Almeida & Oppy (2003) argue that if the considerations deployed by skeptical theists are sufficient to undermine evidential argument from evil then those considerations are also sufficient to undermine inferences that play a crucial role in ordinary moral reasoning. They consider some specific apparent evil that one could easily prevent and then they reason:
“Plainly, we should also concede by parity of reason that, merely on the basis of our acceptance of ST1-ST3, we should insist that it is not unlikely that there is some good which, if we were smarter and better equipped, we could recognize as a reason for our not intervening to stop the event. That is, our previous concession surely forces us to allow that, given our acceptance of ST1-ST3, it is not unlikely that it is for the best, all things considered, if we do not intervene. But, if we could easily intervene to stop the heinous crime, then it would be appalling for us to allow this consideration to stop us from intervening. Yet, if we take the thought seriously, how can we also maintain that we are morally required to intervene? After all, as a result of our acceptance of ST1-ST3, we are allegedly committed to the claim that it is not unlikely that it would be for the best, all things considered, if we did not do so.” (506)
I don’t think this is right. Consider the following analogy:
Suppose Sam is the president of Acme Anvil Company. Sam discovers some systemic abuse is occurring in his company (anvils falling from the sky…) and he has the power to stop it. Yet, Sam doesn’t stop it because he wants to see how is mid-level managers respond once they discover it. The mid-level managers discover the abuse and then reason “well, Sam knows about this and he’s doing nothing. So there’s probably a reason he has that justifies his not preventing this. So we have a reason not to prevent this.”
Intuitively, this is bad reasoning on part of the mid-level managers. They should prevent the abuse even though they know that Sam knows about it and that he has the power to prevent it. Whatever Sam’s reasons are, they don’t carry over to reasons for the mid-level managers.