In this post, when I refer to the objectively perfect version of a thing, I will usually capitalise it. So if I write Triangle, then I am referring to a truly/objectively perfect triangle (it might be worth highlighting here that what may look completely/perfectly/absolutely triangular to my imperfect subjective eyes, may not objectively be a perfect triangle. It may be that if I zoom in enough with a magnifier, I will realise that the sides of the triangle I’m looking at are not perfectly straight). If I write triangle, then I am referring to an imperfect triangle. There will be times where I will not capitalise (for example, instead of writing Omnipotence/Might, I will either write objectively perfect might, or His might).
The primary goal of this post is to show that it is impossible for Omniscience, Omnipotence, Perfection, and Infinity to ever be contradictory. At the end of the post I will demonstrate how Forgiveness and Mercy are true of God without it amounting to Justice being contradicted or sacrificed in any way.
Omnipotence = being able to do all that is doable in an absolute sense. That which is Omnipotent cannot be expected to “create a round square” because creating a round square cannot be classified as a doable thing. Since it is not a doable thing, it is irrelevant to Omnipotence. For something to be meaningfully classed as being doable (and therefore expected of an Omnipotent being to be able to do), it must at least be meaningful. A round square is not a meaningful thing, therefore, creating one is an absurd/contradictory proposition. If one absurdly insists that the Omnipotent should be able to do absurd things like create something from nothing, or create a rock so heavy that He cannot lift, or be omnipotent and not omnipotent at the same time, or move forwards and backwards at the same time, then the absurd answer of “yes He can” can be given. Maintaining such absurd standards one can then go on to insist that they have made sense of “an Omnipresent rock”, or “a rock so heavy that the Omnipotent/Omnipresent cannot lift”, or “round squares”, or “1 + 1 = 3” and then use them in “rational” discourse as though they are meaningful objections.
Consider the following objection to Omnipotence:
I can climb a mountain. That which is Omnipresent cannot climb a mountain. If the Omnipresent cannot climb a mountain, then He is not Omnipotent.
Suppose a cripple had the ability to take full control of another person’s body. He takes control of a professional rock climber’s body and makes it (the rock climber’s body) climb a mountain. The rock climber was unconscious during this process and the cripple never left his own body. Who climbed the mountain?
Whilst the cripple can’t make his own body climb a mountain, he can make the rock climber’s body climb a mountain. The rock climber can make his own body climb a mountain, but he can’t make the cripple’s body climb a mountain. So whilst both the cripple and the rock climber can make the rock climber’s body climb a mountain, neither of them can get the cripple’s body to climb a mountain. God on the other hand can get the cripple’s body to climb a mountain. God can do what both the cripple and the rock climber can’t do (make the cripple’s body climb a mountain), as well as what the cripple and the rock climber can do (make the rock climber’s body climb a mountain). Let’s look at another similar objection:
I can certainly kill myself. God can’t kill Himself, therefore, God is not Omnipotent.
In truth, perhaps I can kill myself (I can’t kill myself if God renders me invincible to all but Himself. Or if He wills it to be such that my hands are tied because I am in some hospital for the mentally ill that won’t allow me to kill myself. Also, the rock climber from the previous example can’t have any control over his body if God cripples him). God can certainly kill me. I can’t kill God. God can’t kill God either. Therefore, God not being able to kill Himself is not an instance of me being able to do what God can’t do. Let’s look at another possible objection:
I can exist non-Omnipresently (as in I can be present in a non-Omnipresent manner). God can’t exist non-Omnipresently. I can do what God can’t do.
God Exists. I exist because of Existence (or more specifically, I exist because of God’s Existence). God created me and sustains me (He is the Creator, the Sustainer). God is Omnipresent, whereas I am non-Omnipresent. God can’t be other than Himself, but I can be other than myself. I can perhaps change my identity, personality, gender, or turn into ashes. But then again, God can certainly change my identity, personality, gender, or turn me into ashes too. Whilst it is true that I can be what God cannot, this is not the same as saying I can do what God cannot. If it is argued that I can make myself exist non-Omnipresently (which I can’t because I didn’t create me, and I don’t sustain me), then God can make me exist non-Omnipresently too. Clearly, there’s nothing that I or anyone else can do that God can’t do. Let’s move onto another style of objection to Omnipotence:
If God is Omniscient, then God knows what every free-willed being He created will choose to do before they actually do it. This brings God’s Omnipotence into question. How can God create free-willed beings if He knows what they are going to do in advance? If God cannot create free-willed beings, then God is not Omnipotent.
For God, it is determined/known that I’m going to choose y in circumstance qxS. If circumstance qxS is brought about, I choose y. I literally choose. It is absurd to claim that God’s knowledge of what I would choose has resulted in me not choosing y. Either there’s no such thing as free-will (in which case it is irrelevant to Omnipotence) or there is such a thing as free-will (in which case it is relevant to Omnipotence, and God’s Omniscience takes nothing away from it).
Denying free-will is absurd. If I willingly eat food, then that is surely different to someone feeding me food against my will. If someone restrains me and injects me with poison, then that is surely different to me willingly injecting myself with poison. If I’m determined to always choose the good option (because I’m always reasonable and sufficiently knowledgable with regards to the options that I will be presented with, or, because I’m always reasonable and have good enough instincts with regards to what’s good and what’s not of the options that I will be presented with) and I am presented with ten equally good options, then I can choose to reject all options, or I can choose to choose an option. Barring all other considerations (such as God making me pass out before I can choose, or God impairing my judgement/disposition via some drug), given my disposition, it is guaranteed that I will choose an option. Which option I choose will be completely random.
