[quote=“STT, post:103, topic:459482, full:true”]
We can experience blindness, lack of vision. This means that evil is something, a mental phenomena.
Evil is found only in good and being. Blindess does not totally destroy a person. A blind person can make acts of intellect and will, acts of at least some of the interior sense powers, and acts of the other four external senses. So, a person may experience or have knowledge of blindness especially a person who had sight before then became blind, but this experience is reduced to whatever is left of the person’s being minus the blindness. The power of sight or vision is not in act in a blind person and thus sight or vision is not a being in a blind person. Blindness involves a problem with the eyes, it is not a mental phenomena.
We can experience evil especially when we do sinful or evil actions such as fornicating or when somebody does evil to us such as striking us with their fist. Our sinful actions have being and good insofar as they are actions. Again, evil is only found in good and being but it is not itself a being but the privation of good and being. The evil we experience in our sinful actions is the absence or privation of good and being in them, they are disordered. But, insofar as our sinful actions exist and we do them, we experience them. It doesn’t follow that evil is a thing. Evil is defined as the privation or absence of good. If we think about it, the very word ‘privation’ implies that evil is not a being.
What may be of some help here is what St Thomas Aquinas says in the ST:
As the Philosopher says (Metaph. v, text 14), being is twofold. In one way it is considered as signifying the entity of a thing, as divisible by the ten “predicaments”; and in that sense it is convertible with thing, and thus no privation is a being, and neither therefore is evil a being. In another sense being conveys the truth of a proposition which unites together subject and attribute by a copula, notified by this word “is”; and in this sense being is what answers to the question, “Does it exist?” and thus we speak of blindness as being in the eye; or of any other privation. In this way even evil can be called a being. Through ignorance of this distinction some, considering that things may be evil, or that evil is said to be in things, believed that evil was a positive thing in itself.