When challenged to provide an example of an evil that was not a deprivation of a good, the interlocutor supplied things like genocide and torture. (Apparently, if an evil is really, really evil, the definition somehow no longer applies.) He missed the point that these things would not be thought of as evil in the first place if they did not deprive people of goods like their life, liberty, dignity, etc. But the reasons given were all emotive, not logical. How dare you say that something as horrid as genocide is "only" a deprivation of a good!
Perhaps their thinking has been heavily influenced by monster movies, so that evil is now associated with that slimy, voracious thing behind the attic door. IOW, something outside ourselves. In any case, something with its own positive existence, like a boogeyman, rather than something parasitical upon a good. A something-not-there rather than a something-that-is. An emptiness.
But there cannot be cowardice (or foolhardiness!) without courage; there cannot be death without life. You cannot even conceive of death without the prior concept of life, whereas one may easily conceive of life without death.
Well, this elicited a comment from another of the Usual Suspects that the term "death" was a loaded one, since it presupposed life. (Well, duh? That was the whole point.) So he proposed "not-life" as the contrary to life. It made no impression upon his impervious intellect to point out that we had been talking about evil, not set theory. No, he wanted to talk about something else entirely. Something about contraries. Oh, and "transition between states," as if using pseudo-scientificalistic jargon made it more intellectualish. But "not-life"? "Transition in state"? Talk about demeaning to those who have suffered an evil.
No one weeps because a stone is not-life. What is evil about that?
Besides, if you wish to refute a thing that "those people" have taught, it were best to engage the thing that they have actually taught, and not some other thing entirely.
The Catholics have a prayer also used by Lutherans and Anglicans and, in a different context, by the Orthodox, that begins:
Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.
You fill it up with something.