Re-evaluating the hiddenness argument from above

Kevin Vandergriff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

141 Downloads (Pure)


J. L. Schellenberg’s hiddenness argument for atheism (2015) assumes that God’s perpetual openness to a relationship with any finite person is consistent with their perpetual flourishing. However, I argue that if Aquinas-Stump’s account of the nature of love is true, then any finite person flourishes the most only if they attain the greatest degree of union among God and all relevant parties. Moreover, if Humean externalism is true, then any finite person might not have their greatest attainable degree of union among God and all relevant parties, as soon as possible, unless God sacrifices some time in the union—not the whole union—with them. Accordingly, God’s perpetual openness might not be consistent with the future flourishing of any finite person—from which it follows that a crucial assumption of the hiddenness argument might not be true.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal for Philosophy of Religion
Early online date4 Jul 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Jul 2018


  • Schellenberg
  • Hiddenness
  • Nonresistant nonbelief
  • Atheism
  • Aquinas-Stump
  • Love
  • Motivational externalism


Dive into the research topics of 'Re-evaluating the hiddenness argument from above'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this