Applying The Hiddenness Argument to Animals

This is a creative/clever post I wrote a couple of years ago…while I was high on caffeine :p

Philosophy of Religion blog

In terms of non-human animals, nothing has been said about them with regards to the problem of divine hiddenness. At least, nobody has formed formulated the hiddenness argument in terms to include animals. Here, I want to show that the problem of divine hiddenness includes animals.

Non-human animals in our actual world aren’t resistant to God. In fact, it’s hard to see how they could be. The main reason is because animals are moral patients and not moral agents. It’s not like they have the ability to be resistant to God. And even if they could (which they can’t) it wouldn’t be their fault because it would just be pure instinct.

But what about belief? Do animals in our actual world believe that there is a God? Well, first it needs to be said that in the most basic sense some animals can have beliefs. They are conscious creatures so…

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2 thoughts on “Applying The Hiddenness Argument to Animals

  1. W.C. Fields once said “Everybody ought to believe in something. I believe I’ll have another drink.” I think we have very little evidence for any kind of belief on the part of animals because of the problem of projection. We project all kinds of attributes onto animals, which says more about us than it does about them.

    We are barely able to explain our own thinking (thinking about thinking, forming of mental constructs (flawed ones at that) as a primary mode of memory, etc.) let alone that of other animals. It is fun, however, to speculate. That seems to be the greatest intellectual pleasure as we do more of that than anything else.

  2. There are problems of projection, and the sense of what it’s like is often impossible to get at (usually we can only modify our own consciousness — such as when we imagine bats’ echolocation visually, _&c._).

    You’ve inspired me to look into something historical on this point, though; there may be a paper in this. Thank you!

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