David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Canadian Journal of Philosophy 26 (3):433 - 453 (1996)
Do we rightly expect a perfectly loving God to bring it about that, right now, we reasonably believe that He exists? It seems so. For love at its best desires the well-being of the beloved, not from a distance, but up close, explicitly participating in her life in a personal fashion, allowing her to draw from that relationship what she may need to flourish. But why suppose that we would be significantly better off were God to engage in an explicit, personal relationship with us? Well, first, there would be broadly moral benefits. We would be able to draw on the resources of that relationship to overcome seemingly everpresent flaws in our character. And we would be more likely to emulate the self-giving love with which we were loved. So loved, we would be more likely to flourish as human beings. Secondly, there would be experiential benefits. We would be, for example, more likely to experience peace and joy stemming from the strong conviction that we were properly related to our Maker, security in suffering knowing that, ultimately, all shall be well, and there would be the sheer pleasure of God's loving presence. As a consequence of these moral and experiential benefits, our relationships with others would likely improve. Thirdly, to be personally related to God is intrinsically valuable, indeed, according to the Christian tradition, the greatest intrinsic good. In these ways our well-being would be enhanced if God were to relate personally to us. Moreover, the best love does not seek a personal relationship only for the sake of the beloved. As Robert Adams rightly notes, "It is an abuse of the word 'love' to say that one loves a person, or any other object, if one does not care, except instrumentally, about one's relation to that object."1 Thus, God would want a personal relationship with us not only for the benefit we would receive from it but for its own sake as well. So, if a perfectly loving God exists, He wants a personal relationship with us, or more accurately, every capable creature, those cognitively and affectively equipped to relate personally with Him..
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Justin P. McBrayer (2010). Skeptical Theism. Philosophy Compass 5 (7):611-623.
Travis Dumsday (2014). Divine Hiddenness and Divine Humility. Sophia 53 (1):51-65.
Similar books and articles
Daniel Howard-Snyder (1996). The Argument From Divine Hiddenness. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 26 (3):433-453.
Stephen Maitzen (2006). Divine Hiddenness and the Demographics of Theism. Religious Studies 42 (2):177-191.
Eric Roark (2006). Aquinas's Unsuccessful Theodicy. Philosophy and Theology 18 (2):247-256.
Paul K. Moser (2008). The Elusive God: Reorienting Religious Epistemology. Cambridge University Press.
Daniel Howard-Snyder & Frances Howard-Snyder (1993). The Christian Theodicist's Appeal to Love. Religious Studies 29 (2):185 - 192.
Robert T. Lehe (2004). A Response to the Argument From the Reasonableness of Nonbelief. Faith and Philosophy 21 (2):159-174.
Imran Aijaz & Markus Weidler (2007). Some Critical Reflections on the Hiddenness Argument. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 61 (1):1 - 23.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads58 ( #73,868 of 1,907,150 )
Recent downloads (6 months)9 ( #78,743 of 1,907,150 )
How can I increase my downloads?