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Divine hiddenness and the value of divine–creature relationships


Apparently, relationships between God (if He exists) and His creatures would be very valuable. Appreciating this value raises the question of whether it can motivate a certain premise in John Schellenberg's argument from divine hiddenness, a premise which claims, roughly, that if some capable, non-resistant subject fails to believe in God, then God does not exist. In this paper, I argue that the value of divine–creature relationships can justify this premise only if we have reason to believe that the counterfactuals of freedom work out in certain ways. Unfortunately, we can't acquire such a reason, at least not without relying on other successful arguments (if there are any) for the relevant premise of Schellenberg's hiddenness argument.

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J. L. Schellenberg The atheist's free will offence’, International Journal for Philosophy of Religion, 56 (2004), 115

Imran Aijaz and Markus Weidler Some critical reflections on the hiddenness argument’, International Journal for Philosophy of Religion, 61 (2007), 1920

Ted Poston and Trent Dougherty Divine hiddenness and the nature of belief’, Religious Studies, 43 (2007), 192194

J. L. Schellenberg Response to Howard-Snyder’, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 26 (1996), 460

J. L. Schellenberg Hiddenness arguments revisited (II)’, Religious Studies, 41 (2005), 287303

idemHiddenness arguments revisited (I)’, Religious Studies, 41 (2005), 201205, 207

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Religious Studies
  • ISSN: 0034-4125
  • EISSN: 1469-901X
  • URL: /core/journals/religious-studies
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