Even if I am given a choice between food that I like and food that I dislike, it cannot be said that I have not been given a choice. If I am determined to usually choose the food that I like, then that’s still me choosing, except here, my choice is not completely random. It was expected of me to choose the food that I liked, whereas before, it was known of me to choose an option out of the ten available options (again, this was barring any sudden changes to my internal nature, or any external factors influencing me or denying me the ability to choose). There was zero expectation with regards to which of the ten options I would have chosen. This is because it was
expected known that my choice would be completely random.
Another objection to Omnipotence:
1) If a being exists, then he must have some active tendency.
2) If a being has some active tendency, then he has some power to resist his creator (his creator in a truly absolute sense is God, not his parents. Some people seem to think they (or their bodies) can make a baby. This is not necessarily false, but it is not absolutely true either. The absolute truth is that God created the baby. The baby’s parents were a non-absolute part of the mechanism of his creation (by this I mean beings can be created without parents, but they cannot be created without God). The absolute truth encompasses absolutely all premises tied to the making of the baby because God absolutely encompasses all meaningful things/premises. The parents of the baby only encompass some premises whilst they and the premises they encompass are all contingent on and encompassed by God.
3) If a being has the power to resist his creator, then the creator does not have absolute power.
A child can resist the will of his parents (he is not absolutely contingent on them), but he cannot resist the will of God because he is wholly dependent on God (as are his parents). The above objection logically implies that a non-God being can will something without God willing it or fully wanting it. This is absurd. I believe the proceeding six paragraphs will conclusively show that none can resist the will of God (thereby refuting the above objection) whilst dealing with another objection at the same time.
There is nothing knowable that God doesn’t account for or know (Knowledgeable/Omniscient). Also, He is Free (Able/Omnipotent), therefore, there is absolutely nothing that is done outside of His calculation and independently of His will. Both I and God know that God will not will imperfectly (God’s will is not imperfect because God is not imperfect). What God would will between two or more equally perfect possibilities, is either not knowledge to be had (therefore it’s not relevant to Omniscience), or it is knowledge to be had (in which case the Omniscient has this knowledge). If it is not knowledge to be had, then it can be said that the matter is unknown/random/undetermined. So in this case, despite God knowing that whatever He wills/chooses will be perfection, He does not know what He is going to will (as in He does not know which of the equally perfect possibilities He is going to will/choose). Consider the following objection:
I can predict things and make mistakes. How can that which is Omniscient predict things or make mistakes? He cannot. So how can He be Omnipotent if He cannot predict things or make mistakes?
The short answer: Just as you can predict things or make mistakes (whether intentional or unintentional), God can make you predict things or make mistakes too. God can make you do this intentionally or unintentionally on your part. Neither you nor God can make God make mistakes. Now for the long answer:
If your friend asks you to predict something but you pass out before you have a chance to do so, then both you and your friend wanted you to predict something, but God willed otherwise. It is God who gave you access to semantics and made you sentient enough to understand hypothetical possibilities. If this holds true of you now (and by this I mean something like you are able to predict because you are not unconscious or dead right now), then that is because God is choosing to continue to sustain you as a being that is able to predict things. If God wanted/willed you to be so unfocused that you are unable to meaningfully predict, then you would not be able to predict until God wills for this condition to be removed from you. You can want/will to become focused from an unfocused state, but your will cannot override the will/want of God (you do not have any active tendency such that it can resist the will of God). So long as God wills for you to be unfocused, you will remain unfocused no matter how hard you try/will to be focused. Thus, the only reason you can predict, is because God wants/wills you to be able to predict. Call this the first layer of God’s will in relation to you. The next layer is when does God want/will you to predict? That’s something you find out when you successfully predict something. If you willingly predicted something on Sunday in the kitchen, then God willed/wanted you to willingly predict something on Sunday in the kitchen. Another layer is how does God want you to predict? If you “unwillingly” predicted something because you had a gun to your head, then that’s certainly how God willed/wanted you to predict. It is also possibly/potentially how the one holding the gun to your head willed/wanted you to predict, but this is unknown to you because you don’t know the will of the one holding the gun. As in you don’t know which possibility/potentiality is real with regards to the one holding the gun. It is worth noting that by real here, I mean real in terms of the quality of that which you are experiencing. So although you don’t know the will of the gun-holder (you don’t even know for sure that he’s human), you do know that the will of God is for you to have a gun (or at least something that looks like a gun) held to your head, precisely because it’s
actually really happening to you (dream or otherwise).
If a muscle spasm forces your hand to be raised without you raising it (or worse, it being raised against your will because it causes you pain/harm when it is raised), then it cannot be said that you raised your hand. You had absolutely no choice in the matter because despite you outputting your absolute/utmost willpower to prevent your hand from being raised, it was still raised. Just as there’s absolutely no way for 5kg to outweigh 6kg (until the 5kg weight weighs more than 6kg), there was absolutely no way for you to not have your hand raised because at that moment in time, your maximum willpower or state of being was insufficient in relation to what you wanted to not happen (thereby rendering you as absolutely without a choice in the matter).
