, Volume 52, Issue 1, pp 95-114
Date: 18 Oct 2011

Divine Hiddenness and Discrimination: A Philosophical Dilemma

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Abstract

Since its first delivery in 1993, J.L. Schellenberg’s atheistic argument from divine hiddenness keeps generating lively debate in various quarters in the philosophy of religion. Over time, the author has responded to many criticisms of his argument, both in its original evidentialist version and in its subsequent conceptualist version. One central problem that has gone undetected in these exchanges to date, we argue, is how Schellenberg’s explicit-recognition criterion for revelation contains discriminatory tendencies against mentally handicapped persons. Viewed from this angle, our present critique imparts Schellenberg’s position with a philosophical dilemma: (1) endorsing divine discrimination to the effect that God does not love ‘cognitive-affective outsiders’ or (2) giving up on explicit recognition. Either way, the hiddenness argument does not succeed.