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The Paradox of Perfection

  1. Apr 25, 2003 #1
    What is perfection? Is it to be excellent in everything? But, humans can never be perfect. If this was never put into our minds, would we be perfect? As it is known, what we think is what we feel. So if we, not only consciously, but subconsciously believed we were perfect, then would we be perfect?
    Are we already perfect in our imperfection?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 25, 2003 #2
    Perfection and imperfection can appear to be pronouncedly relative, like many concepts, because the concept of perfection is particularly vague like that of paradox. Natural language is filled with countless vague words which are from a logician's point of view related to the Sorites or heap paradoxes that, in turn, could all be possibly derived from the Liar's paradox.

    For example, I could refrase the Liar's paradox in natural language as "This sentence is perfectly vague." If true than it is false and if false it is true. For its own part, the concept of truth itself can also be vague in natural language, but not quite so much among logicians. Inevitably some believe a statistical and contextual analysis of language will reduce some of this vagueness, but I don't know if any results have already been achieved, linguistics is not that interesting to me except in how it applies to my own philosophy.

    From my own philosophical viewpoint, as concepts become more vague like that of perfection, they become more attitudinal and qualitative than rational and quantitative. Hence they possess a more personal and individual context and are simultaneously more difficult to pin down with a common meaning. Therefore I just go with the flow in the moment and decide whether or not a particular individual is perfect or not. :0)
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2003
  4. Apr 25, 2003 #3
    This is one of those threads where atleast ten or fifteen alternate questions are thought about as one reads the first question asked. Then, another two or three make a "stop-everything-fly-by" scenario before the first pixel is even transmitted.

    Right now I am thinking how likely is the quest to solve the defintion of perfection. It isn't likely. In that way perfection, it would seem, hold a lot in common with the "uncertainty" of QM.

    Another way to look at the questions in Post One, I think, is to reduce the question to its essence. Namely, perfection means to know. We are always trying to "know." All disciplines have an element of that fact in them, I believe; to know.

    In know just a few things. One is that I'm selfish. Numbers 2 through 77 I will not share.

  5. Apr 25, 2003 #4
    Maybe we are perfect.....

    I believe we are perfect in our subconscious ability to be perfect. As Wuliheron said, perfection is relative.
  6. Apr 25, 2003 #5
    Re: Maybe we are perfect.....

    I said that perfection and imperfection can appear to be pronouncedly relative, like many concepts, because the concept of perfection is particularly vague like that of paradox. I don't know if they really are relative or not, but certainly they appear to be from many perspectives. Exactly what they really might be I won't speculate on.
  7. Apr 25, 2003 #6
    Is the universe perfect?
    Are we born perfect? Does imperfection mean that you make mistakes? if so, then we would be born perfect because we wouldn't have sinned, at all in our lives.
  8. Apr 25, 2003 #7
    More meaningfully, perhaps, can we ever really know for sure and does it really matter?
  9. Apr 25, 2003 #8
    I guess my questions pertaining to perfection are all anisotropic. I think it matters to know both views.
    We are imperfect because we make mistakes, sin, whatever you may want to call it. a definition:
    do you think this definition is best, for imperfection? I think it is; humans want a part, perfection. Could future evolution solve this?

    Or could perfection lead to curruption? if so why?
  10. Apr 25, 2003 #9
    Yuk! What an unappealing definition. How's that Don Henley song go...

    Building the Perfect Beast!

    The easy way out of this connundrum is to assume perfection can ultimately be defined as an attitude... the attitude of acceptance.
  11. Apr 29, 2003 #10
    Perfection is a value judgement - it is related to the concept of 'good'.

    Perfection only makes sense if there exists an endpoint as to how good something can be. Of course we don't know how good the world or ourselves can become.

    A perfect world is one which 'couldn't have been better' - the best of all POSSIBLE worlds. There is only one world of which we are sure of its possibility - the current one. Just because we can imagine a better world than this one does not prove that this world is imperfect (although it very likely is).
  12. Apr 29, 2003 #11
    An optimist is someone who believes this is the best of all possible worlds while a pessimist is someone who's afraid they are right.
  13. Apr 29, 2003 #12
    The truth of the matter is that no one can be perfect, unless everyone becomes perfect. A perfect person doesn't transgress. A perfect person also doesn't get jealous. However, an imperfect person does get jealous, and to make someone jealous is to transgress against them. Thus, the fact that one person is perfect, while another is not, makes the imperfect one jealous, and thus the perfect one has transgressed, and is now imperfect.
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