If you chose to do as the criminal told you to do because he had a gun to your head, then it cannot be said you had absolutely no choice in the matter. Perhaps it can be said that you were put in a situation were none of the choices you could make were easy (or that you had no good choices to make). That depends on your character. You may find such a situation difficult, whereas another person might find it not difficult at all. Someone who doesn’t care about being shot may not find it difficult at all. Someone who sufficiently acknowledges that whatever happens will be objectively perfect, will definitely not find it difficult at all. Nor would someone who’s faith/trust or love in God is of sufficient quality (or genuine enough); nor someone who prioritises God ahead of everyone and everything else. Such people will definitely not find it difficult for the following reason: It is contradictory/impossible for one to genuinely prioritise God/Goodness ahead of everyone and everything else, and yet suffer on any level (note that prioritising Zeus or any other imperfect being or imperfect good that one might call “God” or wrongly view as God/Good, is not a case of genuinely prioritising God/Goodness ahead of everyone and everything else. A parent trying to save her child that she assumes to be innocent is doing the right thing, but if she finds this task grievous in any way, then this is because she lacks faith and trust in God’s Goodness and/or Might. This lack of faith and trust will be a product of her own lack of passion for truth, goodness, or God (which will have been a product of her excessive attachment to herself, her child, her nation, her culture, her inadequate belief system, her inadequate religion, or some other thing that amounts to being unfair to God). It will be a product of an inconsistency she would have had in relation to herself and God that she would have had failed to reconcile until it became perfection/just for her to be on the receiving end of such a hardship).
How can someone suffer when they genuinely view what’s happening as perfect? And how could they be evil if they genuinely prioritise Goodness ahead of everyone and everything else? If they are not evil, then it is absurd/contradictory/evil of God to will for them to suffer or be deprived on any level. Since God is Perfect, such people will definitely find a gun-to-the-head situation (or any other situation) not difficult at all. Of course, this does not mean God is unable to expose them to a situation that is difficult for them (perhaps God would inflict the most potent form of amnesia on them to the point of them no longer having the same instincts and standards that would have made them immune to suffering a gun-to-the-head situation, and then expose them to a gun-to-the-head-situation), it just means God wouldn’t because God’s will/intent is Good. God does not waste good intent. God appreciates/rewards good intent/will (or good faith) because God is Good. God is unfair to nobody. It is the people who are unfair to God or themselves. The willing betrayal/sacrifice of Good for evil is not without negative consequences (all things considered).
Whatever happens, happens because God wants/wills it to happen. Whatever doesn’t happen, fails to happen because God wants/wills different to it. How can it be other than this when it is God who creates and sustains in an Omniscient and Omnipotent manner? If something happens such that God thinks ‘I did not fully want this to the last atom’s weight’, then God is imperfect. God being imperfect is absurd (it contradicts the semantic of God/Good and Being/Existence).
To sum up Omnipotence, God knows what we will or won’t do under every possible circumstance, and chooses which possible circumstance comes to pass in relation to us. This encompasses saying God chooses what we choose to do (this is not the same as God choosing instead of us or in place of us. God chooses in place of God. We choose in place of us. I will discuss this further when discussing the attribute of Perfection).
With what has been said so far, how can one possibly do something that God cannot? How can one possibly conceive of something that is doable, yet at the same time, conceive the Omnipotent as not being able to do it? How can one conceive of a hypothetical possibility that is hypothetically impossible? If one cannot conceive of Omnipresence being contradictory, then how can one possibly coherently conceive of Omnipotence and Omniscience being contradictory?
Omniscience = knowing all that is knowable in an absolute sense. The Omniscient cannot be expected to “know what it’s like to sit and stand at the same time” because sitting and standing at the same time is an absurdity (which means it is not a knowable thing). Similarly, the Omniscient cannot be expected to “know what non-Existence or round-squares look like”. All such expectations or objections are absurd/contradictory, thus, they are not meaningful objections to Omniscience. Consider the following:
Does God know what it’s like to be me? Does God know what it’s like to be depressed, anxious, or in pain? Does God know what it’s like to be ignorant?
Nobody can attain consciousness or self-awareness independently of Existence (because everyone is wholly contingent/dependent on Existence). This entails that what it’s like to be me can be wholly broken down and explained, felt, understood, or known as a result of Existence being the way that It is. In other words, some relevant existing thing or things give rise to the knowledge and feeling of what it’s like to be me. All that’s required is to have appropriate and adequate access to those relevant existing thing or things. If I know what it’s like to be me, then I have sufficient access to those things. That which is Omnipresent has full reach and access to all existing things. This means that God has full access to those relevant existing thing or things. Thus, God fully knows what it’s like to be me. God also fully knows what it’s like to be depressed, anxious, ignorant, or in pain (He’d be imperfect if He didn’t). It might be worth highlighting here that God knows me better than I know myself (God is omniscient with regards to me because He is Omniscient. I am not omniscient with regards to me because I know there are knowable things about myself that I don’t know).
It might be objected that it is better to not feel depressed, anxious, or pain than it is to feel those feelings. Therefore, if God feels those feelings, how can He be Perfect? And if He doesn’t feel those feelings, how can He be Omniscient?
Omniscience does not require that one fully feels those feelings, just that one fully knows what those feelings feel like. I know what it’s like to feel anxious despite not feeling anxious right now. Is it necessarily the case that I needed to experience anxiety before knowing what it’s like to be anxious? Couldn’t a memory implant of someone else feeling anxious make me know what it’s like to feel anxious without ever having felt it? At this moment in time, I know what it’s like to feel anxious because I have a memory of it, not because I’m feeling it. Again, some existing thing or things give rise to me remembering what it feels like for me to be anxious, and the Omnipresent has full access to these things. Thus, God fully knows what it feels like for me to be anxious without Him ever having felt it. The same applies to any other feeling, state, emotion, sensation, and so on.
Objectively speaking, it’s not unjust/evil for one to be inflicted with the feeling of being evil (unless one is not evil). Objectively speaking, it’s just/good to feel (and experience) evil, provided that one is evil. It’s not evil/unjust to suffer, unless one is not evil. God does not feel evil (because God is Good). God does not suffer (because God is Good). But God knows how to cause/create suffering for someone (not wholly unlike how He knows how to create earth and fire), or to make them feel evil. God only causes one to suffer or feel evil when it’s perfection (truly/perfectly deserved). Evil and suffering are aspects/attributes that belong to God’s creation (not wholly unlike how the attribute of roundness belongs to some shapes), they are not aspects/attributes of God Himself (God is not a planet; God is not round; God is not imperfect; God is not evil; God does not suffer). Similarly, finiteness and imperfectness are not aspects/attributes of God Himself (because God is Perfect and Infinite), they are aspects/attributes of some of the beings/things that God creates (though God does not create/sustain imperfectly. I will discuss this when I come to discuss the attribute of Perfection).
