Perfection and God are two words that go hand in hand. Most people feel that an imperfect God would be no God at all.
Some of the qualities usually associated with divinity are omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, omnibenevolence.
Well, if a being was all-powerful, all-knowing, present everywhere, and had love for everyone and everything, I can see why this entity would be deserving of being called perfect.
But why does "God," which I use as a synonym for ultimate reality, have to be perfect? What's perfect about perfection?
I got thinking about this when I came to the first page (p. 276) in Richard Carrier's "Sense and Goodness Without God" where I was impelled to pencil in (actually, highlighter in) some marginal question marks. Carrier says:
For example, it is obvious that a perfect being, by any definition, could not and would not create an imperfect universe, yet the universe is imperfect, therefore God cannot be perfect. This does not prove there is no God, but it does prove that given the way the universe plainly is, if any God exists, he is imperfect.
My first reaction to this was, "Who the heck can say what perfect is?" I sure can't. Wouldn't you have to be the essence of perfection yourself in order to perfectly recognize perfection?
Assuming that such a creature, perfection, even exists. Intuitively, I suspect this is a human conception, not an inherent quality of the cosmos. It makes a lot more sense to me that the universe simply is what it is. If someone wants to call that "perfection," I could agree with that.
But to posit some hypothetical state that is completely different from what can be experienced in our earthly state of existence – what purpose is there in that?
To make his argument, Carrier assumes, along with religious believers, that an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent being wouldn't have created us or the universe as we are.
Why death, suffering, disease, injustice...all the stuff that makes for a bad day (or life). Shouldn't all this negative crap have been eliminated from the creation by a perfect Creator?
Even a heartless deity would at least make his creation less messy and chaotic, unless mess and chaos were the very things he wanted.
Hun-tun, that is Chaos, is not to be confused with the chaos as typically seen in the western world as in "chaotic." It is the supreme ideal of Taoism. Chaos is wholeness, oneness and Nature. Chaos represents the natural state of the world. Digging holes on the head of Chaos means destroying the natural state of the cosmos. Therefore, to the ancient Chinese chaos not only has the meaning of disorder but also presents a respectable aesthetic state. This idea of chaos may be very different from its western counterpart.
Recently I got a decidedly imperfect coffee cup. I love it. It's perfect for me.
So is an imperfect God. Which, for me, is better called Nature. I understand why people like the notion that somewhere or sometime perfection will make an appearance.
But I'd rather grasp imperfection in my hand than continually be running after a perfect will of the wisp.