Divine Hiddenness and Affective Forecasting

Res Cogitans 5 (1):102-110 (2014)
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Abstract

In this paper I argue that J. L. Schellenberg’s Divine Hiddenness Argument is committed to a problematic implication that is weakened by research in cognitive psychology on affective forecasting. Schellenberg’s notion of a nonresistant nonbeliever logically implies that for any such person, it is true that she would form the proper belief in God if provided with what he calls “probabilifying” evidence for God’s existence. In light of Schellenberg’s commitment to the importance of both affective and propositional belief components for entering into the proper relationship with God, this implication of his argument becomes an affective prediction or forecast. However, research in cognitive psychology has shown that in multiple and varied circumstances humans often make inaccurate predictions of their future affective states or reactions. Thus, this research provides strong empirical reasons to doubt that the implication is warranted.

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