The term for a belief that there is an absolute distinction between light and darkness, good and evil, God and Satan. In Zoroastrianism the evil spirit is regarded as existing independently of the creator of good, but Hebrew religion always maintained that Satan was subordinate to God. The Christian doctrine is that God's creation is good (Gen. 1: 31); but human beings in their freedom have become sinful (Rom. 6: 12). Paul repudiates the heretical doctrine of the Gnostics that matter is itself evil (Rom. 8: 19 ff.).