On Religious Attitudes
Appleby (Peter C.)
Source: Religious Studies Vol. 6, No. 4 (Dec., 1970), pp. 359-368
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Conclusion

    The conclusion to be drawn from all this, I believe, is that the criteria of adequacy for objects of worship, such as they are, do in fact define a limited range of religiously acceptable deities, but one which is much broader than many philosophers have realised it to be. I have argued that if a reasonably intelligent and well-informed inhabitant of a modern civilisation were tempted to worship anything, he would require a deity of great power, knowledge and goodness, one who is not subject to the usual vicissitudes of time, and one who is capable of personal communication with humans. These considerations rule out gods who are feeble, stupid or malevolent, and the ineffable Absolutes of many metaphysical systems. But they leave open a broad range between the outer limits of immanence and transcendence, a range which cannot be further restricted by analysis of religious attitudes alone. The conflicts between finitist and traditional theologies, between the theory of divine immutability and process metaphysics1, and between monotheism and polytheism will have to be resolved on other grounds. And so will the question whether there are in fact any appropriate objects of the attitudes of worship.

    This paper responds to an assumption about religious attitudes in "Findlay (J.N.) - Can God's Existence Be Disproved?", but – going by the conclusion – it doesn’t look hugely relevant to discussion of the Ontological Argument, of which Findlay’s paper is a negative version.

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