Were I to ask a believer the question, “Can Imperfection generate Perfection?”, I am sure he would answer “No” without hesitation or fear of erring. Well, I likewise say that Perfection cannot determine Imperfection, and for identical reasons my proposition is as strong as the preceding one. Here, again, between Perfection and Imperfection, there is not only a difference of degree and quantity but a difference of quality and nature — an essential fundamental, irreducible and absolute antithesis. Here, again, we have not only a more or less deep ditch but an immeasurable and deep abyss which nobody could possibly fill or leap.
Perfection is absolute; Imperfection is relative. Compared with Perfection, which is all, that which is relative and contingent is but nothing. Compared with Perfection, relativity has no value and does not exist. And it is not within the power of any philosopher or mathematician to establish any relation whatsoever between that which is relative and that which is absolute. Such a relation is then impossible — especially when it need be of the rigorous and precise kind which should unite the principle of Cause and Effect.
It is, therefore, impossible that Perfection should determine Imperfection.
Vice versa: there is a direct relation — a fatal and somehow mathematical one — between the work and its artificer; the value of the work is measured by the value of the artificer. As you will know a tree by the fruit it bears, so will you judge the artificer by his work.
If I am to peruse a poorly written work, full of grammatical errors, where sentences are badly constructed, where the style is poor and neglected, where the ideas are common and quotations incorrect, I certainly would not think of attributing so ugly a page of literature to an embosser of phrases, to a master of letters.
If I rest my eyes on an ill-made design in which the lines are wrongly drawn, the rules of proportion and perspective violated, I surely shall not attribute so rudimentary a scrawl to a professor, to an artist, to a master. Without the slightest hesitation I shall say that it is the work of a novice, an apprentice, a child. And I am sure I would make no mistake, for so clearly does the work bear the stamp of its artificer that from it you can judge its author.
Now, then, Nature is beautiful; the Universe is magnificent. I, as much as anybody else, admire the splendors of this everlasting natural spectacle. Nevertheless, no matter how enthusiastic I am about Nature’s charms, whatever may be my homage to it, I cannot say that the Universe is perfect, irreproachable and faultless. Nobody dares to hold such an opinion.
The Universe is, then, an imperfect work. I can consequently say that between the work and its author there is always a rigorous, strict, mathematical relation. The Universe is an imperfect work; its author, therefore, cannot be but imperfect.
This syllogism hurls the attribute of Imperfection at the believers’ God and implicitly denies Him.
I can yet pursue a different line of reasoning: either God is not the artificer of the Universe (and I express my own conviction) or, if you persist in affirming that He is and the Universe being an imperfect work, your God is also imperfect.
As you see, syllogism or dilemma, the conclusion remains the same. Perfection cannot determine Imperfection.