Here is an interesting theistic argument that I call the ‘leveling argument’. The leveling argument takes as a premise the common assumption in (1). I agree that (1) is tendentious.
1. God cannot actualize a suboptimal world.
Now take any level of value v and suppose that every possible world has an intrinsic value no higher than v. If a possible world w has value v, then God could actualize w. God would have optimized in actualizing w. But if w had value v and w’ had value v+, then God could not actualize w. God would have failed to optimize in actualizing w. So, whether God can actualize a world w depends on what other worlds w’ he might actualize. It is the comparative value of worlds that determines whether God could actualize them, not their intrinsic value. Immediately, we can reach two broad conclusions.
2. If there is variation in intrinsic value across the set of all possible worlds, then God does not exist. (follows from (1))
and of course (2) entails (3),
3. If God does exist, then there is no variation in intrinsic value across the set of all possible worlds (the leveling conclusion). (follows from (2))
(3) already seems false, but that’s not the main point. It is also a common assumption that God might fail to create any concrete objects whatsoever.
4. God might fail to create any concrete objects.
(4) is not the claim that God might fail to actualize a possible world. It is the claim that God might fail to actualize a world including certain sorts of objects, viz. concrete ones. But if (1) and (4) are true, then so is (5).
5. God cannot actualize a world that differs in value from the empty world, e. From (1), (4) [I leave it as an exercise to show this]
(5) is a bizarre conclusion; it entails (6), (7) and (8) which are surely false.
6. God cannot actualize a world whose universe is on balance very good.
7. The creation of moral, rational, and happy beings does not improve a world, overall.
8. There is nothing God, you, or anyone else could do to make the world, overall, a better (or worse) place.
We began the leveling argument by assuming that God cannot actualize a suboptimal world and we concluded that, therefore, there is nothing God, you, or anyone else could do to make the world, overall, a better or worse place! That’s, I think, quite obviously false. There are only two assumptions in the argument: (1) God cannot actualize a suboptimal world and (4) God might fail to create any concrete objects. One of them has to be false, and it’s likely (1).