Everything in the natural world (HIS creation) only has extrinsic value and goodness as declared by God himself. This is called a metaphysical value statement. Extrinsic values are derivative values, therefore intrinsic values preceed extrinsic values. This is the problem with idol worship or any exaltation of "things" above God, as those "things", idols or whatever they may be have no intrinsically good value. Their value is only given and accounted for based on subjective ascriptions of value. This concept should also give additional insight into the writings of Paul in Romans 1:25 when he said:
"Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen."The "creature" here represented men and mankind as well as the pleasures of this world. In reference to natural things one does not normally say that there is an "evil" tree or an "evil" rock. Once again, the identification that a tree or rock is not evil in and of itself is an ascription of value to that object. The rock or tree only becomes evil when their use is perverted or corrupted in some manner. For the Christian this is confirmed within the creation when God said this:
Gen. 1:31 ~ "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good"
God declared that everything that he had made was good from the time that he made it. By declaration of God this is an example of the creation being declared extrinsically good. This is called an extrinsic value declaration.
What is unaccounted for by the philosophical crowd is the difference that came into existence after the fall:
By the exercise of the freewill that God had given to man, the very creation that God had made and called good, had now been cursed. Please note extrinsic value of the creation changed so much that even the creation itself cries to be redeemed as noted by Paul in Romans:
Romans 8:22 ~ "For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now."
In Spinoza's understanding as referenced previously within this article, "evil" would only be applied to something after the consideration of the benefits to which those actions are applied. Corruption of what is good was not a consideration for Spinoza. All was purely based on a persons relationship to what was done. For example, killing, though generally held to be "evil", under certain circumstances may not be "evil" because it may be for self-defense or self preservation. Therefore the concept of klling may not be thoroughly or absolutely evil.
The little trick here deals with the "own temperment" part of Spinoza's statement. This rests upon a persons basis for carrying out the action. Using killing as an example again, under Spinoza's construction, "evil" would not be applied to killing if killing were in line with the killer's own standard of moral justification no matter what suffering results from the action. In fact in war killing is praised as long as the enemy is the one killed. Therefore, the act of killing takes on a relative and subjective position and moral value under certain circumstances.
Another example may include a person who steals out of what they think is necessity for their family to eat. Although thievery is wrong in some cases it may be looked upon as a noble and sincere action to prevent further uncomfort or evil from occurring.
The Christian must admit that these statements seem to be a highly plausible statements and ones that appear to have validity. God who abhors murder also told the children of Israel to possess the land of promise and in many cases kill or destroy all the inhabitants of the land.
Deut. 9:3-4a ~ "3-Understand therefore this day, that the LORD thy God is he which goeth over before thee; as a consuming fire he shall destroy them, and he shall bring them down before thy face: so shalt thou drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as the LORD hath said unto thee. 4-Speak not thou in thine heart, after that the LORD thy God hath cast them out from before thee, saying, For my righteousness the LORD hath brought me in to possess this land: "
Malachi 3:6 ~ "For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed."
Deut. 9:4b-5 ~"4b-For my righteousness the LORD hath brought me in to possess this land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD doth drive them out from before thee. 5-Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform the word which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."
God's righteousness cannot be separated from his nature. He has eternally set forth the standard of righteousness and his "temperment" is made known from the beginning. Therefore he is consistent in demanding justice for sins committed and that consistency overrides what men call moral subjectivism.
So the view of the world regarding "evil' is all based on concepts of subjective rationalism and those concepts do not and cannot apply to God as his standards have been set much further than what men have traditionally given him credit for. As you can see, to not have an understanding of the objective nature of the morality of God only leads to blatant absurdities.
Possibility vs. Actualization:
The duality of 'good versus evil' is expressed, in some form or another, by many cultures. Those who believe in the duality theory of evil believe that evil cannot exist without good, nor good without evil, as they are both objective states and opposite ends of the same scale.
In the Christian worldview evil exists as an exercise of the human agency of free-will. This thought is highly effective when one realizes first that freedom is not about having unlimited choices. Freedom is about having the unfettered ability to make a choice. God made man free moral agents and beings via that process he also extended to man the opportunity actualize evil. Therefore, God by creating free moral agents also created the possibility of evil, however man made the actuality of evil by the exercise of his free-will. For God to have created without the ability to do evil would have been manipulation plain and simple and would have destroyed free-will and freedom alltogether.
God could also not have created anything, however that sentiment completely overlooks the fact that what God did create was good and without corruption, therefore God did not create and is not responsible for the actualization of evil in this present world. In short, God certainly created the possibility of evil, however man made evil the actual reality and his choice even effected the echosystem or the natural world in which we live.
I propose that evil exists in our world today and that we recognize evil as either corruption or perversion of what is good.
I propose that "evil' cannot be distinguished as 'evil' in an of itself without the light of God through the inner conscience indicating what is good and therefore without corruption.
I believe that all men have been given some sort of illumination of conscience due to the fact that the light has entered into the world from eternity through Jesus.
I propose that since the Holy Spirit is present in the world today to "reprove" the world of sin thereby revealing the moral standards of God to both believer and nonbeliever alike.
It is evident that the world has labeled and branded actions as either "evil" or "good" because of the Holy Spirit's intervention. However, many of those standards have been made to be subjective by sinful man and fail to address the intrinsic nature, value actions or essence of what is being observed.
The atheist has been blinded to the fact that the only way he/she can recognize evil is because of the objective standard of God's good and the recognition of the effect of sin upon what is good and pure.
I propose that since evil does exist, it can only be revealed and known to be evil as a result of God's good, and HIS intervention in the current world, and that Christians are best suited to distinguish it because of the acceptance of the objective moral standards of God.