnitz. And so this 'ontological argument' will be tossed up and down, as an apple of discord, to the end.

Of God and His Creatures: 1.11