God’s Existence

  • Ninian Smart
Part of the New Studies in the Philosophy of Religion book series (NSPR)


2.1. Worship and the alleged disproof of Gods existence. An argument which has attempted in a sense to use phenomenology is J. N. Findlay’s celebrated ‘Can God’s Existence be Disproved?’ His position has changed somewhat since he wrote that article, but it is useful to look at the points made by him at that time. The core of the argument is that only a necessary being is really fit to be worshipped: but the notion of necessary being is incoherent; thus the true God cannot exist. Findlay, however, adds, with characteristic subtlety, that you can have as profound a reverence for a focus imaginarius as for a real being (there is almost a Buddhist flavour to his thinking here, as though his God could be Void, a non-thing). However, the nerve of the argument turns on the question of what is worthy to be worshipped. I do not here wish to consider the question of necessary being — I shall accept Findlay’s point here and the general criticisms of the Ontological Argument in recent philosophical literature.


Moral Action Logical Necessity Ontological Argument Logical Sense Christian Religion 
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Copyright information

© Ninian Smart 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ninian Smart
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LancasterUK

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