Conversations with Angie: The inductive problem of evil
The next version of the problem of evil is the inductive problem of evil. While the deductive and gratuitous problem of evil argue that God cannot exist given the amount of evil in the world, the inductive problem of evil makes a more modest claim. It argues, not that God's existence is impossible, but that God's existence is unlikely. While we can't rule out the possibility that there's a good reason for evil, the amount of evil in the world does seem to make it improbable that there's any good reason for all of it. That makes God's existence improbable.
Since the inductive argument is based on probability, other factors have to be taken into account. Before we can say that God's existence is improbable, we have to consider all the facts and weight them against each other. While the existence of evil may count AGAINST God's existence, there are other things which count FOR God's existence. The evil in the world, by itself, may make God's existence improbable, but when all the facts are taken into account, not just evil, then God's existence may NOT be improbable after all. We have to weigh these things against each other. Although I'm not going to go into arguments for the existence of God right now, I'll just tell you that I think the arguments for God's existence far outweigh the inductive problem of evil. So I would think God's existence is more likely than not even if I thought evil made God's existence less likely than it would be if there were no evil. Do you see how this all goes back to my epistemology I explained in my first emais? I simply weigh the evidence and incline my belief in the direction of the stronger case.
There's one more argument I have that I think answers every version of the problem of evil.
Conversations with Angie: update