The true rule, in determining to embrace, or reject any thing, is not whether it have any evil in it; but whether it have more of evil, than of good. There are few things wholly evil, or wholly good.
(Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), U.S. president. Speech in the U.S. House of Representatives on internal improvements, June 20, 1848. Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, vol. 1, p. 484, Rutgers University Press (1953, 1990).)
The mediation by the serpent was necessary: Evil can seduce man, but cannot become man.
(Franz Kafka (1883-1924), Prague German Jewish author, novelist. The Third Notebook, December 7, 1917. The Blue Octavo Notebooks, ed. Max Brod, trans. by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins. Exact Change, Cambridge, MA (1991). Dearest Father: Stories and Other Writings, trans. by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins, New York, Schocken Books (1954).)