According to the argument from evil:
- The evils of this world are much more surprising given theism than given atheism.
- Theists tend to be much more surprised by evil than atheists.
Objection 1: Theists are irrational, and irrational people may not be surprised by the objectively surprising.
Response: This proposed explanation of the non-occurrence of (2) would itself lead to a further prediction:
- The more rational a theist, the more likely she is to be surprised by evil.
Objection 2: This is a version of the problem of old evidence. In old evidence cases, one is not surprised by the evidence as one already knew it.
Response: Still, if (1) is true, we would at least expect:
- Theists, and if not in general then at least the more rational ones, are significantly more surprised than atheists to learn of new and particularly heinous evils.
None of this is a conclusive refutation of (1). But it does decrease the likelihood of (1).