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God Is Perfect

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Friday, June 21, 2024 @ 07:33 AM God Is Perfect Parker K. May Stand Intern MORE

One semester while I was attending community college, the only class that I could fit into my schedule for an elective was philosophy. I had never given much thought to the subject before, only recalling the stereotypical question “What is the meaning of life?” Besides that, I was also familiar with pop culture jokes referencing the uselessness of a philosophy degree.

The class, in fact, turned out to be really interesting as we learned about different strategies of thought derived from ancient philosophers. It was more enjoyable than I expected it to be as we debated topics such as Plato’s allegory of the cave and the ethics of cloning a person. However, one lesson in the class that has stuck with me is an argument set forth by René Descartes. With this argument, Descartes sets out to prove the existence of God through the idea of perfection.

In 1 Peter 3:15, Christians are told to be prepared to give a defense for their beliefs, and one question that is easy to answer is “Is God real?” Of course, Christians will answer yes, but it’s the follow-up statement of “then prove it” that has been difficult for some people to answer. As Christians, we know that God is real, and there are many Bible verses that validate His existence (1 Corinthians 8:6). We wholeheartedly believe this through faithfully reading the Bible and solidifying this knowledge in our hearts through our personal walk with the Lord.

However, proving God is real to staunch non-believers without any evidence is really trying. So, for those who do not believe in the Bible, how can we prove God is real? How can we explain something we know to be fact to someone who views it as fiction?

In today’s world, people only want to rely on what they deem as logical. Religion seems to hold no relevance in that assessment as it ultimately relies on faith. These people will not listen to or consider any argument or proof put forth from the Bible; therefore, Christians need to find another way to open their minds to consider God as a true, all-mighty spiritual being.

While everyone might not have a view on God, thankfully, everyone does have an idea of perfection. It should be noted that God is a perfect being, and there are multiple Scripture references that assure us that God is blameless and just (Psalm 18:30, Deuteronomy 32:4; Matthew 5:48). So not only is the Creator of the universe and everything that is in it real; but He is perfect, His ways are perfect, and His will is perfect, even if we do not comprehend His motives all the time.

It is in the name of perfection that Descartes sets forth a couple of philosophical proofs in his Third Meditation to logically justify the existence of God. While I cannot explain the deeper aspects of Descartes’ proofs, I can share the basic idea regarding it. And just like with any argument, there are flaws in areas that allow people to debate this point of view.

The first part of this argument relies on a person recognizing that they are an imperfect being. Whether they lie, steal, cheat, or participate in a myriad of other immoral acts, not a single person can claim that they live a flawless life. Now, admitting that they are imperfect, a person recognizes they have a concept of perfection and with that, a perfect being, namely recognized as God. Since we are imperfect, our reality is imperfect, and we should not be able to know or comprehend what perfection is. However, we do, in fact, have an idea of perfection, but this concept cannot and did not originate from us, nor do we see it in those around us.

Therefore, there has to be a reality of perfection with that of a perfect being, and it is only plausible that a perfect being implanted the idea of Himself and perfection within us. This idea also helps us argue that God created mankind since we did not come up with perfection, and we did not receive it from our parents. It is logical to assume that a perfect being, i.e. God, created us.

While there is more to the argument, it is important to note that this philosophical thought problem is not a replacement for biblical teaching. Hopefully, it will encourage people who are too stubborn to consider the Bible as true a chance to open their minds and consider the possibility of a higher being, leading them to study the Bible for themselves.

For more information look here or look up other websites regarding Descartes’ Ontological argument.

Romans 1:20 states:

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood though what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 

Just as Descartes tries to show how we should know God is real, this verse shows how God clearly reveals Himself through His creation, which includes us, making His existence obvious.

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