Reason as the Leading Motive

God cannot be Perfect, but Man can!

Posted by Jerry on June 2, 2006

Heroism is possible to man only because failure is a very real and constant threat. Bravery is possible to man only because there are instances that generate tremendous fear in man.
Humans are heroes only in a metaphysic that permits the possibility of failure, success, loss, achievement, death, birth, danger, and security.

Existentialists focus on the constancy of failure, and the reality of death, as corroborating their claim for the “fallen” nature of man.
Modern philosophers and post-modern artists highlight human weaknesses and human imperfections as evidence of our fragile and corrupt nature. Death is the point of focus, and their philosophical direction is motivated by the death premise.

Ayn Rand’s sense of life, her art, and her philosophy showed that human perfection, human heroism, human greatness is a very real fact of reality, and its achievement is entirely possible in this world. Her premise is not death, but life. Death is nothing, it is not a state of being – for there is no “being” in death; it is not a state worthy of contemplation – for nothing cannot contemplate about nothingness; it is not anything that one can speak of, except in negative terms: death is the non-existence of a living being. Death is the end of life. Death is a reality that is no one can ever experience.

Life is what living beings have to face everyday; therefore, a universal, objective, and life-sustaining code of principles is what living beings must have to develop in order to deal with the reality of their life in this world.

Therefore, Rand’s philosophy looks at man as a LIVING being. Her art, her philosophy, projects man as a being that sustain his life by interacting with this world, learning about it, mastering its laws, producing means of enhancing his living condition, establishing his intellectual and moral superiority, and rightfully claiming heroic status for a life well-lived.

Heroism, perfection, greatness, are all qualities of men that can only be applicable in this world. Those who claim that humans are not like heroes in a fantasy novel, that humans can never achieve perfection because humans are inherently “fallen”, have a corrupted notion of heroism and perfection. The cause and reason for that corruption are religious and altruistic philosophies that almost everyone has accepted as “universal truths about man”.

Heroism is not an attribute of an invincible, undefeatable, immortal Goliath.
Perfection is not an attribute of an eternal, omniscient, omnipotent God.

Ascribing those attributes to such fantastical entities renders the concepts of heroism and perfection, utterly meaningless. For God to win a battle against the Devil is not a heroic feat. For God to never commit a sin is not a committment to perfection. God (if such an entity does exist) would require by its identity to be undefeatable, and incapable of sinning. Those are not his virtues, but his limitations.

It is only to man – who can indeed fail, who can indeed commit mistakes, who can indeed die – that heroism and perfection properly apply; because only they who have a possibility of failure, can achieve heroic successes; only they who have the possibility of committing mistakes, can achieve remarkable perfection in their lives; only they who have the reality of death ahead of them, can experience the joy of living with every fiber of their being.

10 Responses to “God cannot be Perfect, but Man can!”

  1. Which would be why the only living creature on earth to come up with a concept of god… would be us… 😀

    I know, higher functioning animals and all that jazz…

    Very nicely put!

  2. Ergo Sum said

    Yes, God owes His existence to Man. So, properly, God should be worshipping Man, and not the other way around! Without Man, there would be no God.

  3. innommable said

    So, what is a perfect man?

    In what ways can you see perfection manifested in man?

  4. Ergo Sum said

    First off, we need to discard the understanding of perfection as is currently understood. Many people, including myself, held some lofty, other-wordly, understanding of the idea. And that’s the error… that’s the vestige of the religious indoctrination… even if you are an atheist.

    So, perfection implies a standard. Something is perfect when it has achieved a standard, or surpassed the standard. Well, what is that standard? Should it be an omniscient, all-knowing standard? Should it be that if a man were to have knowledge of all things, and then consistently avoided the pitfalls of failure or defeat or incompetence then he is perfect?

    Perfection, as defined in the dictionary, is supreme excellence; an unsurpassable degree of accuracy and excellence; flawlessness. (M-W.com)

    What we have unwittingly come to accept as the definition of perfection is this: supreme excellence “in all things at all times in all situations”. Unsurpassable degree of accuracy “in all things at all times in all situations”. Flawlessness “in all things at all times in all situations”.

    Ofcourse, perfection defined as such sounds awfully similar to the God-concept. And that is intentional. And that is where the error is. To define perfection as such that it is utterly unattainable to a human being! That it is the exclusive attribute of a Divine entity. That as humans, we are “fallen” creatures, never able to attain perfection in anything.

    Now. What is a perfect man? A man with unbreached committment to rationality. A man who is devoid of guilt and irrationality for any and all actions under his immediate control. A man whose actions match his integrity. A man who bears in mind the nature of reality, the nature of chance endemic in reality, the nature on non-intended consequences inherent in reality, but also knows that he is fully in control of his own actions and his own ideas. What he believes, and what he does as a result, is entirely up to him.
    Perfection is attained by keeping in mind the nature of reality and attaining the right to say without guilt that you have done nothing wrong or irrational wilfully; that you have nothing to hide.

    There are many areas in our lives that we can achieve perfection, albeit, it’s difficult, and very few actually attain that right to claim perfection.

    Moral virtue – an achievement of a notion of the self that is perfectly integrated with one’s value-system, which gives one a deserved sense of self-esteem, that is, in my opinion, the most important area of life where striving for perfection is a necessary constituent of a good life.

  5. Bombayite said

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  6. Ergo Sum said

    Hey thanks, Bombayite!

  7. […] [Related post: God Cannot be Perfect, But Man Can!] […]

  8. samantha said


  9. David said

    I’m not sure if Samantha’s response was supposed to be funny? In all seriousness, maybe you should read the bible. It is probably the first thing that will turn anyone atheist that has at least a limited concept of logic and reasoning skills. Then you can start discovering your true origens rather than some concept made up by man.

  10. Titan said

    So, David, atheists are people that have at least a limited concept of logic and reasoning skills And have read the bible? But let me tell you what I think, both theists and atheists are people that are sure of something: the existence or non-existence of a god. And remember that only stupid people are sure of something 😉 Which one of them you wanna be? And the rest of you, don’t bother ’bout perfection, only One of us may reach it in every generation, and I’ve already done it 😛

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