If you read the comments regarding Thoughts on Good and Evil, you notice that one commentator writes, “The Problem of Evil is the biggest problem theists have for the claim that god exists. Your argument doesn’t diminish it at all.”
The commentator (aka “The Spanish Inquisitor”) is an attorney, so he knows that people will ultimately decide what to believe on the weight of evidence. That’s exactly what happened in my case. I was fortunate enough to have both views presented to me during university days and made my decision based on what appeared more reasonable. I’ve not yet had cause to change that decision.
All we are doing here is presenting reasons for our worldview. I suspect neither the theist nor the atheist will ever “prove” anything. One of the more preposterous reasons atheists disbelieve is the existence of evil. Evil must exist in a world where people have choices – as we obviously do. We are not pre-programmed. We take in data and program ourselves. The ability to choose, and the existence of good and evil from which to make those choices, is an evidence of a benevolent God. The existence of evil is not a problem for theists, it is an essential.
If God forced himself and his power upon us, either for good or evil, we would be automatons and this discussion would not be happening. His intervention would force belief. But God has chosen to present himself in the remarkable writings collected in the Bible and in the intricate, ordered and astounding creation. He has chosen, in an amazing act of love, to live a life among us as Immanuel and in that form to show us the Father. He asks us to consider these things and make our decision. Will we believe in Him and love Him back?