On a previous blog post, I talked about the relationship between skeptical theism and the problem of divine hiddenness. Particularly, I argued that skeptical theism (by itself) will not work as a response to the argument from divine hiddenness (i.e. it fails). In that post, I didn’t consider every objection, but I have since thought of another objection. The objection is something like the following:
“True, skeptical theism alone will not solve the argument from divine hiddenness. However, that doesn’t mean skeptical theism can’t come into play at all. We could still end up using skeptical theism in conjunction with other counter-arguments in order to conquer the hiddenness argument”
I think this objection concedes a lot, actually. And, my intention was never to argue that skeptical theism couldn’t work in conjunction with other counter-arguments. If that can be done, then someone is free to try that strategy. My intent with my original post/paper was to argue that skeptical theism by itself is not going to get someone out of the woods with regards to the hiddenness argument. I don’t think this is an insignificant conclusion by any stretch of the imagination. At the same time, I am not saying that this means there is no solution to the hiddenness argument. And, I am not saying that my original argument is somehow completely devastating to the skeptical theist. In other words, even though my original argument against applying skeptical theism to the argument from hiddenness might not be a knockdown argument, I still think it bloodies and bruises skeptical theism pretty badly. We can debate on the extent of the damage, but the skeptical theist should resist the temptation to say that there hasn’t been any damage done, or that significant damage has not been done.
Now, somebody might reply that I am conceding a lot by saying that skeptical theism in conjunction with something else might succeed against the hiddenness argument. Maybe, but I don’t think so. I am not saying that such a strategy will succeed, rather, I am saying that it is possible. But even if I am conceding a lot, the conclusion of my original argument still stands. Or, just because I might end up conceding a lot, that fact does not entail that my original argument is unsound. Moreover, in order for skeptical theism to even succeed in part, that requires someone to reply successfully to my original argument. I don’t think my original arugment is unsound; I think it is sound. So naturally, I don’t think that the skeptical theism conjunction thesis will work. In fact, if my original argument is sound, then it can’t work.
The upshot of my original argument is that the skeptical has an uphill battle to go; Skeptical theism alone won’t solve the hiddenness argument. If the skeptical theist wants skeptical theism to even be able to get off the ground against the hiddenness argument, a lot of work must be done. And, if they want skeptical theism to even play a part against the hiddenness argument, they also have a lot of work ahead. Otherwise, there are going to be a lot of begged questions. But, this is not to say that the task ahead is impossible for the skeptical theist who wants to accomplish these specific tasks.
#Skeptical theism #Skeptical theism and divine hiddenness #Skeptical theism and the problem of divine hiddenness #Applying skeptical theism to the argument from divine hiddenness #Can skeptical theism work against the problem of divine hiddenness? #Skeptical theism will not work against the problem of divine hiddenness