God creates the world to be “perfect”, has “perfect”, morals because he is “perfect”. Isn’t that just because he created us to perceive that he is perfect, and if so, what if he is not actually perfect?
Greetings, @Hatire , and welcome!
It seems to me sometimes that metaphysical “why” questions, if mistaken, wind up proving themselves wrong not by getting negative answers, but by finding out enough to show they were the wrong question in the first place.
So, good question–but I’m not sure where we would think the world was considered perfect. The Bible’s origins myth says “very good.” Evolutionary creationists would say that there was a ton of death, suffering, and predation–so by the standard of being comfortable, it’s not perfect. The Old Testament also gives “good” laws that demand animal sacrifice–hardly comfortable by our standards today.
One could also argue that evolutionarily, we humans are designed to think abstractly–so if one thing is “strong,” there’s a posited “strongest” (ie, God). Or–“good,” --“best.”
We have to realize, just from looking at nature, that our idea of what is good would be an example of self defeat–we’re asking the wrong question. Obviously, if there is a God, he/she is not what each of us would imagine as being “perfect,” because we don’t share the same idea.
C S Lewis wrote that he suspected Heaven, which ideally would be perfect, likely won’t fit in to any ideal of what we think is ideal–because there’s no way that we would perceive what’s really the right way.
For a summary of some thoughts on suffering, you might enjoy this.
So, you see, you have put a finger on a problem–not that God created “perfection,” but that we ourselves project a rather puny idea of perfection on nature.
Does that help? Thanks. I look forward to your response.
God is perfect. He did not create the world to be perfect. Not even within the genesis mythologies. It was not perfect even before Adam and Eve disobeyed. How do we know?
Well first it says he started out hovering above the waters. This was not perfect so he made land. The sky was not perfect so he made stars and so on.
It was still not even perfect with the creation of Adam. How do we know? He saw that it was not good that Adam was alone. So it was not perfect because you can’t get more perfect, you can just keep getting better until you get perfect. The world was good. The world was even very good. But it was not perfect. It was still not even perfect when Adam was with Eve. If it was perfect they would not have been told to multiply. The world became better by species having kids.
Before that though it was still not perfect because God told Adam and Eve to manage and oversee the garden. If the garden was perfect there would have been so sneaky talking snakes and there would have been no need to manage it.
So we never really see the world being called perfect just a very good place that you still needed to take care of and keep an eye out for a deceiver.
Now you mentioned something about perfect morals? Do you mean God handpicked certain traits and told us those traits , as opposed to other traits, were perfect because those are the ones he already possessed?
If so then let’s follow that argument through. Your counter argument would have to consist of some trait God does not have that would improve his character. What would that be?
- If God created us to perceive that He is perfect and He actually is perfect, I think our perception is pretty good.
- If, on the other hand, God created us to perceive that He is perfect and He actually isn’t perfect, I think He’s pretty clever.
- More importantly, I wonder, in either case, how can we be certain that our perception gives us any ground to stand on? We could be right, or we could be wrong.
This is very interesting, but I do believe it is specifically because of his good nature that he created this moral system for us. If other morals were good, for example, what would happen if we have a different morals? If stealing was considered good, and God’s nature was like that, wouldn’t the world be in chaos? Now, for some of these responses, I am perceiving the summary of some of these, especially the first one, that the Bible says that it was good and very good, but not perfect, or rather, He is perfect, but not according to our ideals, and/or the world itself isn’t perfect. However, shouldn’t he have already built a set of morals in us, so we should in fact be able to perceive what perfection is, especially through the Bible?
The answer to another question, why God created in the first place, helps resolve the question in the OP.
Perfect has many definitions. God is not perfect in the sense of perfect numbers, for example. When Jesus says we must be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect – what does that mean? Well it cannot be talking about perfection in following commandments or perfection in the sense of not making any mistakes. The first would not apply to God and the second is contrary to human nature since making mistakes is part of the learning process.
So I would suggest tackling this from the other direction of asking what kind of perfection is it essential for us to be? Well you simply cannot expect any place to be heavenly if people are indulging the kind of destructive behaviors that make so much of life on earth a living hell for people. And what is it that Jesus is saying so often to people? “Your sins are forgiven so go and sin no more.” Where sin consists of the behaviors and habits which are destructive of life – your own and that of others. In this way you must be perfect for the simply logical reason that any place where there are such behaviors cannot be heavenly.
So how about God? Is God perfect in the sense of being without such behavior and habits which are destructive of Himself and others. I certainly think so!
Thank you for your responses. I think I understand more now.
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