Divine hiddenness and the one sheep

International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 79 (1):69-86 (2016)
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Next to the problem of evil, the problem of divine hiddenness has become the most prominent argument for atheism in the current literature. The basic idea is that if God really existed, He would make sure that anyone able and willing to engage in relationship with Him would have a rationally indubitable belief in Him at all times. But as a matter of fact we see that the world includes nonresistant nonbelievers. Therefore God doesn’t exist. Here I propose a reply to the problem that shifts focus from the nonresistant nonbelievers to those who are resistant. I claim, Howard-Snyder, and others) that for many such people, having God’s reality forced upon them unwillingly might result in significant spiritual/moral harm, inhibiting their ability to develop a positive relationship with God. general critique of any strategy that references the notion of God’s proper non-revelation to the resistant.) If this is true, it could help explain why God refrains from revealing Himself in a rationally indubitable manner not only to the resistant, but even to the nonresistant. Why? Because it may be that under present circumstances God is actually more concerned about the welfare of the resistant than of the willing; and revealing Himself to all of the willing could actually result in the truth of theism being forced on the resistant



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Travis Dumsday
Concordia University of Edmonton

References found in this work

The Existence of God.Richard Swinburne - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
The Existence of God.Richard Swinburne - 2004 - Oxford University Press UK.
Providence and the Problem of Evil.Richard Swinburne - 1998 - Oxford University Press UK.
Divine Hiddenness and Human Reason.J. L. Schellenberg - 1993 - Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

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