Divine Hiddenness and the Suffering Unbeliever Argument


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Abstract
In this essay, I propose two arguments from Thomas Aquinas’s reflection on theism and faith to rebut Schellenberg’s claim that divine hiddenness justifies atheism. One of those arguments, however, may be employed so as to re-propose Schellenberg’s conviction, which is crucial to his argument, that there are ‘non-resistant’ or ‘inculpable’ unbelievers. I then advance what I call the suffering unbeliever argument. In short, the unbelievers mentioned by Schellenberg are expected to suffer because of their non-belief, which—as Schellenberg says—prevents them from achieving the greatest possible well-being. If they suffer, however, they cannot consider themselves unbelievers, since one cannot suffer from not having been given a certain good if one believes that the good in question has never existed. If they do not suffer, on the other hand, there is simply nothing for which they can consider themselves inculpable.
Keywords Schellenberg, Aquinas, evidence, non-resistant unbelievers, faith
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DOI 10.24204/ejpr.v0i0.2956
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References found in this work BETA

Summa Theologica.Thomas Aquinas - 1274 - Hayes Barton Press.
Providence and the Problem of Evil.John Hick - 1998 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 47 (1):57-61.
Divine Openness and Creaturely Non-Resistant Non-Belief.Daniel Howard-Snyder - 2016 - In Adam Green & Eleonore Stump (eds.), Hidden Divinity and Religious Belief: New Perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
What is the Problem of the Hiddenness of God?Peter Van Inwagen - 2002 - In Daniel Howard-Snyder & Paul K. Moser (eds.), Divine Hiddenness: New Essays. Cambridge University Press.

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