With God having full reach/access to all existing things (or fully encompassing all things), how can there possibly be something knowable that He does not know? If something is knowable, then the information exists or is rooted in Existence, and is wholly sustained by Existence. If the information needs the right tool or mechanism to decipher/understand it, then God has access to both the information and the tool/mechanism needed to know/understand it. How can He not when He is the one who creates and sustains all tools, mechanisms, and information? He created us and sustains us complete with the tools or mechanisms we use to decipher/understand/know/feel/see/hear everything. From what a triangle is, to what it’s like to be evil or anxious. How can the Omniscient/Omnipresent not completely/perfectly/really/truly/100% know what He created and sustains? No part of us is independent of Existence. The impossibility/absurdity is in us fully knowing what it’s like to be God, not in God fully knowing what it’s like to be us. Not wholly knowing what it’s like to be God is necessarily an unknown to all non-God beings. The more a being resembles God/Being, the more a being is better able to understand/feel/see what it’s like to be God (but this understanding will never become truly complete, just as counting forever to Infinity will never result in reaching Infinity).
Knowns such as ‘Perfection = a truly perfect existence/being’ or ‘Omniscience = truly knowing all that is knowable’ should be treated as knowns. Unknowns to us such as ‘what it’s like to be Omniscient’ or ‘how many dimensions the Omnipresent has/is’, should be treated as unknowns. Absurdities such as “Omniscience and Perfection are absurd, meaningless, and irrelevant to Existence” or “Perfection = something other than a truly perfect existence/being” or even “perfection = something independent of a truly perfect existence/being” should be treated as absurdities in the same way that “triangles don’t have three sides” should be treated as an absurdity.
One might object to Existence being Perfect by saying “an existence that has more than three dimensions is better than one that has only three. Since Existence has only three dimensions, it is imperfect”.
It may well be that Existence/Being has more dimensions to It than we can currently perceive, but that’s unknown to us. If it’s unknown to us, then we have no rational/meaningful right to bring it into rational discourse. What we do have rational/meaningful authority to say, is this: If it’s possible for existing or existence to have more dimensions than we can currently perceive, then Existence actually Has more dimensions, and we are simply unaware. Whilst it is true that we don’t have full knowledge of Existence, we have a priori outlines that cannot be meaningfully/rationally contradicted. Examples of such outlines include ‘triangles have three sides’ and ‘Existence is Perfect (or exists truly perfectly)’. Unknowns do not render such outlines as false, contradictory, or meaningless (though some absurdly choose to think they do). Some absurdly choose to think absurdity is true of Reality. Such way of thinking requires some bias towards evil, or a cheap view of truth/goodness, or just a lack of focus or thought on what Reality is. Absurdity can be true of beliefs, or sentences, or what people choose, but it cannot be true of Existence. The only reason x is absurd is because x is in contradiction to Existence/Truth. A falsehood is a falsehood precisely because it is not true of Existence. A liar is a liar precisely because he says what he believes to be not true of Reality. Jack can say he believes God is Good, but whether he really/genuinely believes this is or not (or whether he really wants to believe this) is another matter. I would not be surprised if there are some who absurdly think that ignoring truths or embracing absurdity is a way to genuinely/really believe that God is Good. It’s impossible/contradictory for you to think God is Good whilst lying to yourself (or others) in this way. You have not sufficiently seen/understood Good if you are doing this (which will have been down to your lack of sincerity to Goodness/God/Truth).
The problem of evil is another attempt at describing Existence as being imperfect. Simply put, if Existence is Perfect, then there should be no evil/injustice within It. There is evil in Existence, therefore, Existence is imperfect.
The short answer to this problem is that there is no evil in Existence because all beings (good or evil) exist perfectly in Existence. As in they all get what they perfectly deserve every millisecond to the last atom’s weight. It may not look that way to us because we are imperfect beings with imperfect vision/knowledge, but it certainly is that way because pure reason dictates it. You may think your father is an honourable man because your empirical observations oblige you to assume this, but your
self awareness also obliges you to acknowledge that you do not know that he is an honourable man because you know/recognise/acknowledge that you lack omniscience with regards to him. What you do know is that a triangle has three sides, and that Existence is Perfect (provided that you’re appropriately and adequately focused on or aware of the semantic of God/Perfect or Existence/Being).
It’s perfection for good to be rewarded and for evil to be punished. I will attempt to show that the denial of this amounts to the contradictory position of “it being good to be evil”, or “it not being good to be good”, or “it not being evil to be evil”.
An existence where triangles are impossibilities (like round-squares), or an existence where triangles are not three-sided, is an absurd existence (which makes it not Existence). An existence that does not accommodate the semantic of triangle, is an incomplete and imperfect existence/existent/being/thing. Thus, triangles being triangular is a perfection (as well as a truth. It’s also what I will call an “infinitive” because this truth can never change). It’s perfection for good to be good (or it’s truth/infinitive that goodness is good). It’s perfection for evil to be evil (or it’s truth that evil is evil). It’s perfection for triangles to be triangles. It’s Perfection for God to be God (or it’s Truth that God is God. It’s Truth with a capital T because absolutely all truths are contingent on God. The Omnipresent encompasses all things. The Truth encompasses all truths). Such is the nature of Existence/Being.
