Goodness includes within it the absence of goodness, else man could not know the nature of the good.
The opposite of a virtue must be present (or presented) along with that virtue in order for the totality of that virtue to be known. And for any good to be fully known, man must have the freedom and desire to choose it. Only in the knowledge, experience of its opposite can man fully appreciate, yearn for, and enjoy the good.
The fruit of consciousness enables us to recognize the bitter as well as the sweet in life, and each experience moves us toward wanting that which will satisfy completely.
Without the duality of human existence, God could not hope for man to yearn for the unity that he (God) wanted with man but could never achieve if man had no choice. Opposites are essential to God’s grand design. Whether we call the absence of good evil or sin or give it a proper name (Devil, Anti-Christ, etc.) makes no difference. The looming largeness of this absence of good causes man to name, describe, place blame with such energy—all signifying the enormous influence of and preoccupation with this absence.
Once the good is apprehended, the energy formerly attached to the absence is now invested in and multiplies the good.
Ann Glover O’Dell
29 April 2009