If we are a bit careful about distinguishing "greater good for God" from "greater good for me" then it seems pretty clear that God has brought about greater good for me - starting with my own existence - from suffering. I don't think the phrase "greater good for God" means much of anything, but it is fairly straightforward to talk about "greater good for me." So again, God's permissiveness with respect to evil is a manifestation of His mercy and love for me (and the rest of y'all, and every child actually conceived who will ultimately enjoy eternal life too, of course).
That is part of the point: it is better to have been conceived, died horribly in a tsunami, and spend eternal life in the Beatific Vision than it is to never have been conceived at all. Bill is right: I think that this "God doesn't make a greater good (for us) from suffering" proposition is essentially nihilistic.
Part of the trouble with the problem of evil is that it tries to start from God's point of view, not our own point of view. But building a tower to Heaven in an attempt to be exactly like God will always result in a confusion of our language: in an inability to say anything meaningful at all. Speaking as ourselves, for ourselves is another matter entirely, and it could not be more clear: God has brought about greater good (for us) from suffering...
A corollary is that evil doesn't have anything whatsoever to do with God. Literally. The fact of evil (I won't say existence of evil because that will freak out the evil-as-absence crowd) is an insult to God, at least, again, from our perspective. But it is an insult that He tolerates, and indeed has directly endured Himself personally by becoming one of us -- for our sake. ---- Zippy
Kolakowski is unique among contemporary social philosophers and intellectuals in recognizing and confronting the notion of evil: "[E]vil is a real characteristic of life and...we carry in us a kind of moral intuition that enables us to recognize it as such...
Evil...is not contingent, it is not the absence or deformation, or the subversion of virtue...but a stubborn and unredeemable fact."
Neither reform, nor revolution, nor education, nor material progress will eradicate "the evil in us." Such a tragic view of life is alien to Americans, products of a culture of high expectations, optimism, and good cheer, and inclined to believe that all good things are compatible and all problems have a solution. Kolakowski's belief in natural law and "moral intuition" sets him apart from most modern, secular intellectuals...a pragmatic or purely functional morality is inadequate:
"Mankind...would not survive if the only instrument to prevent us from following our desires and indulging our passions was the fear of legally inflicted suffering...To be totally free from religious heritage or historical tradition is to situate oneself in a void...The utopian faith in man's self-inventive capabilities, the utopian hope of unlimited perfection, may be the most efficient instrument of suicide human culture has ever invented."