Divine Psychology and Scharp

Kevin Scharp recently had a debate with William Lane Craig, and in the debate, Kevin raised an objection known as ‘divine psychology’, which is about what God would do/want. But, I don’t see why Scharp seemed to think divine psychology was some sort of devasting objection, but perhaps he didn’t and was just saying that it is something that needs to be taken into account. That also seems, at least to me, to be a very pejorative term. As Scharp acknowledged, the psychology objection can’t work against deductive arguments. But also, the objection doesn’t even apply to most/a lot of arguments for and against God’s existence. Not only that, but he seems to fail in distinguishing sound uses of it and unsound uses of it. For example, it’s self-evident that, necessarily, if God exists, then God would love humans. Also, if God exists, God would disapprove of murder.

So, I’m sorry Kevin but we can debate what God would do a lot of the time, and we do this correctly all the time in real life with fellow humans. I’m sorry if it’s not always obvious, but that’s philosophy.

Hence, the divine psychology objection seems to assume a few things. For one, it assumes that what God would do just wouldn’t be plain obvious a lot of the time or way more apparent than what humans do! Secondly, it seems to assume that there isn’t a distinction between sound uses and unsound uses of divine psychology. As I already noted, we correctly identify in real life, all the time, what humans will do in various circumstances.

He also begged the question with skeptical theism being sound (he brought it in because of its possible relationship with divine psychology), and seemed to misunderstand how skeptical theism actually proceeds. The whole issue is whether skeptical theism is sound, and skeptical theism can’t work against IBE arguments from evil or deductive arguments from horrific evil. So no, Kevin, the argument from evil has not been sent to the abyss…at least not yet. Overall, Scharp was way too dismissive of a lot of the arguments for AND against God’s existence. He needs to deal with the arguments and not just offer a simple handwave to all the arguments of a particular formulation…inductive arguments.

But note: I am not saying that divine psychology is never a good objection. When it comes to the fine-tuning argument, it seems that the divine psychology objection is something that needs to be taken very seriously.

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