Mutual epistemic dependence and the demographic divine hiddenness problem

Religious Studies 52 (3):375-394 (2016)
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In his article ‘Divine hiddenness and the demographics of theism’ (Religious Studies, 42 (2006), 177–191) Stephen Maitzen develops a novel version of the atheistic argument from divine hiddenness according to which the lopsided distribution of theistic belief throughout the world’s populations is much more to be expected given naturalism than given theism. I try to meet Maitzen’s challenge by developing a theistic explanation for this lopsidedness. The explanation I offer appeals to various goods that are intimately connected with the human cognitive constitution, and in particular, with the way in which we depend upon social belief-forming practices for our acquisition of much of our knowledge about the world — features about us that God would value but that also make probable a lopsided distribution of theistic belief, or so I argue.
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