The first justification is composed of the defense that evil is needed for humans to learn to be good. It is almost synonymous with the saying, "Good and evil are the two sides of one coin." The justification is humorously called the Boy Scout, or cold shower, case and Eagleton describes it being argued as: "A world without evil would be too bland to provoke us into virtuous action." It is a sort of glamorous way of dressing up evil to be a skimpily paid janitor who cleans up all the world's lazy, non-heroic humans.
The second justification is named the Big Picture argument and consists of the belief that evil is not truly evil but actually something that allows the whole world to function properly. It argues that context is what humans lack to see how evil can be essential for the greater good. Eagleton presents an example with humans represented as a naive child: "A small child may be horrified at the sight of a woman sawing off a human finger, failing to grasp that the woman in question is a surgeon and the finger in question is damaged beyond repair." Humans are depicted here to be a misunderstanding creature and that, if we were able to view things at an omniscient viewpoint, might see the point of evil and maybe even actively support it.
The third justification consists of the argument that, with free will in existence, humans are free to commit evil acts. Evil exists because "human beings are free to maim, exploit, and oppress one another." For complete free will to exist, so does the possibility of committing acts of evil. Otherwise, it is not truly a free will. Controlled autonomy is a massive oxymoron.
These justifications make me view evil much differently. They make me think of it as something that isn't so bad. Of course, the world could do without it. But, it makes everything so much more interesting. I mean, why else would someone write a whole book about the subject?
As for my progress with the book, I am almost finished with it. I have about twenty pages left, but I believe this to be my last post. It is a continual wonder to me how his writing can still progress while running in circles. I found many sections of the book to be immensely riveting but also, contrastingly, many sections of the book to be seriously boring. He revisits topics again and again perhaps attempting to breathe new life into them but I, as a reader, felt he beat them to literary death. Maybe it is my fault that I couldn't see the purpose of revisiting said topics, though. I am sure I can reread the book again in the future and be able to better comprehend it.
And, so ends my blog. It was a nice ride; sometimes taxing, sometimes exciting. All worthwhile, though.