Statesboro, GA, USA
Anselem's Ontological argument, interpreted as some kind of obejective "proof" for God's existence, is more than weak. As you've rightly pointed out, and idea doesn't necessarily correspond to reality. However, most Christian apologists do not interpret it so, or use it as such. There are many other evidences for God (the moral argument, argument from design, evidential argument, historical arguments), that converge, and make what can be considered "good reason" for believing. But, as Ron has noted, none of these are proof. None are incontrovertible. Given the importance of commitment and love, in the Christian view, it seems that it was meant to be this way. That doesn't leave us with complete fideism, however, else Christian apologetics wouldn't even be an interesting conversation. It just so happens that an atheistic view of things, a hard agnosticism, or pragmatism, or whatever you want to call it, involves a lot of ambiguity and puzzlement as well, and requires its own kind of commitment ... or postponement of commitment, whichever you prefer. As Geddy Lee of Rush once sang, "If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice".
Having debunked the ontological argument along with you, I still find it interesting (Barth's interpretation is worth looking into), as it brings up the whole concept of perfection, and raises the question of why it is there in the first place. A longing for such a being, in not a few, is an intriguing phenomenon. Hunger denotes the existence of food, even when a man happens to be starving.
Brad, I think the goal of the best of Christian apologetics has been to open minds, not to shut mouths. For as difficult as the synthesis of "God told me to", and "it was the right thing to do" is, that's nothing compared to the tension of believing there really is a "right thing to do" without God. Making the two synonymous, as you said, may not be necessary, if we reflect on the human condition of having a conscience which is, in the main, reliable. Yet it is prone to corruption (an occasion for correction by God), and even when not we are prone to ignore it or suppress it (an occasion for reiteration by God). And so, the two may be related without being equated.
And Ron, You and I seem to have much in common (we both believe in Christ and God, and we both think absolute proof is presently an enemy to faith and devotion). But I've noticed that in these conversations, you argue very little corresponding reasons to believe. Would you consider your approach one of complete fideism? Or am I misunderstanding?