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i. new approaches to divine hiddenness
1. Roczniki Filozoficzne: Volume > 69 > Issue: 3
Eleonore Stump Orcid-ID Eleonore Stump
Theology and the Knowledge of Persons
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The aim of the paper is to discern between philosophy and theology. A philosopher is looking after impersonal wisdom, a theologian searches for a personal God. This differentiation is fundamental because knowledge of persons differs from knowledge that. The author shows how taking into account the fact that theology is based on the second-person knowledge changes the way one should approach the hiddenness argument.
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2. Roczniki Filozoficzne: Volume > 69 > Issue: 3
Paul K. Moser Orcid-ID Paul K. Moser
Experiential Dissonance and Divine Hiddenness
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Our expectations for human experience of God can obscure the reality and the presence of such experience for us. They can lead us to look in the wrong places for God’s presence, and they can lead us not to look at all. This article counters the threat of misleading expectations regarding God, while acknowledging a role for diving hiding from humans on occasion. It contends that, given God’s perfect moral character, we should expect typical human experience of God to have moral dissonance, that is, experiential conflict in morally relevant ways. We shall see the evidential or cognitive importance of how humans respond to such dissonance. Our failing to respond cooperatively with God can result either in our obscuring evidence of divine reality or in God’s hiding divine self-manifestation for redemptive purposes aimed at our benefit.
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3. Roczniki Filozoficzne: Volume > 69 > Issue: 3
Miłosz Hołda, Orcid-ID Dominique Lambert Orcid-ID Miłosz Hołda
The Problem of Divine Hiddenness in the Context of Science
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The aim of the paper is to try to find a solution to the problem of divine hiddenness, which in the context of science takes the form of the question of why, if God exists, science can completely ignore Him and yet explain away so much. We formulate the “argument from hiddenness in the context of science” modelled on the “argument from hiddenness” proposed by J. L. Schellenberg and show possible ways to refute this argument. We also propose a refutation in the form of “explanatory absconditheism,” the best expression of which is the thesis of “articulation” of scientific and theological ways of explaining the world. We also argue that the thesis of “explanatory absconditheism” can be extended to the entire discussion of divine hiddenness, providing possible response to the “argument from hiddenness.”
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ii. discussions with j. l. schellenberg
4. Roczniki Filozoficzne: Volume > 69 > Issue: 3
J. L. Schellenberg The Hiddenness Argument
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5. Roczniki Filozoficzne: Volume > 69 > Issue: 3
Travis Dumsday Orcid-ID Travis Dumsday
From Satan’s Wager to Eve’s Gambit to Our Leap: An Anselmian Reply to the Problem of Divine Hiddenness
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While St. Anselm does not supply us with an explicit discussion of the problem of divine hiddenness (PDH) as it is typically conceived today—namely, as an argument for atheism—he is keenly aware of the existential difficulty posed by our seeming lack of access to God. Moreover, he provides the ingredients for an interesting and heretofore neglected approach to the PDH, one rooted in multiple Christian narratives about lapses from knowledge-infused states of grace, both angelic and human. The goal of this paper is to draw out that Anselmian approach explicitly, and to provide at least a rudimentary assessment of it.
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6. Roczniki Filozoficzne: Volume > 69 > Issue: 3
Jeff Jordan Orcid-ID Jeff Jordan
The Argument from Divine Hiddenness and Christian Love
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In the paper it is argued that the conceptual resources of Christianity topple the hiddenness argument. According to the author, the variability of the divine love cast doubt on the soundness of Schellenberg’s reasoning. If we understood a perfect love as a maximal and equal concern and identification with all and for all, then a divine love would entail divine impartiality, but because of conflicts of interest between human beings the perfect, divine love cannot be maximal.
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7. Roczniki Filozoficzne: Volume > 69 > Issue: 3
Marek Dobrzeniecki, Orcid-ID Derek King Orcid-ID Marek Dobrzeniecki
The Theology of Hiddenness: J. L. Schellenberg, Divine Hiddenness, and the Role of Theology
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The paper explores Pascal’s idea according to which the teachings of the Church assume the hiddenness of God, and, hence, there is nothing surprising in the fact of the occurrence of nonresistant nonbelief. In order to show it the paper invokes the doctrines of the Incarnation, the Church as the Body of Christ, and the Original Sin. The first one indicates that there could be greater than nonbelief obstacle in forming interpersonal bonds with God, namely the ontological chasm between him and human persons. The assumption of the human nature by the Son of God could be seen as a cure for this problem. The doctrine of the Church shows it as an end in itself, and in order for the Church to have meaning and to exist there has to be nonbelief in the world. Finally, the dogma of the Original Sin shows that there is no category of purely nonresistant nonbelief. The paper also addresses Schellenberg’s “accommodationist strategy” from the perspective of the Christian theology and in the last part it investigates what should be the influence of the fact of the hiddenness on theology’s take on the divine revelation.
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8. Roczniki Filozoficzne: Volume > 69 > Issue: 3
Ryszard Mordarski Orcid-ID Ryszard Mordarski
Benevolence or Mercy?: The Problem with the First Premise of the Hiddenness Argument
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The first premise of J. L. Schellenberg’s Hiddenness Argument equates God’s love with a positive relationship to human beings. To illustrate this relationship, the human model of parental love is used, based on the standards of the modern American liberal world, not on the biblical standard. As a result, we attribute to God a narrowly understood horizontal relationship towards people, which is completely alien to the understanding of love developed in the Christian tradition. When we refer to the classical theism that recognized love as the central attribute of God, we will see that it should be understood in a vertical model, consisting in the offering of good and mercy. This understanding undermines the benevolent theism and replaces it with the merciful theism or theism of mercy. Ultimately, this makes the first premise of the Hiddenness Argument very questionable and the whole argument calls for a significant revision.
