Concluding Observations

Is universal perfection as spelled out in this perfection argument a sufficient condition for deity? Maybe not. At any rate, even this culminating application of the eliminative method hasn't yet turned up any explicit indications of personhood or even, strictly speaking, of goodness, knowledge, and power. But, as Aquinas's use of the concept of universal perfection will show, all four of those traditional divine attributes are implicit in perfection. And so the elimination of predicate S, imperfect, marks another notable advance in the direction of identifying Alpha as God.

Once S has been eliminated, especially in the way the perfection argument eliminates it, we may be able, retrospectively, to view all the previously eliminated predicates as general metaphysical imperfections the elimination of which is particularly important on the way to establishing universal perfection.

And establishing universal perfection provides the basis for introducing a new sort of method with which to pursue this project, as we'll see in Chapter Five.

end p.138


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