The God who Seeks but Seems to Hide
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to reconstruct and evaluate two types of responses to an evidential argument from divine hiding, namely the ‘value agnostic’ response and the ‘theodicy’ response. In the study, the term ‘divine hiding’ refers to the experience of all those who find themselves having inconclusive evidence for the existence of God.According to the argument in focus, the fact that there is divine hiding that does not seem to be necessary for any particular greater good, or to avoid a worse evil, makes it improbable that God exists.In accordance with the value agnostic response, it is argued that it would not be surprising if divine hiding were necessary to realise greater goods or to avoid worse evils that are beyond our ken. In which case the goods or avoidance of evils in question could figure in a reason God might have for hiding. It is concluded that the value agnostic response is successful.The theodicy response states that divine hiding is probably necessary to realise greater goods or to avoid worse evils that are within our ken. It is argued that it would not be surprising if the realisation of the goods or avoidance of evils in question would in turn be sufficient for the realisation of worse evils that are beyond our ken. In which case the goods and avoidance of evils referred to in the theodicy response could not figure in a reason God might have for hiding. It is concluded that the theodicy response is a failureFinally, some further problems and prospects on which the study sheds light are discussed. In particular, it is argued that – although believers do not seem to have an evidential problem with believing in a God who seems to hide there might be an existential or practical problem, in particular for non-believers, when seeking a God who seems to hide.
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