Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Reflection On Perfection

Descartes came to the conclusion that because he had a clear and distinct idea of perfection, it was thus self-evident that such an idea could not possibly have originated from self. For how could any idea of perfection have originated from one who is imperfect, he thought? Therefore, he assumed his idea of perfection could only have been “planted” by God.

This thinking begs for a consensus as to what perfection is. Is it necessarily an objective, one-size-fits-all answer? Not likely. Perfection seems to me a totality of many peoples' oftentimes opposing perspectives.

For Goldilocks was happy with porridge neither too hot nor too cold. Neither was she happy with a bed too soft nor too hard. But this was only Goldilocks' idea of perfection. Obviously the mother and father bear had different ideas as to what perfection entailed. Likewise, my idea of perfection will not necessarily correspond to Descartes'. Or yours for that matter.

Perhaps they are all "perfectly right", though replete with contradictions? If this is the case, does not perfection seem to lose its meaning?

On the other hand, is there one out there arrogant enough to claim his idea of "perfection" is the one, true face of it? Surely so, as there are MANY out there that claim this. But how are we to account for the fact that many of these claims conflict with one another?

To restate, must perfection be an absolute, one-size-fits-all idea? If it is, whose idea represents its "true" face? If it is not, nobody will be happy with perfection because it would in this case be a “mixture” of everybody's oftentimes conflicting ideas of it.

Perhaps one who has a seemingly imperfect picture of perfection might just have the “correct” picture of it. Oh the irony!

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