Undermining the axiological solution to divine hiddenness

International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 86 (1):3-15 (2019)
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Lougheed argues that a possible solution to the problem of divine hiddenness is that God hides in order to increase the axiological value of the world. In a world where God exists, the goods associated with theism necessarily obtain. But Lougheed also claims that in such a world it’s possible to experience the goods of atheism, even if they don’t actually obtain. This is what makes a world with a hidden God more valuable than a world where God is unhidden, and also more valuable than an atheistic world with no God. We show that Lougheed never considers the comparison between a world where God hides and an atheistic world. We argue that it’s possible for a person to experience theistic goods in a world where God does not exist, a possibility Lougheed never considers. If this is right it undermines his axiological solution to divine hiddenness. We conclude by showing how our discussion of the axiology of theism connects to the existential question of whether God exists; that is, we show that the axiological question is dependent on the existential question.

Author Profiles

Kirk Lougheed
University of Pretoria
Perry Hendricks
Purdue University


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