Good Cannot Exist In the Absence of Evil

Many people have come to view evil as a necessary part of the world. The presence of evil in the world have led people to agree with the claim that there can be no good in the absence of evil just as there can be no evil or bad without good. The ideas contained in the claim are metaphysical in nature and relates to the structure of reality. Although the view is widespread and metaphysical, few people who agree with it can explicitly say how they came to hold it. Religious circles wrestle with the paradox with the attempt to explain the origin of evil. Failure to account for the existence of evil has been interpreted to mean that God created evil hence evil is party evil as well as party good. If that be true, then there are no evil or good people in the world. The choices that people make are the once that are either good or evil. People cognitively engage in activities that can be categorized as good or evil based on the moral law in the society. Any choice that the people make depended on the psychological condition of the individual at that moment. The paper argues that good exist on the basis of duality; the presence of evil creates the comparative aspect needed to appreciate the good. 


The entire living world or the natural world has been based on materialism and evil with the good in the natural world being based on evil. The moralistic conscious and righteous good of humanity is founded on evil and materialism. Good only exist in the presence of evil because in the absence of something that counters balances the good it ceases to exist. The categorization of good or evil depends on the existence of option. The young people in Omelas appreciate the good in their life based on its contrast to the condition of the child locked in a dark room. In the absence of the awareness of evil, the horse riding or playing of flute would cease to be seen as good. Besides, if everything were good, there would still be evil since the least good thing would turn to be some evil. Someone qualifies to be a saint based on the relative goods they have done. The hate experienced by an individual originates from the difference that exists between them and the person that they hate. Evil and good have been seen to live together. It is somehow unfortunate but that just how history, religion, and today’s life portray the good and evil; the two exist in the same place or person. 

Assuming that the above argument holds, nothing qualifies to be evil in the absence of an equal contrasting good. A good that is wholly good must be lacking in any aspect of evil hence entirely good and utopian. As Augustine observed, evil exist because of the deprivation of good. Hence, in the absence of good deprivation cannot occur meaning evil cannot exist. Therefore, where there is some evil in good its good is defective as is the case with the hypothetical Omelas city. If that be the case, then there can be no evil where good is nonexistent. Considering that human being are good on the basis of being beings, then it appears that something bad can be good at the same time. Consequently, only what is good is ever evil, and there is no evil apart from good. The two contraries are coexistent so that the absence of good in what is evil means that the evil simply ceases to exist because it lacks the mode in which to exist. The corruption of the good in the society gives rise to evil. Consequently, evil feeds on the good depriving it of its quality so as to become existent. 

Compassion remains as one of the major good that exist in the world. Lack of compassion to those in difficult or harsh condition qualifies as the worst kind of the evil that a human can portray. The fictional story explains how some of the people who visit the child leave with a burden of guilt. They fail to acknowledge it as a necessary evil to become happy hence walks away from Omelas. The story illustrates that no matter what kind of happiness that we have or pursue there will always be that unjust twinge or guilt that exist at the back of our mind. The compassion witnessed in the happy city of Omelas directly link with the condition of the dehumanized child. Without the child, the story entirely lacks the theme of compassion. The moment humans become aware of their evil they become remorseful. The remorse causes beings to respond by being or doing good to compensate for past sins. The people that leave Omelas get overcome by the guilt and imagine that the only good they can do is to exit the city. The thinking agrees with the feeling that more good outweigh the bad or unjust events of life. According to Mackie, the universe with some evil is often better compared to a world free of evil because some kinds of goods can only exist logically in the presence of some evil.Consider, for example, the possibility of expressing mercy to a person in an entirely ideal condition; it is practically impossible. As such, compassion which proves to be a necessarily good only exists because of the presence of suffering. Compassion has been shown to be a product of suffering. The two contrary aspects of life exist and are a specific one as a result of the other. Good as a result of evil. 

Do you want to buy one right now

Good always precede evil. The majority of religion and society interpret light to mean good and darkness to mean evil. The question that must follow such an interpretation is whether darkness is an entity by itself or an absence of an entity in this case light. The value of light exists only because of the understanding of the depravity of darkness. Le Guin illustrates the coexistent of the two by contrasting the bright beach where the young people race with the dark room where the child has been locked. The beauty and happiness portrayed in the first section of the story have it foundation resting on the horrible condition of the child in the second section. According to Honoré de Balzac, there is a crime behind every great success or fortune. The crime in the story involves not even saying a kind word to the child to avoid pulling him from the abominable misery even for a second. The utopia of Omelas depends on the strict sustenance of the inhumane evil furthered against the child. The meaningfulness of light is realized because of the existence of darkness. Similarly, people are happy because they are not going through the evil that other people go through. If all individuals had the same condition, there would be no source of happiness. Owning a car, for example, excite because other people don’t have a car or don’t have a car that is as good as the one an individual possess. Happiness only exists in the presence of unhappiness of others, vindicating the view that there cannot be any good without evil.

The Christian salvation story well illustrates how evil pave the way for the good. According to the Bible, salvation and heaven which is believed to be a place without evil could not be realized without Calvary. The event that occurred at Calvary is the worst form of evil that can happen to a human. Heaven, which remains to be the ultimate form of happiness that humanity will ever experience, cannot be realized in the absence of evil that prevailed at Calvary. Just as Jesus suffered to purchase the freedom and happiness for Christians, the child suffers to guarantee the happiness of the citizen of Omelas. Therefore, it is significance for one human to be dehumanized so that majority can have the democratic benefit of pleasure. The presence of the child in the society give value to their music, class of the fortunate and the unfortunate and a reference point of happiness and wisdom. The suffering drives and inspires; it robs the people their innocence. The suffering of one for the happiness of others explains the need for evil for the proliferation of good. 

Finally, good and evil coexist in the world in a contrasting but inseparable manner. The moral law that is held by society only help in identifying good from evil but not eliminating one to leave the other. The things that are characterized as good depend on and contrast those things that the moral law marks as bad.  As a matter of facts, evil is the deprivation of good. Therefore, as interdependent entities, they cannot be separated. Any attempt to make one stand independent of the other does not only destroy their relative and interrelated nature but also utterly destroy them both. “The ones who walks away from the Omelas” is a perfect illustration of such sad reality of the universe. Unable to cope with the said reality some just walk away to unknown destinations. They opt to walk away from the Omelas.

Oct 8, 2020 in Socioligy
Drug and Substance Abuse
Human Resource Diversity as a Management Challenge

Related essays

Discount applied successfully