Schellenberg's Noseeum Assumption about Nonresistant Nonbelief


  • Paul Macdonald United States Air Force Academy


hiddenness argument, skeptical theism


In this article, I outline a strategy for challenging J.L. Schellenberg’s hiddenness argument, and specifically the premise within the argument that asserts the existence of what Schellenberg calls nonresistant nonbelief.  Drawing on some of the philosophical resources of skeptical theism, I show how this premise is based on a particular “noseeum assumption”—what I call Schellenberg’s Noseeum Assumption—that underwrites a particular “noseeum argument.” This assumption is that, regarding putative nonresistant nonbelievers, more likely than not we’d detect these nonbelievers’ resistance toward God if there were any.  I give reasons for thinking that it is not more reasonable to affirm than to refrain from affirming Schellenberg’s Noseeum Assumption, and so reason to think that the hiddenness argument is not a good argument for atheism.  I also defend the strategy I outline against several objections.



How to Cite

Macdonald, Paul. 2021. “Schellenberg’s Noseeum Assumption about Nonresistant Nonbelief”. European Journal for Philosophy of Religion, March.



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