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Perfection In Relation to Sentient Beings

I was talking with a liberal Christian recently and she was talking about how human beings aren’t perfect and how we God loves us anyway. As our conversation continued, I asked why it matters that we aren’t perfect and what that even means. What does “perfect” mean in relation to sentient beings… God included?

When we are doing a task which has a known final outcome, I can understand what perfect mean. For example, when doing a puzzle if we are able to put all the puzzle pieces in the correct spots, we can say we did the puzzle perfectly. But people are a little different. There is no single final outcome. This means that there is no real perfect in relation to people.

Sure we can always strive to be better people. We can understand what that means. It means that we observe that certain traits make us happy and make others happy. Certain traits lead to a better quality of life for all involved. Being a better person would entail maximizing those traits for the wellbeing of ourselves and others. But is there a perfect way to maximize those traits? Are there perfect traits to be maximized?

I don’t think so and if there are, we as a society have not yet identified them yet. We don’t know what perfect is or even if there is a perfect. We do know that we are not perfect. We make mistakes all the time. But that isn’t a bad thing necessarily. It can be part of the learning process.

The character of God as he is thought about in Christianity and other religions is deeply flawed. He’s flawed because he is alleged to be perfect. God can’t learn. He can’t progress. The flaw is that his journey is over.

God can’t love us despite our flaws. In fact, he can’t love at all. Love is a journey; it changes and there is no room for change in perfection.

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