Things which appear to us evil are in fact necessary components of a larger good. If there were no death, the earth would become wretchedly overcrowded. A child who freezes to death in the snow is suffering an unfortunate side-effect of weather which provides the water to sustain millions of lives. God has created the best world that he could (or he could be accused of weakness or deliberate evil). A painting's dark patches contribute to its over-all beauty.

This was a common argument among the "philosophical optimists" Voltaire so strenuously opposed. It is open to many objections.

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