Mackie writes that one way in which particular evil may be required for the universal good is through sheer contrast: “in a musical work, for example, there may occur discords which somehow add to the beauty of the work as a whole.” (76) As an illustration, consider again the following speech from the movie Troy by Achilles:

I’ll tell you a secret… something they don’t teach you in your temple. The gods envy us. They envy us because we’re mortal, because any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we’re doomed.

You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again.

Perhaps this is yet another lesson we are supposed to take to heart not only in this life but especially in the next. For an everlasting life may, in an unprepared person, ruin the beauty, poignancy, and indeed importance of the present, of each moment. That would be wildly unfitting.


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