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Everything Is Perfect

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Originally posted: http://bendench.blogspot.com/2009/05/everything-is-perfect.html

What does this mean?

 

Everything that exists is a perfect expression of those conditions that created it. To say that something is perfect is to say that it is without blemish. Likewise, to say that something is imperfect is to say that it contains a blemish of some kind. The concept of a blemish, in turn, requires some kind of criterion by which to judge any given thing in question. Normally people determine criteria subjectively. They set some sort of standard—without an objective base—and assert that things that fall within that standard are acceptable and things that fall outside that standard are unacceptable. If something includes within it some characteristic that falls outside of a standard a person has created, it is said by the person to contain a blemish and to be imperfect.

Objectively, however, everything is perfect. With any sort of ultimate criteria that exist, everything necessarily must comply. For example, if we were to grant that the laws of physics were ultimate principles—and I am not saying that they are, I am merely using this as an example—then everything would necessarily conform with those principles one hundred percent of the time. Yet notice that even if we were to encounter some kind of phenomenon that deviated from those principles we would not call the phenomenon imperfect—rather we would reassess our belief in the ultimate nature of whatever principle was here violated.

Likewise, were there any sort of God that could act as a set of ultimate criteria—and I define a God here as an entity both all powerful and all knowing—it would be impossible for anything to contradict that God’s will. Since by definition God is aware of all things and has control of all things, anything that occurs must occur either because that God desired it to occur specifically or because that God allowed it to occur. There is no other option. Any activity of free will would fall under the realm of things God allows. While it is the fall back position of many Christians (and Jews, and Muslims, etc) that free will allows us to assert imperfection in individuals created by God yet not assert imperfection in the creator, this is merely an attempt to escape the inescapable—that any God that is all powerful and all knowing is necessarily all responsible.

Whatever your thoughts about the nature of whatever ultimate criteria govern reality, however, it is clear that anything that occurs must fall within them and is thus perfect. We may say that we like something or do not like something, or that something is perfect or imperfect relative to some subjective standard we set up, but objectively everything is perfect. It cannot be otherwise. People may not like someone or something—they might not even like themselves—but this does not change the fact that they are perfect—one hundred percent perfect one hundred percent of the time. Ultimately speaking of course.

What does this NOT mean?

This does not mean that you cannot dislike or seek to change things. Your desires and preferences are themselves a perfect expression of the circumstances that created them. Everything is perfect. Distaste with the way things are and acting in such a way as to change them to your preferences is perfect.

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“And life itself confided this secret to me: 'Behold,' it said, 'I am that which must always overcome itself.'”

In saying that “everything is perfect” I am arguing against the concept of sin, the idea of an ontological blemish. I am really saying that “nothing is imperfect,” which is the logical equivalent of “everything is perfect.”

By imperfect, I mean containing some ontological blemish. I would argue that all perceived blemishes are the result of subjective value judgments and do not map onto being itself. In that the concept of an ontological blemish is incoherent—that is to say, there is no such thing as an ontological blemish—then all things are without ontological blemishes and are thus perfect.

Once we clear the mind of the idea of ontological blemishes, however, we can begin to look at things pragmatically. We do not say, “This is right; this is wrong,” we say “I want this; I don’t want this.” If something happens that you don’t like, you don’t say, “It is evil,” you say, “This is the perfect expression of those conditions that created it—since I do not like it, how can I alter conditions so as not to reproduce it?” I think that this is a far more effective and accurate way to view the world. To seek to change things because you think something is wrong is to act out of need—to live your life reactively. To seek to change things because you want something different is to act out of desire—to live your life creatively.

Whatever else may be true ethically, sin is not something that can exist. Nothing can contradict the prime principle, of which it is a manifestation.

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If you identify with the message of this article, please email it to people, tell your friends, even print out copies to pass around. Together we can raise awareness. Thank you.

 

http://bendench.blogspot.com/

Ben Dench graduated valedictorian of his class from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in the Spring Semester of 2007 with a B.A. in philosophy (his graduation speech, which received high praise, is available on YouTube). He is currently (more...)
 

