LINK: Schellenberg’s Review of The Cambridge Companion to Atheism

J.L. Schellenberg is arguably one of the leading philosophers of religion in the world and, among other things, the philosopher who formulated the argument from divine hiddenness for atheism. Schellenberg reviewed The Cambridge Companion to Atheism (ed. Michael Martin) in the Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.

Here is the conclusion of Schellenberg’s review:

I myself think that a good case for atheism (understood as disbelief of traditional theism) can be developed, but the arguments in this book leave one with the impression that the case is weaker than it is, and it must be said that the available arguments for theism are stronger than they are here suggested to be. Still, the student or nonspecialist will be able to take away from both the philosophical and the nonphilosophical discussions that this work contains a pretty good idea of which issues are important to the understanding and assessment of atheism, and should be stimulated — if only through disagreement — to think more carefully about those issues for herself. 


About Jeffery Jay Lowder

Jeffery Jay Lowder is President Emeritus of Internet Infidels, Inc., which he co-founded in 1995. He is also co-editor of the book, The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave.

  • Keith Parsons

    I read this with considerable interest since I was a contributor to that volume. Schellenberg likes some aspects of my essay but says that my treatment of Swinburne and Plantinga was misleading on a couple of points. I think he is right, so mea culpa! Swinburne does put especial weight on the significance of religious experience in tipping the balance of probability towards theism. I characterized his argument as a cumulative one in which a number of C-inductive arguments add up to a P-inductive argument, without noting the special role of religious experience in his overall case. Also, I did not do justice to Plantinga's treatment of rationality which is considerably more nuanced than I indicated. I was trying to summarize, explain, and evaluate very complex arguments in a very rigidly limited space, and I cut some corners too short. So, thanks to Schellenberg for pointing that out.