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May 12, 2022

Added The Hiddenness of God: Notes on Schellenberg and Drange (2022) by Timothy Chambers to the The Argument from (Reasonable) Nonbelief page under Arguments for Atheism, and the Christian Worldview page under Christianity, in the Modern Documents section of the Secular Web Library.

In his Secular Web essay “Nonbelief as Support for Atheism,” Theodore M. Drange raises objections to J. L. Schellenberg’s formulation of the atheistic argument from inculpable nonbelief (sometimes called the divine-hiddenness argument), but no reply to those objections has ever been published. Are Drange’s objections sound? Has he established that his own so-called argument from nonbelief (ANB) is superior to the argument put forward by Schellenberg? In this paper, Timothy Chambers attempts to address these questions in part using St. Anselm (and St. Augustine) as his muse. Chambers concludes that if the evangelical Christian worldview were true, we would find unequivocal evidence of God’s existence—no intellectually honest inquirer would remain a nonbeliever—and that all nonbelievers would suffer a conspicuous existential “restlessness” or dissatisfaction that they do not in fact suffer. The fact that neither unequivocal evidence of the divine nor universal existential restlessness among nonbelievers are found invites the inference that God does not exist.

Recommended reading: The Scout Mindset: Why Some People See Things Clearly and Others Don’t (2021) by Julia Galef

When it comes to what we believe, we see what we want to see—we have what Julia Galef calls a “soldier” mindset. From tribalism and wishful thinking, to rationalizing in our personal lives and everything in between, we are driven to defend the ideas that we most want to believe—and shoot down those that we don’t. But if we want to get things right more often, Galef argues, we should train ourselves to have a “scout” mindset. A scout’s goal is to go out, survey the territory, and come back with as accurate a map as possible. Above all, a scout wants to know what’s actually true. In The Scout Mindset, Galef shows that what makes scouts better at getting things right is a handful of emotional skills, habits, and ways of looking at the world that anyone can learn. With fascinating contemporary examples, Galef explores why our brains deceive us and what we can do to change the way we think.