Divine Hiddenness and Human Reason

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Cornell University Press, 2006 - Philosophy - 217 pages
In this clearly written and tightly argued book, J. L. Schellenberg addresses a fundamental yet neglected religious problem. If there is a God, he asks, why is his existence not more obvious? Traditionally, theists have claimed that God is hidden in order to account for the fact that the evidence of his existence is as weak as it is. Schellenberg maintains that, given the understanding of God's moral character to which theists are committed, this claim runs into serious difficulty. There are grounds, the author writes, for thinking that the perfectly loving God of theism would not be hidden, that such a God would put the fact of his existence beyond reasonable nonbelief. Since reasonable nonbelief occurs, Schellenberg argues, it follows that there is here an argument of considerable force for atheism. In developing his claim, Schellenberg carefully examines the relevant views of such theists as Pascal, Butler, Kierkegaard, Hick, and others. He clarifies their suggestions concerning Divine hiddenness and shows how they fall short of providing a rebuttal for the argument he presents. That argument, he concludes, poses a serious challenge to theism, to which contemporary theists must seek to respond. The first full-length treatment of its topic, Divine Hiddenness and Human Reason will be of interest to anyone who has sought to reach a conclusion as to God's existence, and especially to theologians and philosophers of religion.


Introduction I
Some Epistemic Implications of Divine Love
Is a Strong Epistemic Situation in Relation to Theism
The Reasonableness of Nonbelief
A Summation of the Case
S Moral Freedom and Its Requirements
The Importance of Inwardness
Investigation Diversity and Responsibility

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About the author (2006)

J. L. Schellenberg is Professor of Philosophy at Mount Saint Vincent University and Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Graduate Studies at Dalhousie University. He is the author of Divine Hiddenness and Human Reason, Prolegomena to a Philosophy of Religion, The Wisdom to Doubt: A Justification of Religious Skepticism, and The Will to Imagine: A Justification of Skeptical Religion, all from Cornell.

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