|Love spy hunter (pic from wired)|
As far as I'm concerned, the present part of his argument is all that is relevant to the problem of evil. The fact that Jesus died on the cross is a smoke screen here, whether or not Jesus died on the cross, tragedies still happen, same with judgement at the end, it doesn't change the fact that innocent people suffer all the time.
So that is where I focused and argued that "it could be worse" is not a very good argument. An all powerful, all knowing God shouldn't allow these tragedies to happen at all. I also pointed out that this argument will never have an end, no matter how bad it gets, you can always just say it would be worse without God.
He answered back that no, his argument isn't just that it could be worse, but then he simply referenced his other argument and said that God defeated evil by sacrificing his son. He never really answered my complaint. After a very short back and forth he stopped answering my questions. I'd like to say he could tell he was beat and ran away, but he probably thought he won, that is the way these debates usually goes I suppose.
As far as I'm concerned, the whole "Jesus died on the cross" as an answer is just a smoke screen. It doesn't answer the problem of evil at all. The only remaining question in my mind is whether the author of that other blog knows exactly what he is doing, putting up a smoke screen to obscure a question that he can't really answer, or if he is blinded by his own poor argument.
This is a tactic I see apologists using quite frequently on a wide variety of topics. When asked a question they will answer a different question, or appeal to something that is completely irrelevant. It's pretty irritating, and I'm not really sure what the best way to deal with it is. I suppose the only thing to do is keep trying to get back to the other point and challenge them to answer it satisfactorily. At the very least, hopefully it will be possible to highlight what they are doing for any onlookers.