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that people should accept my ever-accelerating nos... by Daniel Geery on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 2:16:27 PM
I'd recommend trimming them, if only from an aesth... by Tom Murphy on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 3:06:41 PM
“Likewise, were there any sort of God that c... by Tom Murphy on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 3:05:17 PM
Actually, if I read him correctly, Ben acknowledge... by Debbie Scally on Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 11:27:41 AM
Why would something created by God be part of God?... by BFalcon on Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 9:14:35 AM
Read my article "On Nature." Or you could read Spi... by Ben Dench on Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 1:36:25 PM
The way I see it a creation is not part of what cr... by BFalcon on Friday, May 29, 2009 at 6:10:47 AM
Spinoza presents a very detailed presentation of w... by Ben Dench on Monday, Jun 1, 2009 at 2:00:56 PM
You are obviously very smart and learned a lot. Ho... by BFalcon on Wednesday, Jun 3, 2009 at 12:25:01 AM
"You are obviously very smart and learned a lot. H... by Ben Dench on Friday, Jun 5, 2009 at 3:22:33 PM
My goal was not to win a debate, did not try to "c... by BFalcon on Saturday, Jun 6, 2009 at 3:12:10 PM
You make claims which you don't then back up with ... by Ben Dench on Sunday, Jun 7, 2009 at 3:23:34 PM
Humans are responsible and God is responsible. If ... by Ben Dench on Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 1:57:01 PM
"If God is all encompassing, and if all thing... by Tom Murphy on Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 9:04:07 PM
If God grants individuals free will, God still rem... by Ben Dench on Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 10:22:50 PM
"If God grants individuals free will, God sti... by Tom Murphy on Friday, May 29, 2009 at 9:52:17 AM
If God is causally responsible for all the outcome... by Ben Dench on Monday, Jun 1, 2009 at 10:21:26 PM
You are constantly trying to discuss something tha... by BFalcon on Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 9:23:29 AM
If it is the case that I have said something that ... by Ben Dench on Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 1:41:42 PM
It is wrong if free will is free will to say that ... by BFalcon on Friday, May 29, 2009 at 6:18:33 AM
"It is wrong if free will is free will to say that... by Ben Dench on Monday, Jun 1, 2009 at 10:26:47 PM
If you mean responsible in creating it, then yes. ... by BFalcon on Wednesday, Jun 3, 2009 at 12:31:04 AM
I use responsible in three senses: Existentially R... by Ben Dench on Friday, Jun 5, 2009 at 3:58:08 PM
You certainly accept some things to be true even t... by BFalcon on Saturday, Jun 6, 2009 at 3:20:59 PM
Before moving on, I think this discussion of epist... by Ben Dench on Sunday, Jun 7, 2009 at 3:37:58 PM
Bu$h was claiming to be doing Gods work in the M.E... by Stanimal on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 7:12:45 PM
Stan, you realize your comment has nothing to do w... by Tom Murphy on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 8:01:44 PM
Dench, you make a terribly important point."S... by Peter Duveen on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 7:13:30 PM
"You may feel that nature is perfect and objective... by Ben Dench on Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 2:28:32 PM
is a flawed diamond,... by kwalsh on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 7:33:33 PM
Thanks, BD, you write a mean article. I agree full... by Kimmo Salonen on Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 5:53:17 AM
So was Camus' Stranger right? No good, no evil, j... by BFalcon on Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 9:29:51 AM
I don't think that's quite the case (our ethical a... by Ben Dench on Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 1:50:10 PM
The question is whether the morality/sin is in the... by BFalcon on Friday, May 29, 2009 at 6:24:57 AM
You're impatient. I can appreciate that. But I don... by Ben Dench on Monday, Jun 1, 2009 at 10:35:40 PM
would be that morality is or is not in the eyes of... by BFalcon on Wednesday, Jun 3, 2009 at 12:36:41 AM
"would be that morality is or is not in the eyes o... by Ben Dench on Friday, Jun 5, 2009 at 4:05:25 PM
Is there a complex accurate answer to the question... by BFalcon on Saturday, Jun 6, 2009 at 3:26:29 PM
There is an answer that is more complex than a sim... by Ben Dench on Sunday, Jun 7, 2009 at 3:46:44 PM
