What is ultimate reality, in a philosophical sense, other than the ideal of what ought to be?
It’s maybe asking what is wrong with the world, what should be done to fix it, and what we should be aiming for to begin with.
From natural determinism, it is not at all plain that things like love and justice and virtue should be sought after – or even exist in the first place.
For pain is not a problem until you notice there is something better, not in a sense of comfort, but in a sense of justification and reason.
A dog may want its leg to stop hurting, but there is never a philosophical hangup over why its leg hurts.
Do you see it?
To ask whether the universe as we see it looks more like the work of a wise and good Creator or the work of chance, indifference, or malevolence, is to omit from the outset all the relevant factors in the religious problem. Christianity is not the conclusion of a philosophical debate on the origins of the universe: it is a catastrophic historical event following on the long spiritual preparation of humanity which I have described. It is not a system into which we have to fit the awkward fact of pain: it is itself one of the awkward facts which have to be fitted into any system we make. In a sense, it creates, rather than solves, the problem of pain, for pain would be no problem unless, side by side with our daily experience of this painful world, we had received what we think a good assurance that ultimate reality is righteous and loving.