In my recent debate with Matt Dillahunty about the existence of God, Dillahunty invoked his favorite argument against God’s existence — the Divine Hiddenness argument. We didn’t have a chance to go into that argument in detail in the debate, and Dillahunty is unwilling to have any more debates with me (even if he’s paid, apparently). So this is a good forum to look at that argument in more detail.Michael Egnor, “The Divine Hiddenness argument against God’s existence = nonsense” at Mind Matters News
In precis, without the logical jargon, this is the argument: If God exists, He would not allow anyone receptive to His existence to remain ignorant of Him. However, there are people receptive to His existence who are ignorant of Him, so He must not exist.
Atheists, as is their wont, misunderstand Divine Hiddenness and turn it into a nonsensical argument against God’s existence.
The Divine Hiddenness argument is nonsensical because divine hiddenness is inherent in the nature of the Creator and the creature, as noted above. Furthermore, the atheist Divine Hiddenness argument seems to imply a bizarre inference: if the disbelief of even one person in the world disproves the existence of God, then it stands to reason that the belief in God by that person — that one holdout — would prove His existence. The atheist Divine Hiddenness argument seems to imply that God’s existence is contingent upon the disbelief of even one recalcitrant atheist. This argument is a precis of atheist arrogance — the atheist argument that God’s existence depends upon atheists’ opinion of Him. Atheists can’t wish Him away that easily.
One wonders if problems like that hastened the collapse of the New Atheist movement — the godlessness that failed.
Takehome: Egnor: God in Himself is immeasurably greater than we are, and He transcends all human knowledge. A God with whom we do not struggle — who is not in some substantial and painful way hidden to us — is not God but is a mere figment of our imagination.
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Science can and does point to God’s existence. Michael Egnor: Natural science is not at all methodologically naturalist — it routinely points to causes outside of nature. If we are to understand natural effects, we must be open to all kinds of causes, including causes that transcend nature.
Atheist spokesman Matt Dillahunty refuses to debate me again Although he has said that he finds debates “incredibly valuable,” he is — despite much urging — making an exception in this case. Why? For millennia, theists have thought meticulously about God’s existence. New Atheists merely deny any need to make a case. That’s partly why I dumped atheism. (Michael Egnor)