I'm Skeptical wrote:
If I understand Victor's position, a skeptic can't defend the argument from evil unless he concedes that there are objective moral values. This is a parlor trick. It's equivalent to saying that if I want to make the statement "If A then B" I must first concede that A is true.
If you accept Victor's position, why not take the same logic one step further and demand that the skeptic concede that God exists before he can defend AE?
VR: No, you don't understand my position. I admitted that reductio versions of the argument from evil are possible, even for those who don't believe in moral objectivity. The problem is going to arise when the atheist/subjectivist tries to defend the moral premise of the argument. The subjectivist can't appeal to his own value theory to argue about what it is for God to be good.
Let's take this statement from Rowe:
An omniscient, wholly good being would prevent the occurrence of any intense suffering it could, unless it could not do so without thereby losing some greater good or permitting some evil equally bad or worse.
Now, does theist necessarily have to believe this? And if they do believe it, do they have to agree with the atheist about what would be a greater good or the prevention of some evil equally bad or worse? If there are any value-theoretic conflicts, someone committed to objective moral values can argue that the theist's value system is faulty. They can argue that the theist has some misplaced values, and in particular, perhaps, undervalues the prevention of intense suffering and makes inflates the legitimacy of other values which, he argues, are not sufficient justifiers for intense suffering. A subjectivist can't do that. The logic of his argument forces him to concede the value-theoretic position of his theist opponent at every turn, since he cannot
The most serious objection to this line of argument comes in the Mark Nelson post, from Thrasymachus. I will need a separate post to respond to that.