The purpose of this post is not to criticize Calvinism, but to provide an exposition of why I think Calvinist theology dissolves, rather than solves the problem of evil. It looks to me as if the logical conclusion of Calvinism is that the idea of gratuitous suffering, the centerpiece of the argument from evil, is a misguided notion, given the fact that we all deserve not only to suffer, but to suffer eternally.
I think you can just get rid of the problem of evil if you make the kind of move that Calvinists make here, namely that alongside an obligation to alleviate suffering there is an obligation not to let sin go unpunished. Therefore, since we are all sinners (if for no other reason than being descended from our federal head, Adam), God has, for any instance of suffering, no undefeated reason not to permit it or even to inflict it.
The concept of goodness, according to Calvinists, is rooted in God's nature, but rightness is rooted in God's commands. This isn't strictly speaking voluntarism, since God's nature determines his commands; he can't just command anything. However, goodness is defined, as I understand it, on God's glory, which involves the expression of all of his attributes. He exercises the attribute of mercy in sending his son to die for the sins of the elect, and in giving irresistible grace to the elect so that they can repent and believe. He also exercises his attribute of justice by inflicting just punishment on those who oppose his will. Both of these are good outcomes from God's perspective, even though they are bad outcomes for the damned.
What I think this does is actually eliminate the problem of evil. If you can make the step of believing that the the just punishment of sin is an intrinsic and not a remedial good, then not only can you accept the idea that God is justified in predestining people for hell, but you can also justify the claim that whatever humans suffer while on earth, they had it coming and shouldn't complain to God.
We are not commanded to mirror God's nature in every respect; so we have obligations to alleviate suffering that God lacks, though a Calvinist would say that we have obligations to inflict retribution is some cases ourselves. But the limitation on our obligation to punish is not shared by God.
It seems to me that this is a dissolution rather than a solution to the problem of evil. One doesn't try to find explanations why a God who loves everyone permits so much pain even though he has everyone's best interest as heart. God doesn't have everyone's best interests at heart, God has his own glory at heart, which coincides with our interests only if we are among the elect.
I have trouble seeing the punishment of sin as an intrisic good; I see it as a sort of plan B; a remedial good in response to that which God removes from his control by providing us with libertarian free will.
But the purpose of this is not engage the Calvinist debate, it is rather intended to exposit what I take the Calvinist position to be.
I hope this doesn't start the charges and countercharges of sock puppeting again. I suspect this hope is vain, however.