The problem of divine hiddenness addresses the questions: 'Why does God appear hidden to some people?' and 'Why isn’t God’s existence more obvious?' Currently, these questions tend to be debated from a logical standpoint only, as advanced by one philosopher's point of view (J.L. Schellenberg). However, considering the problem of divine hiddenness as an evidential argument would broaden the dialogue and influence how people think about the problem.
This project will advance a probabilistic formulation of the hiddenness argument and will develop empirically-informed responses to the argument by focusing on three main areas: the cognitive science of religion, the psychology of religion (to include God-attachment and God-attribution), and biased and motivated reasoning (including wishful thinking/seeing).
The central activities of the project will include research by the project leader, a summer workshop for academic philosophers, an academic research group, and a variety of public events (to include an undergraduate event and a lay-level symposium). The primary output will be multiple papers prepared for publication on the topic of the divine hiddenness by the project leader and project participants.
The project's primary outcome will be two-fold: to shift the hiddenness of God debate away from a logical approach towards an evidential approach that brings the tools of formal epistemology to bear on the problem, and to advance understanding of the topic by drawing on insights from cognitive science and psychology. Peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations will be evidence of this outcome.