This Post is Part of Series of Post called Dissecting the Anatomy of God.
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This is more of the philosophical question of the existence of God and could a perfect God actually exist?
To many the conceived mindset or the idea of a perfect God presents us with a philosophical quandary in the ontological and epistemological sense. That the philosophy & concept of an all perfect being must first exist conceptually in the mind. In that conceptual existence, God therefore also exist in a real ontological perfection. As his existence is dependent upon his perfection; If God lacked perfection he would also lack existence. As his existence is a byproduct of his ontological perfection and as a perfect being he must therefore exist. Thus, only an all perfect being can produce an ontological mental picture of its own perfect essence, for nothing is more perfect than that being.(?????) Yeah I know!
This is what is considered a rough sketch of the Ontological Argument. There are several different ontological arguments, but we will focus on the one using the characteristic of perfection. The one put forth by Muslim philosopher Mulla Sadra. The argument attempts to prove the existence of God and his perfection through the reality of existence.
The Ontological Argument put forth by Mulla Sadra
- There is existence
- Existence is a perfection above which no perfection may be conceived
- God is perfection and perfection in existence
- Existence is a singular and simple reality; there is no metaphysical pluralism
- That singular reality is graded in intensity in a scale of perfection
- That scale must have a limit point, a point of greatest intensity and of greatest existence.
- Hence =God exists.
Here is a simplified version of the Classical Ontological Argument as it relates to perfection….
1. God is the most perfect (‘the greatest’) being conceivable.
2. It is more perfect (‘greater’) to exist than not to exist.
3. Therefore, God must exist.
It is similar to Rene Descartes more popular argument, however somewhat lacking the same sound structure.
- God is a being that has all perfections.
- Existence is a perfection.
- Conclusion: –> God Exist
In addition to this syllogism, Descartes also asserts and concludes in his own writings that the concept of an all perfect, can only come from an all perfect supreme being. And that really we really should not even doubt the existence of God. However nice these arguments are, they show existence to be proven abstractly, and we really don’t live in an abstract world. We live in reality. There are other ontological arguments that make a better connection from abstract concept to reality, but those don’t add in the attribute of a perfect being. So there is a slight dilemma philosophically, as some will say that the argument is full of “Hot Air.” Because it looks like it has weight, but it lacks substance, because it is solely metaphysical , which has always been a folly of abstract philosophical reasoning.
However, there is an Anti-Ontological Argument that has been put forth by some that argue against the idea and philosophy of a perfect God.
Basic Inductive Form
(P1) God is a perfect thing (a perfect being).
(P2) Perfect things are usually nonexistent idealisations of real things.
(P3) Perfect things are unlikely to exist. (from P2) [some leave this out]
(C) Therefore, it is unlikely that God exists. (from P3 and P1)
Detailed Explanatory Deductive Proof
(Q1) God is a perfect being that created the universe.
(Q2) If God exists, then the world is perfect before the creation of the universe.
(Q3) God would not make the world worse in virtue of his moral perfection.
(Q4) If God exists, then the world is perfect during and after the creation of the universe. (from Q2 and Q3)
(Q5) If God exists, then the world is perfect. (from Q2 and Q4)
(Q6) The world is imperfect.
(C) Therefore, God does not exist. (from Q5 and Q6)
One of the basis premises for this anti-argument is that we live in an imperfect world. So if a perfect being created an imperfect world, how can we still call it perfect. Secondly, it also deals with the conceptualization of perfect. That true perfection is unattainable, because it is only exist conceptually. An example of this is the Idea of a Perfect circle. A perfect circle only exist conceptually, but in reality a perfect circle can never exist, because it is made of little tiny small straight lines. There are many other criticisms of the (perfect) ontological argument. Like the argument that Perfection does not precede existence or does god exist because he is perfect or the principal that Gods existence even being necessary.
To say God metaphysically exist, and he is conceptually perfection is a distant thought from reality, and will always be the biggest folly of the Abrahamic Religions and the ontology of God. I think for anyone who believes and confesses that a Perfect God, who is the creator of all things exist has mountain of obstacles to climb. The reason is because no one denies that the world is flawed and erred. Yet, the disconnect is the metaphysical reality between an all perfect being and the product of his creation. That this in itself is an illogical contradiction of common sense. Therefore Why should I believe that this perfect being exist?