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9. Roczniki Filozoficzne: Volume > 69 > Issue: 3
Pavel Butakov Orcid-ID Pavel Butakov
Divine Openness for Physical Relationship
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The success of the atheistic hiddenness argument depends on the “consciousness constraint” it imposes on the divine-human loving relationship: namely, that this relationship requires human conscious awareness of being in the relationship with God. I challenge the truth of this proposition by introducing the concept of a physical relationship with God that is not subject to this constraint. I argue, first, that a physical relationship with God is metaphysically possible; second, that its plausibility is supported by natural theology; and third, that a perfectly loving God would prefer physical relationships with human beings over consciousness-constrained relationships, because a perfectly loving God would prefer to preserve the integrity of human freedom of participation and allow inclusion of all people regardless of their natural cognitive capabilities. I also offer an interpretation of apparent divine hiddenness in the light of the idea of God’s openness for physical relationships.
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10. Roczniki Filozoficzne: Volume > 69 > Issue: 3
Jean-Baptiste Guillon Orcid-ID Jean-Baptiste Guillon
“You Would Not Seek Me If You Had Not Found Me”—Another Pascalian Response to the Problem of Divine Hiddenness
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One version of the Problem of Divine Hiddenness is about people who are looking for God and are distressed about not finding him. Having in mind such distressed God-seekers, Blaise Pascal imagined Jesus telling them the following: “Take comfort; you would not seek me if you had not found me.” This is what I call the Pascalian Conditional of Hiddenness (PCH). In the first part of this paper, I argue that the PCH leads to a new interpretation of Pascal’s own response to the problem, significantly different from Hick’s or Schellenberg’s interpretations of Pascal. In short: for any person who is distressed about not finding God, and who (for this reason) seriously considers the Argument from Hiddenness, the PCH would show that their own distress constitutes evidence that God is in fact not hidden to them (because this desire for God has been instigated in them by God himself). In the second part of the paper, I set aside the exegetical question and try to develop this original strategy as a contemporary response to one version of the Problem of Divine Hiddenness, which I call the “first-person problem.” I argue that the PCH strategy offers a plausibly actual story to respond to the first-person problem. As a result, even if we need to complement the PCH strategy with other more traditional strategies (in order to respond to other versions of the problem), the PCH strategy should plausibly be part of the complete true story about Divine Hiddenness.
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11. Roczniki Filozoficzne: Volume > 69 > Issue: 3
Jacek Wojtysiak Orcid-ID Jacek Wojtysiak
How to Be a Christian Ultimist? On Three Lessons J. L. Schellenberg and the Christian Theist Can Learn from Each Other
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In this text, in discussion with J. L. Schellenberg, I develop a position that I call Christian ultimism. This position lies between Schellenberg’s simple ultimism and traditional Christian theism. Christian ultimism is more apophatic than personalistic, though it more clearly emphasizes the presence of a supra-personal and communicative element in the Ultimate Reality. The proposed position is resistant to a philosophical version of the hiddenness argument, but it must answer to the challenge of the theological problem of the lack of universal access to Christian revelation. Schellenberg’s idea of deep time both magnifies this problem and provides the tools for solving it: the awareness of deep time does not allow us to judge the future, but it does allow us to hope for a revelation accessible to all at the eschatological end of time.
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12. Roczniki Filozoficzne: Volume > 69 > Issue: 3
J. L. Schellenberg J. L. Schellenberg
Comments for My Colleagues
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In the paper, the originator of the hiddenness argument, J. L. Schellenberg, responds to papers that challenge his reasoning. In his remarks he puts an emphasis on the concept of divine love and he explains why it is not only connected to the idea of the Christian God. He also clarifies his position on ultimism.
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iii. other essays on j. l. schellenberg’s philosophy
13. Roczniki Filozoficzne: Volume > 69 > Issue: 3
Marek Pepliński Orcid-ID Marek Pepliński
The Hiddenness Argument and the Ground of Its Soundness
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The paper refers to the argument from hiddenness as presented in John Schellenberg’s book The Hiddenness Argument and the philosophical views expressed there, making this argument understandable. It is argued that conditionals (1) and (2) are not adequately grounded. Schellenberg has not shown that we have the knowledge necessary to accept the premises as true. His justifications referring to relations between people raise doubts. The paper includes an argument that Schellenberg should substantiate its key claim that God has the resources to accommodate the possible consequences of openness to a relationship with finite persons, making them compatible with the flourishing of all concerned and of any relationship that may come to exist between them. At the end of the text, I propose to treat the argument as a rejection of an anthropomorphic God.
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14. Roczniki Filozoficzne: Volume > 69 > Issue: 3
Piotr Biłgorajski Orcid-ID Piotr Biłgorajski
Ultimism: A Philosophy That Wants to Be a Religion
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Ultimism is the view that there is a metaphysically and axiologically ultimate reality in relation to which it is possible to achieve the ultimate good. John Schellenberg believes that ultimism is the backbone of every religion, while the differences between religions arise from different views of what the nature of the ultimate is. Schellenberg tries to show that if there is progress in religion, then it is most reasonable to assume that we are only at the beginning of the inquiry into the ultimate. The aim of the paper is to show that epistemological and methodological objections can be raised against ultimism. It will present an epistemological argument, pointing to the cognitive limitations of imagination, and a methodological argument, questioning the feasibility of Schellenberg’s project.
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