Is Perfection Possible?

Is perfection impossible?

Does perfection require knowing all outcomes thereby rendering only one possible path?

If this is so then does that mean that for those that believe in free will perfection should be impossible?

Could it then be argued that under these conditions the omniscient god cannot exist?

I’m thinking off the cuff based on those two statements above…

Note: This was taken word for word from the thread “Paradox in (in)fallability”

It’s all in how you define the words. If “all-knowing” means “Knowing everything that can possibly be known” and the future actions of a free being is something that can’t possibly be known, then God can be all knowing even if there are free beings.
If 'all knowing" means “Knowing everything- even the impossible stuff” then no, of course there’s no such thing as that.
Perfection is an extremely difficult thing to define, I would suggest we stick to omniscience, at least until we have a working, arguable definition of that.

If God is to be known as “omniscent,” then he knows all possible outcomes, and the one right one, so he is perfect. That is only with your definition of perfect.

First, lets look at the word “perfect.” The Latin root, perfectus, really meant to be complete. This is why in other langauges we have the “present perfect” case. It is the complete one. Anyhow, this meant that originally, God was not necesarily seen as perfect, in today’s sense, but as complete. But, translate that throughout the years, and you get something meaning no flaws, no wrongs et cetera. When really, all perfect means is “finished.”

So, yes, perfection is possible with free will, as all it is is having a complete perspective on everything. I suppose this would translate to omniscience, which is a completely and total view on all things.

My question to you is, why can something not be omniscent , even though free will exists?

Hi t4m

Perfection can exist as a subjective quality defined by subjective standards. Perfection IMO as an objective quality means something different. It has to do with the relative quality of being. Perfection is ultimate unity while imperfection arises from the gradual involution of unity into diversity or “lawful fractions of the whole”.

The idea of “results” or possible paths, is a quality of subjective perfection. Objective perfection is the conscious quality of the moment itself where “results” don’t exist but everything is complete…

I’m not sure but I believe you are referring to subjective perfection where perfection is associated with intent. In this case I believe it would be relative. For example, I have a perfect knowledge of tic tac toe. I worked out the variations and can only win or draw but never lose. It is not so in chess. My knowledge is far from perfect. :slight_smile:

Knowledge of possibilities is in the laws of creation or divine plan. In this way I believe God is omniscient. If everything were predictable there would be no sense to creation. There would be no renewing experience of the complete quality of the moment in its myriad of actualizations within the scale of being.

This is a further example of the Ineffable discussion. Many things can be said to be lacking nothing essential to the whole, providing I am the person who is defining that whole. If I define the nature of something, I can also deem something to be complete of its nature or kind. If I am talking about something being in principle ‘perfect’ then I assume a role that I can’t really fulfil.

Generally we define things as being perfect for some use we are putting that thing to. If we are talking about people being perfect, we need to know then what we are intended to be good for. The Bible suggests that mankind has missed the mark, or failed to reach perfection and calls this sin. It is one explanation for the turmoil we often see.

To ask whether God is ‘perfect’ would require us to to be able to judge God - which we can not. The only accounts we can judge are the imaginations of mankind, which try to capture the impressions that their awareness of the Ineffable has made on them.

Shalom
Bob

Perfect and perfection are words with no real meaning, yet get bandied about as if they do.
Perfection requires a scale of measure. How can a rock be a perfect rock without an objective scale of rock-ness to measure up to?

If you are alluding to the ‘perfect’ being thought up (but not to coherantly) by theists, what exactly is this perfect being perfect at?

Granted perfect and perfection are just words. Ucissore, your point that an all knowing god knows all things (all options) is well taken (and I would agree that the argument is very valid.

So, if perfection or perfect are not just words to measure an object’s worth but are instead are words that define an ability: such as not making mistakes or errors, would this state of perfection be attainable? Am I forcing perfection and perfect to mean something that it does not?

I think of what Jesus (assuming he exists) said:

BOB Is this possible? If not, what was the intent of this statement? Was it simply to ask us to do our best to strive towards perfection?

If yes, how can we define this perfection? Can it be defined? Assuming this was a point of guidance that Jesus provided should we not have a definition of perfect that we should strive for?

Is god (assuming he exists) infallible? Is god incapable of making mistakes? Is this infallibility the perfection that Jesus mentions above?

Now, if god is infallible wouldn’t this require that god know all possible outcomes of his decisions from here to eternity? Again, if this is the case then would the choices of god be limited into a singular path–for any variant path would lead to a mistake (the perfect choice at all points = 1 direction). So, WHAT AM I MISSING?

Also, PETER the PHILOS… 1. Wouldn’t the notion that god “was not neces[s]arily thought of as perfect…” simply indicate that our notion of god has always been flawed–which I think, is Bob’s point about the ineffable qualities of god.

Also… 2. If god is “finished” in the sense of being complete does this not mean the he is without flaw: what would god need to change to, what could he improve? Is this not similar to the perfection definition previously discussed?

UCISSORE, how do you define omniscience? I am very interested in learning. Is omniscience the ability to know everything that can be known?

Please discuss.

Hi T4M,

The Greek word for ‘perfect’ is teleios, which has a number of meanings:

  1. brought to its end, finished
  2. wanting nothing necessary to completeness
  3. perfect
  4. that which is perfect
    4a) consummate human integrity and virtue
    4b) of men
    4b1) full grown, adult, of full age, mature

By the context of the message, Jesus was telling his followers to be consequent and consistent. The Torah shows the direction, now walk that road to the end. Complete the journey, allow yourself to reach the spiritual maturity that is your destiny.

Matthew 5:
38 ¶ Ye have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
39 but I say unto you, resist not him that is evil: but whosoever smiteth thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
40 And if any man would go to law with thee, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.
41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go one mile, go with him two.
42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
43 ¶ Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy:
44 but I say unto you, love your enemies, and pray for them that persecute you;
45 that ye may be sons of your Father who is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust.
46 For if ye love them that love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the Gentiles the same?
48 Ye therefore shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Shalom
Bob

If you think like a human being then there is no way you can know perfection. You have to let go of the human heart and manifest the True heart which is inherently pure and perfect. The Buddha nature is perfection. Christ nature is perfection.

Inherently we are pure and bright and perfect.

A