[This series is part of Section Four, Ethics and the Third Person. An index with links to all parts of the work as they are posted can be found [url=https://forum.evangelicaluniversalist.com/t/sword-to-the-heart-ethics-and-the-third-person/1335/1]here.]
[This series concludes Chapter 41, “The Consequences of Sin”.]
I am now in a position to explain why I, myself, am not remotely disconcerted by the anti-theistic argument from evil.
For many people, this is a powerful argument, if not against a supernaturalistic God altogether (strictly speaking it couldn’t be against that anyway), then at least against any kind of ethical God Who also holds an ontological position traditionally accepted by proponents of various religious theisms (primarily Judaism, Christianity and Islam in modern times). The problem then, is not with God or God’s supernatural character per se, but with the combination of these properties plus ethicality. Eliminating one or more of the properties, eliminates the problem–or so it seems to many people.
Thus, eliminating the morality (tacitly or explicitly) could leave the theism and the ontological claims in place–but not a trinitarian nature. Even some Christian theists, accepting the argument, but wanting to keep the ethicality (and the trinitarianism?), are led to abandon one or more of the ontological tenets–they will deny God’s omnipotence, or God’s omniscience, or God’s omnipresence. Some theists regress into an emergent pantheism, a naturalistic theism where the system of Nature, as the Independent Fact, is slowly becoming God–thus it starts out amoral, and slowly ‘learns’ morality. (Why it would be learning to be more ‘moral’ seems to be something of a mystery. I will add here that I am not entirely against the notion of Nature becoming progressively sentient and learning to be moral; but I certainly don’t have to be a naturalistic and/or emergent theist in order to accept this possibility!)