Evil's Unreality

In view of the seeming immensity of evil, its significance to human experience and its persistence in world history, it need not surprise one that many should have reached the conviction that it must have a place in the divine plan, and affirm that there is warrant for this conclusion in the fact that moral achievements are a direct fruitage of resistance to it. The claim is, that as joy could not be known for joy were it not contrasted with sorrow, so "if there were no such thing as evil there could be no such thing as goodness;" evil is therefore "indispensable" to a moral world.

Thus John Fiske and others contend that as hearing and sight are dependent upon an indescribably rapid succession of contrasts, the alternate rarefactions and condensations of air or ether, so in its very nature all knowledge is the result of "minute subconscious discriminations of likeness and unlikeness." It is thus argued that without the background of evil, good would be undefined, characterless, and indistinguishable; hence unknowable. This sounds plausible, in harmony with the physical facts, and it seems to honor good in assuming that its gain is well worth the calm endurance of the awful tragedies of human suffering as pertaining to the best order that Love could devise.

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Editorial
Healing and Gratitude
December 26, 1914
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