Again, the Subject (God) determines absolutely all truths (all truths are contingent on His nature or His will). Thus, only God is Self-existing or Self-contingent. I will attempt to further illustrate what I mean by this with the following sentence: It’s good for people to be good. This sentence is subjectively true as well as Subjectively/objectively true. It’s subjectively/objectively true in that it’s good for me and all other non-God beings to be good because Existence is Perfect, which entails we get what we perfectly deserve. In the case of good, what is deserved is happiness, joy, fulfilment, excitement, awe, and so on because all these states of being are good. It is Subjectively/objectively true in that it’s only good for people to be good because it’s perfection for good to be good (as in it’s an instance of what God/Truth/Perfection/Infinity/Good wills. Or it’s simply the nature of God that goodness or being good is good). Now consider the following:
It’s evil for people to be evil. Again, this is subjectively true and objectively true. It is subjectively true in that it’s evil for me and all other non-God beings to be evil because Existence is Perfect. In the case of evil, what is deserved is suffering, anxiety, depression, meaninglessness, and so on because all these states of being are evil/bad/harmful. It’s Subjectively/objectively true in that it’s only evil for people to be evil because it’s perfection for evil to be evil. It’s not perfection for evil to be good because it’s absurd for evil to be good (not true of Existence. Not rooted in Truth. Not what God wants/wills/intends). This is similar to saying it’s absurd for squares to be round (or for impossibilities to be possibilities). An existence where evil is better off and good is worse off, logically implies that it’s good to be evil, and evil to be good. It is literally a case of evil being good. Like roundness being triangular. Such an existence/existent/being/thing is clearly absurd/imperfect/evil/false/corrupt, or not truly/perfectly/consistently/rationally/coherently existing in relation to itself.
How can an imperfect existence/being accommodate the semantics of Perfect and Perfection, independently of God/Perfect or Existence/Being? Without God, an imperfect existence/being cannot accommodate the semantics of good and evil in a determined/logical/consistent manner, let alone Perfect and Perfection. There’s no such thing as an imperfect Existence similarly to how there’s no such a thing as a triangular Triangle. Having said that, there are imperfect beings/existents that exist perfectly purely as a result of that which Exists. That which Exists is God, not us. We are sustained by Existence, we are not Existence/Being. It would have been closer to Truth for Descartes to have said: I (whatever or whoever I may be) think, therefore God Exists. See my post “The true cogito” for more on this.
Given all that has been said so far, I can see someone arguing that since I cannot will anything except if God also wills it, then God willed me to be evil. Therefore, just as I am to blame for being evil, God is also to blame too.
Whilst God willed/chose that you choose to be evil, God did not choose for you, nor did He choose for Himself to be evil. Only that which chooses to be evil is to blame for being evil. God could not have willed for you to be evil if you had no meaningful/genuine choice in the matter, because then, by definition, you are not evil. Being free-willed is a necessary semantical component of being evil (as is being good). To reiterate what was said earlier when discussing Omnipotence: God chooses what we choose to do because God is the Chooser, the Free. This is not the same as God choosing instead of us or in place of us. God chooses in place of God. We choose in place of us.
Another matter that needs to be addressed, is hatred for evil. It’s perfection to hate genuine potent evil (the alternative is that it’s perfection to love evil, or that it’s good to have neutral feelings towards that which is willingly, knowingly, and unrepentantly potently evil). Since we are all created by God, this amounts to God hating some of his creation. Wouldn’t Existence be better if God did not hate?
Seeing evil suffer in proportion to its evil is satisfying for those who sufficiently love Good/Justice/God (it is impossible for you to fully love good but not fully hate evil at the same time. If you care for evil on any level, then this necessarily takes away from your love of good in equal proportion to the amount you care for evil. To leave unrepentant evil unpunished, is to not care for justice/goodness in proportion to the unrepentant evil left unpunished because evil is that which is in enmity to good. The greater the enmity, the greater the evil). God only hates that which hates Him (or that which fails to appreciate/acknowledge Him). So long as this hatred is perfectly satisfied, there is no imperfection in relation to His being/existence. Being perfectly satisfied is a good thing. It is a perfection. Any omission of perfection is an imperfection. Again, Existence is necessarily Perfect, Complete, and Existing. And again, p cannot be evil without p genuinely choosing to be evil (this entails that p be sufficiently aware that he is choosing evil or choosing to be evil/contradictory/unreasonable. If it’s not sufficiently clear to p that he is being evil, then p is not at fault for choosing to continue as is. Of course, one can be evil by failing to do something just as one can be evil by doing something. If p is trying hard to avoid getting clarity on whether he is being evil or not, then p is being evil for doing so).
Ultimately, one cannot love oneself as much if one views oneself as being imperfect. On the other hand, one cannot love oneself anymore if one genuinely and non-absurdly views oneself as being Perfect/Good/God. Clearly, absolute perfect love (call this Worship) for oneself only requires for one to be Perfect. It does not matter how this being Perfect is achieved, just that it be true to Perfection. Per the dictates of pure reason, only God is worthy of Worship.
