Nagel’s Negative Good vs Negative Evil

Last Updated: 20 Apr 2022
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?Chapter 9 short writing assignmentShannon Prendergast Nagel explains negative good. as the absence of something bad and he describes a negative evil as the absence of something good. He is comparing these as they apply to death in this chapter. Assuming that death without anything is either good or bad to the person who dies. . He describes death as being either a negative evil or negative good. It can be described as a negative good because it can lack something bad.

If someone is dying from a painful disease there death will result in the lack of the bad pain they were feeling. It can also be described as a negative evil because they will miss out on the great experiences of life (sun shining, flowers blooming, laughing. ) But for these to be true we must think we don’t exist after death. If we believe otherwise it could be these things don’t change for us. If you were a bad person you may continue to suffer, or maybe the sun and flowers are more beautiful after death if you were a good person.

An example of a negative good in my life is the death of my brother-in-law. He suffered from depression (unknown to family) He was in a dark place and felt much turmoil and pain within. He committed suicide and this could be considered a negative good for him because his pain was ended. It can also be considered to be a negative evil because he will never see his children’s smile, hear there laughter or watch them grow. He was young and there was much life to live.

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I hope that there is existence after death and that people are at peace with there pain after death and can watch over there loved ones. Another example in life of a negative good is I had to leave a job I loved, but it happened to open the door for me to go back and finish my degree. The losing of the job was in turn not a bad thing because it produced something that otherwise would not have happened. There is also a negative evil in this situation and that is that I was unable to sign up for the class I wanted to take.

It was not necessarily bad; it just lacked a something good. In wrapping up the difference between negative good and negative evil, I would like to believe that every negative has a positive and when a bad happens to us it is because a good is on its way. As far as death goes I believe we go on to a wonderful, place. whether it be as ourselves or not. After all did we ever not exist, or do we live forever just changing forms. Maybe are cells evolve into different thing and everyone lives forever somehow.

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Nagel’s Negative Good vs Negative Evil. (2018, Feb 05). Retrieved from

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