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C. S. Lewis on the Problem of Divine Hiddenness

Travis Dumsday


Along with the problem of evil, the problem of divine hiddenness has become one of the most prominent arguments for atheism in the contemporary philosophy of religion. Roughly it is this: if there is a loving God, surely he would make his existence apparent to us, and in a way that we could not rationally doubt. Why? (i) Because it is of the nature of love that the lover will seek open relationship with the object of love, and (ii) because on most traditional theisms it is claimed that our ultimate well-being requires having a positive relationship with God, which relationship presupposes belief in God’s reality. Yet as a matter of fact many people fail to believe in God, and that through no fault of their own. Such nonbelief is incompatible with the truth of theism. Therefore God does not exist. Here I explore how the writings of C. S. Lewis (probably the twentieth century’s most popular Anglican author) can be brought to bear on the problem.

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