Consider this piece of evidence:
- E: There are apparently gratuitous evils.
Now, given theism, the mere existence of evil is perhaps not all that surprising—there are lots of great goods, such as heroic self-sacrifice, that cannot exist without evil, so God has good reason not to eliminate certain evils. But what about apparently gratuitous evils? An evil is gratuitous provided that God would have no moral justification for permitting it. If there are gratuitous evils, there is no God. An apparently gratuitous evil is an evil that appears to be gratuitous. That there are apparently gratuitous evils is surprising on theism, but not overwhelmingly surprising. After all, there may be goods of trust in God that are enabled by apparently gratuitous evils. And God has reason to create beings with fallible intellects, since intellectual limitations enable various important goods, and such beings are apt to make misjudgments on occasion. So it is not too surprising that some evil would look gratuitous to us despite not being so.
What about on naturalism? There is a lot packed into E, and much of what is packed in there is not friendly to naturalism. The evidence E entails such facts as:
- There are evils.
- There are beings that have a moral concept.
- There are beings that have a theological concept.
So it is plausible that once we take into account E's entailments, P(E|N) will be smaller than P(E|T), and hence on balance E supports theism over naturalism.