Okay, Phil. of Rel. buffs, here's one for you to discuss. You can also lessen my ignorance of the literature (I'm often ignorant of the literature) on this topic.
I've been thinking a bit lately about the Inductive Problem of Evil, and what I've decided is that the biggest challenge to theism via the Inductive Problem of Evil is not atheism but rather Indifferent Creator-ism or even Evil Creator-ism. The latter two get you past the argument from consciousness (right?). If we can have a self-existent evil being, or even a self-existent indifferent being, capable of creating creatures that are capable of suffering, then we might expect that we would all be here beating up on each other, committing evil acts, and what-not, and having animal suffering, but with no hope of heaven later and also with no expectation that the being would ever intervene here on earth to mitigate the evil in individual cases.
Let's even suppose that a good metaphysical argument can be made that a completely evil self-existent Creator is literally an impossibility. Is an indifferent Creator? (As opposed to a benevolent Creator.)
The Thomists, I'm quite sure, will say that, yes, an indifferent god--a self-existent being who can be the ultimate explanation for consciousness but who is not good--is a metaphysical impossibility. Presumably they will say this because of the unity of the divine attributes, which, on the Thomist view (if I understand it correctly) make it literally impossible to have a being who is self-existence or (say) omnipotent but not also omnibenevolent.
Are there other arguments, perhaps less metaphysically abstract, to the same effect? Can we argue that a self-existent being capable of creating and interested in creating but indifferent to the suffering of his creations is improbable?
And then there's the moral argument: If the only self-existent Creator there is is morally indifferent, do the concepts of "good" and "evil" have a meaning at all? And if they don't, perhaps the problem of evil (especially of moral evil) disappears anyway.
Readers, what do you think? And where has this been addressed?