Wed, 21 September 2016
Bob and Cass interview Jeff Loken, another Minnesotan listener who reached out to us to share his story. When a fellow Lutheran friend lost his faith, Jeff felt called of God to rescue the apostate by sharpening his apologetic skills and engaging in a 2 year dialogue with him, only to discover that in the end he had lost the argument and had too much personal integrity to use the smart-bomb of faith to wipe out his cognitive dissonances, or trick himself into thinking that works. He had to admit, to himself, his wife and parents, that he couldn’t believe it any longer.
Jeff points to an argument made by J.L. Schellenberg called nonresistant nonbelief, which is very similar to the concept of divine hiddenness. This argument says that if God exists (and is perfectly good and loving) every reasonable person would be brought to believe in God; however, there are reasonable nonbelievers; therefore, this God does not exist.
Here’s an excerpt from Schellenberg’s book, The Wisdom of Doubt:
“Consider those who have always believed in God and who would love to go on believing in God but who have found, as adults, that serious and honest examination of all the evidence of experience and argument they can lay their hands on has unexpectedly had the result of eroding their belief away. These are individuals who were happy and morally committed believers and who remain morally committed but are not longer happy because of the emotional effects of an intellectual reorganization involving the removal of theistic belief. Perhaps they will be happy again, but the point is that for the time being, it is the removal of theistic belief that they are inclined to resist, if anything. For they were still on friendly terms with God and benefitting in a variety of ways from what they took to be contact with God when their belief in the existence of such a being was whisked away.” (The Wisdom to Doubt, p. 205)
Bob and Cass fell in love with Jeff and his Midwestern cultural modesty. He’s a sharp, humble guy trying to be honest about his lack of faith without letting the transition destroy his life.
We taped these conversations on September 11th, 2016. If you’re liking our show, please subscribe to it, give it 5 stars, and/or leave a review on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Also, you can support us monetarily on a per episode basis through our Patreon page. That’s www.patreon.com/eapodcast. Or leave a donation through PayPal at our website, www.everyonesagnostic.com.
"Towering Mountain of Ignorance" intro by Hank Green https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3v3S82TuxU
Thanks for listening and be a yes-sayer to what is.
Schellenberg’s Defense of Nonresistant Nonbelief / Divine Hiddenness - See more at: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/2014/11/14/schellenbergs-defense-of-nonresistant-nonbelief-divine-hiddenness/#sthash.MbZzTHDN.dpuf