The Privative Nature of Evil

The Privative - The Privative Nature of Evil It would seem that the decrease or elimination of evil is always a good thing and the decrease or

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The Privative Nature of Evil It would seem that the decrease or elimination of evil is always a good thing, and the decrease or elimination of good is always a bad thing. This complementarity has led many philosophers and theologians (most notably Augustine of Hippo) to adopt the "privative theory of evil". According to this theory, every evil just is the absence of some corresponding good. This is why the elimination of some evil consists in the introduction of the corresponding good, and the elimination of some good constitutes the introduction of the corresponding evil. It is possible that the privative theory of evil is false, but if it were false, this would leave us with no explanation for the complementarity of good and evil. Similarly, it is conceivable that both cold and heat exist, even though neither one is the privation of the other, but this would leave unexplained why an increase in heat is always a decrease in coldness, and why an increase in coldness is always a decrease in heat. We could adopt, I suppose, a privative theory of goodness,
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This note was uploaded on 11/09/2011 for the course PHI PHI2010 taught by Professor Jorgerigol during the Fall '09 term at Broward College.

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