someone from Dick Stockton College with a degree i... by shadow dancer on Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 1:05:23 PM
It is interesting to me how obsessed you are when ... by Ben Dench on Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 2:42:57 PM
Misintepreted what I wrote. That's a possibility,... by shadow dancer on Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 5:39:17 PM
An extremely long post with very few actual points... by Ben Dench on Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 10:54:56 PM
do you love all people and want to make the best o... by BFalcon on Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 9:37:53 AM
Good question. I'll be discussing this in more det... by Ben Dench on Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 1:52:15 PM
It was said: Seek the company of those who search ... by BFalcon on Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 9:35:05 AM
And do you think that that statement is true? I th... by Ben Dench on Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 1:59:30 PM
They said about famous physicist Dirac that his cr... by BFalcon on Friday, May 29, 2009 at 6:04:29 AM
So, since you say that it is true, you would seem ... by Ben Dench on Monday, Jun 1, 2009 at 10:48:25 PM
it must be fact. Yes I read the article and I pon... by Stanimal on Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 1:37:22 PM
"... I pondered about when Bu$h said it was a... by Tom Murphy on Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 9:52:09 PM
And that, etymologically speaking, is the meaning ... by Richard Girard on Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 4:02:30 PM
one of my friends stopped out for a visit. I aske... by shadow dancer on Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 7:27:15 PM
No mistake can be made against the Deity, for all ... by Ben Dench on Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 10:59:24 PM
Again you talk about the Absolute as if our knowle... by BFalcon on Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 9:48:01 AM
It seems that you apply a different standard to me... by Ben Dench on Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 2:12:44 PM
Point is that we can't discuss the Absolute, which... by BFalcon on Friday, May 29, 2009 at 5:53:16 AM
"Point is that we can't discuss the Absolute" But ... by Ben Dench on Monday, Jun 1, 2009 at 11:05:55 PM
I believe in the existence of the Absolute and I d... by BFalcon on Wednesday, Jun 3, 2009 at 12:44:03 AM
You're right: You do discuss the Absolute. Which m... by Ben Dench on Friday, Jun 5, 2009 at 4:12:09 PM
I didn't say that I discuss Absolute, I discuss my... by BFalcon on Saturday, Jun 6, 2009 at 3:31:47 PM
You say that you believe in something that you cal... by Ben Dench on Sunday, Jun 7, 2009 at 4:22:56 PM
It's like arguing against any fundamentalist b... by Richard Girard on Saturday, May 30, 2009 at 4:10:18 PM
Well, first of all, this isn't determinism, since ... by Ben Dench on Monday, Jun 1, 2009 at 11:29:18 PM
Relative terms, yes? However, "if there is no... by LITNUP on Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 10:45:11 PM
The article sounds as if it were the end and ultim... by BFalcon on Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 10:02:06 AM
"The article sounds as if it were the end and... by Ben Dench on Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 2:33:49 PM
You didn't answer and I believe that a rational at... by BFalcon on Friday, May 29, 2009 at 7:00:46 AM
I did answer, you just didn't like my answer. "... by Ben Dench on Monday, Jun 1, 2009 at 11:49:48 PM
I didn't say that atheist can't prefer truth over ... by BFalcon on Wednesday, Jun 3, 2009 at 12:54:55 AM
So you are saying that a rational atheist cannot p... by Ben Dench on Friday, Jun 5, 2009 at 4:31:46 PM
You provide two "contradictory" statements. Howev... by BFalcon on Saturday, Jun 6, 2009 at 3:41:12 PM
"However, number 1 is what I believe and it is tru... by Ben Dench on Sunday, Jun 7, 2009 at 4:38:59 PM
 Universe is as it is and, in that it has no ... by Keith Pope on Friday, May 29, 2009 at 6:11:57 AM
Ben has really pushed some buttons, hasn't he?... by Debbie Scally on Friday, May 29, 2009 at 8:48:37 AM
"One cannot possibly be an athiest,... if one... by Tom Murphy on Friday, May 29, 2009 at 10:10:39 AM
...with a broken wing are all objectively less tha... by Biff Elliott on Saturday, May 30, 2009 at 7:30:36 PM
In the Universal context, which is what is and has... by Keith Pope on Sunday, May 31, 2009 at 3:01:51 AM