I had a friend who asked me one time, “Why does evil exist?”
And he caught me off-guard, but then again, he was very religious and he tends to question a lot of arbitrary things, to the point where he becomes a nuisance.
So I told him that “the existence of evil is necessary.”
He said, “What? Why? Why would you say such a horrible thing?”
And I said, “Yes, there’s a lot of horrible things that go on in the world but there’s so many beautiful things that go on too. And it’s the evil things like the natural disasters and hunger and homelessness and things like that that bring people together. For instance, like charity, nonprofit organizations, soup kitchens… like people are actually willing to volunteer some of their time without getting paid just to help someone else get fed. How great is that?! And there are state benefits for people who aren’t as fortunate in paying their bills or taking care of their children financially. And nonprofit organizations… People, who spend their whole lives creating something from nothing to aid others, and they don’t even expect any compensation either. I don’t think there’d be as much compassion for each other if we were all perfect… Okay, not perfect, but fortunate, if we were all… good. We wouldn’t need to be compassionate. It would be like, okay, so that person is okay, I’m okay, so we’re just gonna keep it moving.”
My friend nodded slowly at me. It looked as if he was going to interrupt me, but then, I guess he wanted to give his loquacious nature a rest.
“People wouldn’t be able to relate to each other on a deeper level, they wouldn’t be able to have opportunities to help each other because there would be no need for that. So yes, horrible things do occur in the world. Murder, rape, poverty, starvation, violence…”
His eyes widened at the mention of the word “rape,” as if it was an evil incantation of some kind, a form of dark magic. I’m surprised he didn’t utter a prayer or something.
“However, I wouldn’t suggest overlooking the good either. The good that already exists, and the good that stems from evil. I believe, with all my heart, that there’s more good in this world than there is evil because odds are that someone else went through something as horrible as you. Maybe not as severe, or perhaps more severe than you. I don’t always say ‘oh, woe is me’ because we are all in between two very opposite extremes.”
My buddy smiled as his eyes phased into a more crimson tint. I felt the sensation of flattery because I knew he was now resisting the urge to indulge in potato chips that were becoming stale in his cupboard.
“And that’s okay! We’re all in different walks of life. Just the fact that we can stick together like at AA meetings or at psych wards where we can meet new friends, we can meet other people who understand what we’re going through in one way or another. How wonderful is that? And the fact that the human experience doesn’t comprise entirely of the good and the bad, it’s not all black and white, there’s a gray area. And that gray area gives birth to so much life. And I’m just grateful that I’m a human being, that I’m a person, and that I can analyze and accept and acknowledge that good stems from evil. The existence of evil is necessary indeed. It seems like sacrifices must be made for the greater good. For society to evolve, for people’s perspectives to broaden, and open minds to cherish all the new innovations and new ideals that come from the darkness.”
My friend just stared intently at me. He probably thought I was some sort of prophet at this point. Or maybe I’m just overselling myself, and he’s just stoned off his ass. But I like to think, at least, I finally rendered him speechless.