I’m going to pick up on a point made by one of Rauser’s respondents. Rauser stipulates that God must be “maximally” loving.
Among other issues, this raises the question of how, if at all, Rauser can tell the difference between a God who’s maximally loving and a God who’s not. What empirical evidence would ever count against Rauser’s stipulation that God is (indeed, that God must be) maximally loving?
On the face of it, we inhabit a world that doesn’t appear to be product of a maximally loving God. A world that’s often brutally harsh.
Oh, sure, Rauser can reach into his grab-bag of theodicean strategies. But the plausibility of those strategies must be measured against the initial plausibility of his purely intuitive supposition that God is maximally loving.
So what type of evidence does he allow to count against his intuition? Or is his intuition unfalsifiable?
But if nothing would ever count as evidence against his intuitive claim that God is maximally loving, then what’s the supporting evidence for his claim? If whatever happens is consistent with his claim that God is maximally loving, then what reason is there to believe that God is maximally loving? If God wasn't maximally loving, how would things be any different? How bad do they have to get?
If no matter how bad things get, Rauser sticks to his claim that God is maximally loving, then a maximally loving God becomes evidentially indistinguishable from a maximally unloving God.
Again, keep in mind that Rauser isn’t using an argument from authority. He’s not appealing to divine revelation.
No, this all boils down to Rauser’s personal intuition. Indeed, he deploys that as a check on revelation.