Evil is a major theme in the Confessions, particularly in regard to its origin. Like the Manicheans, the young Augustine could not understand how evil could exist if God was omnipotent. The Manichee answer is that evil is a separate substance against which God is constantly battling. Augustine harshly criticizes this view for its arrogance—wickedness is attributed to a weakness in God rather than a weakness in human will. Augustine now replies to the Manichean challenge on evil with a Neoplatonic view: evil has no existence of its own, but is entirely a product of the contrast between greater and lesser goods. All of creation is part of a perfect whole in God, but individual things may be closer to or further from God's perfection—the things furthest from God appear evil or wicked by comparison. Human free will can turn toward these lower things, and it is in this sense that evil stems not from God but from a "perversion" of human will.