Chapter XVII.—Not Admitted by All.
Then Simon, interrupting his discourse, said: “They do rightly who say that there is no evil.” p. 119 Then Peter answered: “We do not propose to speak of this now, but only to state the fact that the existence of evil is not universally admitted. But the second question that you should have asked is, What is evil?—a substance, an accident, or an act? And many other things of the same sort. And after that, towards what, or how it is, or to whom it is evil,—whether to God, or to angels, or to men, to the righteous or the wicked, to all or to some, to ones self or to no one? And then you should inquire, Whence it is?—whether from God, or from nothing; whether it has always been, or has had its beginning in time; whether it is useful or useless? and many other things which a proposition of this sort demands.” To this Simon answered: “Pardon me; I was in error concerning the first question; but suppose that I now ask first, whether evil is or not?”