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#638 “Could God Create a Morally Perfect Being?” Revisited

July 07, 2019

Question #1

In question 634 you state that "[a] morally perfect [created] being would fully approximate the divine nature." Then that such a created being is worthy of worship (which I agree with, at least as far as it concerns the being's moral nature). But to state that this being would therefore be God seems to make no sense. That it fully approximates God seems to make no sense either (or I misread or misunderstand), because God has many more attributes than moral perfection. In any case it would not be a replica. It would be, for example, a human being with moral perfection, who may be otherwise imperfect somehow or somehow faulty. It is logically possible, for there is no inherent contradiction in the idea or concept. So God could create a morally perfect being with free will. Am I missing something here?



Question #2

Hi Dr. Craig, Thanks for your work. In a recent Q and A you denied the possibility of God creating a morally perfect being, since you said such a being would fully approximate the divine nature. But how is this so? If morality refers to nothing more than the ethical character of the creature, given this has nothing to do with things like perfect wisdom, knowledge and power, how would a morally perfect being approximate the divine nature? And in light of your answer, do you not accept the moral perfection of Adam?



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Dr. craig’s response


We got a number of questions about my reply to QoW #634. You never know what will strike people’s interest!

My reply is based on the idea that moral perfection is a uniquely divine property. To be morally perfect is to embody goodness itself, to be maximally good. If you agree, Usor, that being the Supreme Good makes a being worthy of worship, then it immediately follows that that being is God. For by definition God is a being worthy of worship. Nothing else but God is worthy of worship (as opposed to just admiration). So if a being is morally perfect and therefore God, it must have all the essential properties of God, including omniscience, omnipotence, eternity, necessity, and so on.

My answer implies that a human person cannot be a morally perfect being, or he would be God. Dave asks, What about Adam?  In Christian theology, Adam is not morally perfect. He is morally innocent prior to the Fall but not morally perfect. Even in heaven, free from sin, our righteousness will be finite, not like the infinite goodness of God.

So I suspect that people’s reservations about my claim were based on a different understanding of “morally perfect.”  Perhaps they interpreted it to mean something like “sinless.” In that case God can (and did) create a sinless human being. But sinlessness should not be equated with moral perfection, which is a positive quality of infinite magnitude.

- William Lane Craig