I believe there is rich food for thought in scripture that I would like to highlight to the reader. Thus, from here on out I will quote scripture where I feel it good to do so. Consider the following verse from the Bible:
You shall not prostrate to them or worship/serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the inequity of the fathers on their sons to the third and fourth (generations) of those who hate Me (Exodus 20:5)
God = אֱלֹהֶ֙יךָ֙ (’ĕ·lō·he·ḵā) Noun – masculine plural construct | second person masculine singular – Strong’s Hebrew 430: gods — the supreme God, magistrates, a superlative
God = אֵ֣ל (’êl) Noun – masculine singular, Strong’s Hebrew 410: Strength — as adjective, mighty, the Almighty
visiting = פֹּ֠קֵד (pō·qêḏ) Verb – Qal – Participle – masculine singular, Strong’s Hebrew 6485: To visit, to oversee, muster, charge, care for, miss, deposit
inequity = עֲוֺ֨ן (‘ă·wōn) Noun – common singular construct Strong’s Hebrew 5771: Iniquity, guilt, punishment for iniquity
Also, as highlighted earlier, per the dictates of pure reason, only God is Good:
And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me Good? No one is Good except God alone. (Mark 10:18)
Another objection that focuses on the coherence of Perfection when taken together with Omnipotence is as follows: I can harm myself. God can never harm Himself, therefore, God is not Omnipotent.
God can certainly harm me. I can perhaps harm myself. I can’t harm God. God can’t harm Himself (because it’s impossible/absurd for Him to want/will this, not because he lacks the power to bring about imperfection by harming good and rewarding evil). Keeping in mind the previous two verses quoted from the Bible (with particular focus on the relationship between fathers and sons highlighted in Exodus 20:5), consider the following verse:
God is not a man, that He should lie, or a son of adam/man, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and not act? Does He promise and not fulfill? (Numbers 23:19)
Another objection is as follows: I can commit evil. God can never commit evil. I can do something that God can’t do.
You cannot commit evil because God won’t will/allow you to. Any evil that you think you have committed, if you find out all the premises in relation to it, you will conclude that it was perfection (unless of course you are not impartial and rational in how you judge/conclude). This does not mean that you are free from blame or that you are not evil. What you did amounted to perfection as a result of God’s positioning of free-willed beings in relation to one another, and/or, as a result of God’s handling of affairs regarding you and all who were involved. It did not amount to perfection as a result of your evil intent. It amounted to perfection as a result of God’s perfect intent. Your evil intent was just a part of the equation that satisfied perfection. You can contribute to Perfection happily/willingly, or unhappily/unwillingly; knowingly, or unknowingly. You can contribute to Perfection in a manner that’s good for you, or in a manner that’s bad/evil for you. What you can’t do, is compromise Perfection/Justice.
Regardless of how things look, you only harm or benefit those whom it was perfection to be harmed or benefitted (including yourself). If you successfully steal from someone, then you haven’t wronged the one whom you stole from because God wanted the person you stole from to be on the receiving end of you stealing from them. You wronged yourself, or chose wrongly/absurdly (provided that you were aware that what you were doing was evil/unjust. And provided that you wanted to be better off as opposed to worse off) because you are now worthy of punishment. Perhaps you’ll suffer some fear, shame, or regret. Perhaps you’ll be stolen from, go to jail, or be misguided to become further evil to the point of becoming worthy of hell (which you will have willingly chosen or knowingly consented to) so that it becomes perfection for you to suffer with maximum potency. Some people recognise that they are worthy of hell, but they do not believe in hell.
Whether at cost/harm to you, or at gain/benefit to you, God is always satisfied. If He hates you, then His satisfaction is derived from Him punishing you. If He loves you, then His satisfaction is derived from Him rewarding you. How much God loves or hates a particular being (and in what way), or how much God rewards or punishes a particular being (and in what way), depends on the being.
There being an instance of objective imperfection or evil in “our” universe (or anywhere else in Existence) all things considered, is absurd. By objective imperfection or evil all things considered, I mean an objective instance of someone getting what they don’t truly deserve, or something existing imperfectly all things considered. Absurdities, lies, and evil exist, but what they describe is not true of Existence. By this I mean an absurd sentence is an absurd sentence because what it describes is not true of Existence. A liar is a liar because he says what he believes to be not true of Existence. An evil person is an evil person because he does what he believes to be evil/contradictory/unreasonable. Such a person would be willing to harm another against their will and against their best interest, but not be willing to be harmed against his will and against his best interest if the same standards applied. If you would punish/reward someone for something, but not punish/reward yourself for the same thing, then you are evil/contradictory in this regard. If you think evil intent should be rewarded, then consistency would have you reward those who have evil intent towards you. It is absurd/evil for anyone to want evil intent to be rewarded.
The appearance of things to some is such that they might say there’s a 99.9% chance that not everyone’s getting what they deserve. They might even say that it’s 100% certain that not everyone gets what they deserve. Neither claims are rational. Perfection is Omnipresent. This is 100%. Thus, there being people who don’t get what they deserve in our world is just the appearance of things to beings with imperfect vision/knowledge (or to beings that have not truly considered all things). It’s what they deserve to see or believe, until they don’t. One
cannot should not sacrifice pure reason for the appearance of things (it is impossible to do this rationally but not impossible to do this impulsively, emotionally, or unreasonably). This is literally insanity/absurdity/madness/irrationality/evil. That which is 100% is always superior to that which is less than 100%. Do we want to be reasonable or unreasonable? Good or evil? Our choice is required in this equation. At the risk of stating the very obvious, Good is good for us, and evil is bad/evil for us. Only an idiot would strive against a truly perfect existence. Only a dumb or weak-willed person would fail to strive in Its cause. Only evil would betray God/Good for a non-God being. This does not harm God (God does not betray God), it harms the betrayer.
The final concept to discuss is Infinity. As with anything, if it is semantically inconsistent (contradictory all semantics considered), it must be rejected as being true of Existence. If it is meaningful and not absurd, then it must be acknowledged as being true of Existence. Removing some and still having the same amount remaining, is something that appears to be a characteristic of what they call “infinity” in mainstream maths. Can this be a characteristic of the Omnipresent? It cannot because you cannot remove anything from Existence. Existence is such that things can be destroyed, die, be given life to, etc. but none of these acts amount to something being added or taken away from Existence. Of course, this doesn’t show that Infinity is semantically inconsistent (Existence has to be Infinite in order to avoid clear and distinct semantical inconsistencies), it only shows that adding or taking away from Existence/Infinity is semantically inconsistent. For more on Infinity, consider the following: The solution to Russell’s paradox and the absurdity of more than one infinity.
