The argument from divine hiddenness : an assessment.
Access changed 10/6/16.
The argument from divine hiddenness against God’s existence has become one of the most important atheistic arguments in the contemporary philosophical literature. In this dissertation I offer an assessment of this argument. Specifically, I provide some needed conceptual clarity to the discussion of the argument from hiddenness and respond to various strands of the contemporary discussion of the argument. In the first chapter I argue that the argument from hiddenness is best understood as a family of arguments, and I give an account of what binds these arguments together. In the second chapter, after surveying extant presentations of arguments from hiddenness, I provide a conceptual map of various ways an argument from hiddenness can be presented. I then in the third chapter I develop a Schellenbergian argument from the existence of inculpable nonbelief which serves as the focus of my critical evaluation. In the fourth chapter I address the relationship between that argument from evil and the argument from hiddenness. Chapters five and six offer critiques of two recent attempts to respond to the argument from evil. Then in the seventh chapter I develop my own response to the Schellenbergian argument from hiddenness, arguing that God would be justified in allowing temporary inculpable favorably disposed nonbelief because of various goods that make possible or are made possible by the existence of nonbelief.