The Term Perfection Illogical For Disproofs of The Existence of Gods

Robert Howard Kroepel

Copyright © 2001

20 South Shore Road

New Durham, New Hampshire USA 03855-2107

Many disproofs of the existence of gods [proofs of the nonexistence of gods] use the idea that because gods are supposed to be perfect, therefore every thing/event the gods cause/create has to be perfect, but when any thing/event caused/created by gods proven to be imperfect is used as proof gods do not exist, then the following logical argument is used:

Premise #1: IF gods exist and are perfect, THEN every thing/event they cause/create has to be perfect.
Premise #2: IF humans can find any thing/event created by gods which is not perfect, THEN that thing/event will be proof that the gods are not perfect and do not exist.
Premise #3: Thing/Event X is imperfect/not perfect.
Conclusion: Gods do not exist.

The problem with this logic is the definition of the term "perfect."

Definitions do not prove; they only describe. To define any term a definition must describe the people/things/events relevant/relative to it.

Perfection, to me, is a term relevant/relative to an individual's needs or to a group's needs.

For example, to me, a "glass" for drinking liquids is perfect if it fulfills my needs as defined: (A) it is made of plastic; (B) it will not leak; (C) it will not shatter if dropped; (D) it will convey liquids to my mouth so I can drink; (E) it is clear/without color/translucent; and (F) it not impart a taste to the liquid I choose to drink. A "glass" [really, a "plastic"] fulfilling my needs is thus to me perfect; but it might not be perfect to someone else, who may need, for example, fancy artwork, unusual designs, or a handle, etc.

Since perfection as a standard of excellence is relevant/related only to an individual's needs or to a group’s needs, the standard of perfection as applied to gods is relevant/relative to an individual's needs, or to mankind's needs (as a group of individuals).

Thus, to require a god (or someone/anything else) to be perfect, an individual or a group of individuals must specify their needs and the attributes which fulfill their needs the gods must have to be perfect and therefore define, for the case the existence/nonexistence of gods, perfection.

This reduces the disproof of the existence of gods by means of imperfections in the things/events supposedly caused/created by gods to be a mere reverse ontological argument, an argument from definitions of terms, which is a logical fallacy, for nothing can be proven by definition but only by standards of proof: (1) physical evidence which can be seen/heard/touched/smelled/tasted; (2) eyewitness reports from credible witnesses and corroborated by credible corroborators; (3) logical arguments using verifiable/falsifiable/verified premises which lead to conclusions which are true because the premises are true; in which the conclusion is not present in premises.

IF I do not require gods to be all-powerful/all-knowing/all-caring [the omni-everything conception of gods: omnipotent/omniscient/omnibenevolent], but ONLY require them to be more powerful and more knowledgeable than man, but not necessarily more caring/benevolent than man, THEN lesser gods [“lesser gods” = non-omni-everything gods who/which are yet more powerful/more knowledgeable than man but not necessarily more caring than man] could be okay with me, even though they do not match anyone else’s level of perfection.

IF perfection is a relative term, THEN I assert that the term perfection should not be used in any attempt to prove gods, even lesser gods, do not exist. To use perfection in a disproof of the existence of gods is therefore illogical and disqualifies that disproof from being a true disproof of the existence of gods.