In conclusion, Omnipotence, Omniscience, Perfection, and Infinity are all meaningful/rational concepts. Those who have argued against the meaningfulness of these concepts, have done so by treating unknowns or absurdities as though they are meaningful objections. Unknowns or absurdities should not be presented as rational/meaningful objections. They should not be attributed to God or Existence. We should not think that we have meaningfully (as opposed to unknowingly/meaninglessly) found a way wherein which Existence could be more Omnipresent when we are dealing with an unknown (such as a 10th sense), or, that we have meaningfully (as opposed to absurdly/meaninglessly) found a way for God to be more Omnipotent when we are dealing with an absurdity (such as creating round squares). What it’s like to be Omniscient or Omnipresent (an unknown to all non-Omnipresent beings), should not have any effect on the clear meaningfulness of Omniscience. Should one disregard the clear meaningfulness of Omnipresence just because there are things one does not know about the Omnipresent (such as does the Omnipresent accommodate a 10th sense)? Of course not. So why would one do this with Omniscience?
The compatibility of Justice, Forgiveness, and Mercy
If God is Just, then how can He be Forgiving and Merciful?
If x is evil in relation to you, then you either:
p) Punish him
f) Forgive him
If you commit to p, then that’s an eye for an eye (intent to harm and committing to this, for intent to harm and committing to this). If you commit to f, then you may have done in an unjust manner. Whether you did or not, depends on the following:
If you forgiving x results in you suffering a loss of good or being harmed/wronged in any way, then you should not forgive him because that would be a case of injustice. That would be a case of you sacrificing the innocent (in this case yourself) for x’s past evil in relation to you. That would be a case of sacrificing good for evil. It should be x who should be willing to sacrifice for you. It should be evil that should be willingly sacrificed for good.
If you forgiving him results in you not being harmed or wronged at all, then it is not necessarily unjust for you to forgive him. Assuming that he was genuinely sorry such that he was no longer evil in relation to you (so intent to harm, rape, oppress or cheat had genuinely subsided/ended in him), and that his past evil was not responsible for harming you in any way, then it can be said that x wronged/harmed nobody. So by you forgiving him, you show him forgiveness whilst not being unjust. Again, you were not wronged/harmed, and x is no longer evil in relation to you (so it is not a case of treating evil as though it is ok to be evil).
It might be objected here that x was evil, therefore, to not punish him is to treat x as though it was ok to be evil. If it was ok for x to be evil then it would not have been necessary for him to genuinely repent to avoid being punished (it might be worth noting here that some find it humiliating or shameful seeing themselves as evil (which is in itself a punishment), and some are so evil that they will not genuinely repent until they have tasted some retribution for willing to be evil at the cost of willing to be good. For emphasis, by genuine repentance I mean that which has taken place internally, not just what the “repenter” says. What he says could be inaccurate with regards to him and his soul). So this is not a case of treating x as though it was ok to be evil.
Suppose the quality of x’s repentance was such that for some good reason he was genuinely willing to suffer for you or die for you. Such self-sacrifice for another is usually found in people who love someone else deeply (like a parent in relation to their child). It’s not primarily the consequences of the actions of a person that should make you love or hate them. It’s the person/intent that has outputted the actions you should love or hate. What happens when the present person you are dealing with has good intent in relation to you? By good intent I mean that which is in line with serving God. If an individual is willing to suffer for another or kill for this other because they worship this other at the cost of worshiping/serving God/Goodness, then they are evil. It’s hard to picture such an individual as being loveable or good to have a relationship with (even if they are your parent, child, or partner. Even if they are willing to die for you). Of course, there are also those who love being treated like a god. Such individuals are also hard to picture as loveable or good to have a relationship with. They want to be treated like that which they are not (God), and those who are willing to treat them this way treat God like He is not God. Forgiveness should be exercised for the love of Good/God. If the quality of x’s soul is such that he is good, then you should treat him as such. Treating him as such potentially includes forgiving him for his past evil. I discuss this in more detail in the following post: The true religion.
Had x harmed you, and you thought him to be still evil, but you forgave him purely because you liked his appearance, then you would have done wrongly/unjustly. You would have embraced evil in the name of “forgiveness” (perhaps like a drug addict taking drugs in the name of a “meaningful and fulfilling life”) and you would have made yourself worthy of less good. You would have been cheap in your goodness. It takes evil to embrace evil. It takes evil to reject Good as opposed to acknowledge or appreciate It. You either sell yourself to God as much as possible, or you sacrifice selling yourself to God at the cost of selling yourself to what is cheaper/lesser than God. The quality of your sincerity to God/Goodness/Truth, determines the quality of your being. This is because only God is Good and Almighty.
God has purchased from those who acknowledge their very lives and their wealth; that they will have paradise. (Quran 9:111)
O mankind, what has deceived/deluded you concerning your Lord, the Generous? (Quran 82:6)
deception = Gh-Ra-Ra = deceived, beguiled, inexperienced or ignorant in affairs, act childish, exposed to perdition or destruction without knowing, danger, hazard; deficiency of, imperfect performance of; vain things, vanities
Generous = Kaf-Ra-Miim = To be productive, generous, precious, valuable, honourable, noble, All-Generous, Most Generous
To Him is what is in the heavens and what is in the earth, and what is in between… (Quran 20:6)
“The Lord of the heavens and the earth and what is between them. So serve Him and be patient in His service. (Quran 19:65)
serve = Ayn-Ba-Dal = serve, worship, adore, venerate, accept the impression of a thing, obey with submissiveness or humility, approve, apply, devote, obedience, slave, keep to inseparably, subdue, assemble together, enslave.
heavens = Siin-Miim-Waw = to be high/lofty, raised, name, attribute. samawat – heights/heavens/rain, raining clouds. ismun – mark of identification by which one is recognised. It is a derivation of wsm (pl. asma). ism – stands for a distinguishing mark of a thing, sometimes said to signify its reality.
