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.
 

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A fascinating argument against the Christian God's existence. This book is a challenging philosophical read but worth every minute. It's a detailed, rigorous argument. The author has an excellent ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction I
4
Some Epistemic Implications of Divine Love
17
Is a Strong Epistemic Situation in Relation to Theism
44
The Reasonableness of Nonbelief
58
A Summation of the Case
83
S Moral Freedom and Its Requirements
95
The Importance of Inwardness
131
Investigation Diversity and Responsibility
168
Conclusion
208
Index
215
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

J. L. Schellenberg is Professor of Philosophy at Mount Saint Vincent University.

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