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There are many logical arguments against the existence of a [insert type here] god. “God” comes in many forms, the classical version of which I take to task in my reasonably priced ebook The Problem with “God”: Skeptical Theism under the Spotlight. In that book and previous posts here, I have taken the notion of a perfect creator god to task. Indeed, here are some pieces:

So on and so forth.

Let’s return to this idea now.

The idea of God being perfect is one espoused often in discussions of perfect being theology (PBT) and classical theism. A perfect builder who builds something below par, whose work is shoddy, cannot, in any sensible use of the term, be described as a perfect builder. On their day they might produce something perfect, but any instantiation of imperfection invalidates the overall label of perfect, surely.

This is what led me to conclude, in one of the posts listed above, that this world is perfect. It must, if it is the creation of a perfect being, be a perfect creation.

Let’s look at s syllogism that investigates this (thanks to Jim Jones for  listing some of these to talk about):

 Perfect Creator Cannot Exist
1) If God exists, then he is perfect.
2) If God exists, then he is the creator of the universe.
3) If a being is perfect, then whatever he creates must be perfect.
4) But the universe is not perfect.
5) Therefore, it is impossible for a perfect being to be the creator of the universe.
C Hence, it is impossible for God to exist.

This seems pretty logically valid. The debate will come over the soundness of 3) and 4).

3) If a being is perfect, then whatever he creates must be perfect.

I cannot think of a scenario where a perfect being would do anything imperfectly unless that decision to do so was part of some overarching larger arc of perfection. In other words, if I wanted to show (perfectly) how well oil works to keep a car engine running properly, I might want to run an engine badly, without using oil, in order for it to fail and to make that point.

You can contrive scenarios, possibly, whereby instantiations of imperfection work towards a greater overall perfection. And this leads us on to:

4) But the universe is not perfect.

Similarly, with the previous point, if the universe is presently imperfect, then to satisfy the demands on God’s perfect (creating) nature, the universe must be working towards perfection or be part of God’s overall plan for perfection. And the imperfection (i.e. suffering) must be necessary to achieve that perfection, otherwise the suffering is gratuitous and God fails the problem of evil. This imperfection might, perhaps, be a necessary by-product of creating for perfection in the same way that evil is used as a necessary by-product of free will in theodicies concerning the problem of evil.

Either that, or this here universe is actually perfect. Right here. Right now.

So this suffering, this seeming imperfection, must be absolutely necessary for obtaining perfection. God could not have created otherwise and better, otherwise he would have done so. This universe is in some way the pinnacle of perfection. Child rape, malaria, 240,000 people dying in a tsunami and all other evils, including me stubbing my toe, are all absolutely necessary for obtaining perfection. Not one unit oif pain less, and not one unit more.

And you cannot blame humanity and the Fall. As I have discussed many times before, if God knew in advance we would do that and created anyway, then that is poor design. If humanity wasn’t the sort of creation that would do that (eat the apple etc.), but God used Adam and Eve in the test, then God’s choice of Adam and Eve as representative of humanity was a poor and faulty one.

God is ultimately responsible for his creation – after all, he designed it; we didn’t even exist when he cooked up this plan!


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Jonathan MS Pearce

A TIPPLING PHILOSOPHER Jonathan MS Pearce is a philosopher, author, columnist, and public speaker with an interest in writing about almost anything, from skepticism to science, politics, and morality,...