He created seven heavens in tabaqah. You do not see/perceive/know any flaw/imperfection in the creation by The gracious/Alrahman. Keep looking/perceiving; do you see/perceive any flaw/imperfection/oversight? (Quran 67:3)
tabaqah = Tay-Ba-Qaf = to cover/overwhelm, to make a thing match/conform/suit/correspond/agree with another thing, to hit/get right, become accustomed/habituated, a thing that is equal of another thing of any kind in its measure so that it covers the whole extent of the latter like the lid, tibaqun – fittings, adapting, in order one above another, stages, layers, stories, series, plane, floors, stratum.
The gracious/Alrahman = Ra-Ha-Miim = Rahima – He favored, benefited, pardoned, or forgave him. To love, have tenderness, mercy, pity, forgiveness, have all that is required for exercising beneficence. Tarhamu – He had mercy, pity, or compassion on him; he pitied or compassionated him much. Arham – Wombs (singular) womb, i.e. place of origin. The receptacle of the young in the belly. Ruhmun – Relationship, i.e. nearness of kin, connection by birth; relationship connecting with an ancestor. A connection or tie of relationship. Rahman – it is active participle noun in the measure of fa’lan which conveys the idea of fullness and extensiveness. Rahim – it is in the measure of fa’il which denotes the idea of constant repetition and giving.
If you are evil and unrepentant, God is just and unforgiving in relation to you. This is what’s perfection in relation to unrepentant evil. If you were evil but then you genuinely/sincerely repented, then God is just and forgiving in relation to you. This is what’s perfection in relation to that which has sought God’s forgiveness (to not be punished) and mercy (to increase in goodness) with sincerity. God can always afford to be forgiving and merciful to genuinely/truly repentant individuals without being unjust to Himself or undervaluing Himself because God is Infinite. The mercy of God is at its most potent when it is genuinely appreciated because the one on the receiving end of it is more appreciative of Existence.
God does not forgive that partners be set up with Him, and He forgives other than that for whom He pleases. Whoever sets up partners with God has indeed strayed a far straying. (Quran 4:116)
You would have to serve other than God (or set up partners with God) to fail to genuinely seek His forgiveness and mercy. If reason tells you to do x (because that is what would be in line with a truly perfect existence), but you refuse to do so because you fear or favour some imperfect being more than you favour or fear God, then you have not sought, prioritised, or cared about a truly perfect existence. You have not sought God, therefore, you have not sought God’s forgiveness or mercy. Injustice or the loss of good should terrify you, and your clearest refuge from such thoughts should be God because God does not waste good in any way, shape, or form. He knows what we reveal and what we hide, and He handles all affairs to the last atom’s weight (or less or more) or millisecond (or less or more). The greatest protagonist you can conceive of will not be as morally good as God. None care about goodness as comprehensively and constantly as God.
So he (Satan) caused them to fall with deception; and when they tasted the tree, their shame became apparent to them, and they began to fasten over themselves from the leaves of the paradise; and their Lord called to them: “Did I not prohibit you from that tree, and tell you that Satan is your clear enemy?” (Quran 7:22)
caused them to fall = Dal-Lam-Waw (Dal-Lam-Alif) = To let down (e.g. a bucket into a well), to lower, a bucket, offer a bribe, convey.
tasted = Thal-Waw-Qaf – to taste/experience/try/perceive. One who tastes, cause to taste.
shame = Siin-Waw-Alif = to treat badly, do evil to disgrace, be evil/wicked/vicious, ill, anything that makes a person sad and sorrowful, bad action, mischief and corruption, sin, evil doer, wretched or grievous, vex, annoy. su’atun (pl. suat) – corpse, external portion of both sexes, shame.
began = Tay-Fa-Qaf = begin/start to do something, to take to doing something, to set about, commence/initiate, continue uninterruptedly.
fasten = Kh-Sad-Fa = Adjoin or put together, to men, make a thing double putting one piece upon another, cover with a thing, have two colors, to lie (as though to sew one saying upon another, and thus, embellish it).
leaves = Waw-Ra-Qaf = to put forth leaves. waraqun is both sing. and pl. and is substantive noun from the verb waraqa. auraaq al-rajulu – the man became rich. warqun – leaves, foliage, sheet of paper, sheet of metal, coinage, wealth, prime and freshness of a thing, young lads of a community, beauty of a thing.
They said, “Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves/souls and if You do not forgive us and have mercy on us, then we will be of the losers!” (Quran 7:23)
wronged = Za-Lam-Miim = Zalama – To do wrong or evil, treat unjustly, ill-treat, oppress, harm, suppress, tyrannize, misuse, act wrongfully, deprive anyone of a right, misplace, injure, be oppressive, be guilty of injustice, act wickedly, be wanting in or fail.
It will be neither by what you desire, nor by what the people of the book desire. Whoever works evil, he will be paid by it; and he will not find for himself besides God any Patron or Protector. Whoever works good whether male or female, and is an acknowledger, then these will be admitted to paradise, and they will not be wronged in the least. (Quran 4:123-124)
desire = Miim-Nun-Ya = To try or to prove someone, to mediate, to wish or desire.