IMG_1571_edited_edited.jpg

ABOUT THE PROJECT

​​A central aim of the project is to shift the terms of the debate by bringing the tools of formal epistemology to bear on the problem of divine hiddenness. In particular, we think that there are exciting and promising avenues of research to be explored when divine hiddenness is viewed as an evidential argument.

The project will focus its research efforts on two fronts. First, it seeks to advance evidential formulation of the problem of divine hiddenness by considering, for example, the probability that individuals would have the evidence concerning God that they claim to have (religious experience, miracle reports, etc.), if God does not exist. Second, the project seeks to develop empirically-informed explanations of why some individuals may fail to 'uptake' evidence for God's existence.

Over the past three decades, philosophical interest in the problem of divine hiddenness has seen remarkable growth. The argument as advanced by J.L. Schellenberg has been extremely influential—much of the current literature is comprised by various replies to Schellenberg's framing of the problem. The project aims to explore divine hiddenness as a family of problems, and in this way to introduce new formulations of the problem into the literature, thereby expanding philosophical thinking about divine hiddenness and encouraging novel approaches to the problem.

RESEARCH TOPICS

  • Does 'hiddenness' provide evidence against God?  How is a probabilistic argument for hiddenness best formulated?

  • What it is for evidence for and against the existence of God to be counterbalanced and does this ground a higher-order evidential argument from divine hiddenness?

  • How should appreciation of the various factors that influence one’s gathering of evidence affect how we think about divine hiddenness?

  • Psychological influences that inhibit, promote, or explain disparity in evidential uptake among individuals, including desire-influenced perception (or, wishful seeing).

  • What can we reasonably expect of God when it comes to evidence or availability of presence?

  • The role of religious disagreement in determining whether or not God is ‘hidden’.

  • The bearing of findings in cognitive science of religion (CSR) on the probability that people would not find the evidence for God’s existence compelling if God does not exist.

  • The relevance of attachment theory and God-attribution theory for the problem of divine hiddenness

  • Does divine hiddenness provide evidence distinct from the problem of evil?