The Inaction of a Perfect God

A common descriptor of the Christian god (and many other monotheistic religions) is the word perfection. Despite some searching, I could not find any uniform description of what Christianity means by perfect. The most common I heard was that God is a “being without defect or blemish: a perfect specimen.” That is a good enough starting point, so we are working from that.

A being without defect or blemish? This is a hard concept for the human mind to understand, since we are definitely “defective” creatures. We have defects from the moment we are born; we have a vast collection of wants and desires. We want food, warm, love, attention, companionship. As we grow older, our list of wants and desires only grows. Family, wealth, purpose, community.

A perfect god has none of these. A perfect creature has no defects. There is nothing wrong with it, and thus no action can cause any improvement. Because there is no need for improvement, a perfect being does not have wants or desires. Any action would lead away from perfection, could only cause harm.

Without wants or desires, a perfect god can not decide to take action. In a state of perfection, all intentional actions are bad, since as stated above, they must lead away from perfection. A perfect god can not also be a creator god. Creations require a desire to create. A perfect god does not have desires.

The only creation a perfect god could take would be an unintentional one. A god could accidentally create a universe, since that is not a product of want or desire. But a perfect being is without blemish, and an accident is a blemish. Thus a perfect being does not have accidents.

So a perfect god is possible within our understanding of the universe. A perfect god has no wants or desires. It takes no actions, has no creations, nor is an accidental first cause. A perfect god does nothing, simply existing for all time.

If you want to believe in that kind of god, you will get no arguments from me. My only question would be: why would you want to?

-That is all.

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2 thoughts on “The Inaction of a Perfect God

  1. Hi Nick

    This is one of those Exogenous (outside of it’s intended source) ideas that really has no Biblical reference. There is a vague reference in John 4:9-21 that alludes to this idea that God is love and manifest that love in Jesus and in turn that love is manifest us and that love is a perfect love. 

    Some apologists will dance around this and equate this as a perfect being both Jesus and God.

    Thomas Aquinas promoted this idea of the argument from goodness/degree. 
       
    “We notice that things in the world differ. There are degrees of, say, goodness or perfection. But we judge these degrees only by comparison with a maximum. Humans can be both good and bad, so the maximum goodness cannot rest in us. Therefore there must be some other maximum to set the standard for perfection, and we call that maximum God.”

    This is really nothing more than the Ontological Argument;

    1) God is the greatest imaginable being.

    2) All else being equal, a being or entity that exists is greater than one that doesn’t.

    3) Therefore, God exists.

    The problem with this argument is you can replace God with any Deity or my favorite “Russell’s Teapot” and the argument still works. 

    In Genesis 1:26-27 God makes man in their image. And in Genesis 2 and 3 God places Man and Woman in the Garden already as perfect beings. This is because they were only to eat from the tree of life And would live in perfect bliss forever.

    The problem arises when man and woman eat from the tree of good and evil and become knowledgeable like gods, which the fall of man occurs and are no longer perfect. This seems to imply that now they have the knowledge of gods and are like gods and that gods are also imperfect, which then refutes the Argument From Goodness/Degree and the Ontological Argument.

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