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Demea, consistent with her cosmological perspective, offers the objection that our perspective of evil is just that, a perspective, and that what we are missing, is how it all balances out (263c2).
Philo doesn’t need to respond to this, for Cleanthes (who has already expressed his dissatisfaction with Demea's approach), offers the obvious rejoinder, that to speculate about what in principle we cannot perceive, is essentially useless, and certainly does not overwhelm what Demea has already insisted is evident and obvious to us (i.e., the presence of evil in the world).
For his own sake, Cleanthes responds by just denying what both Demea and Philo have insisted, “The only method of supporting Divine benevolence, and it is what I willingly embrace, is to deny absolutely the misery and wickedness of man…And for one vexation which we meet with, we attain, upon computation, a hundred enjoyments” (264c1).
In other words, Cleanthes is trying to undercut the argument by contesting the inductive ground of the argument: the catalogue of misery and wickedness.
Philo criticizes Cleanthes's denial of the significance of the experience of evil on a number of grounds.
First, even granting what Cleanthes was insisting, though evil be less common, it is much more “violent and durable.”
Second, without granting Cleanthes’sclaim, Philo notes that Cleanthes leaves an important theological concern (the moral status of God) on very shaky ground: the adequacy of Cleanthes’s judgment about the character of human experience.
Third, Cleanthes's position doesn’t even answer the question. Maybe good does outweigh evil, but why would God permit any evil whatsoever?
Thus, Philo rejects Cleanthes’s position on the problem of evil, though with more optimism than he did his advocacy of the design argument (265c2).