Truth, Reality and God: Themes from the Philosophy of Religion
Philosophy Project 2610


1. What are McCabe’s reasons for saying that God cannot create the world well or badly, that “’defective’ and ‘non-defective’ are not appropriate words for speaking of the relation of a thing to its creator”.


God has no imperfections or defects because God is good. However, the world’s evil leads to the badness (Mc Cabe, 2010, 104). When speaking about God being the creator, ‘defective’, and ‘non-defective’ are not the suitable terms to use. In addition, God did not create one thing from another. When God was creating the world it was the initial creation, hence, nothing was there to be compared for potentiality, so when relating things with God, nothing can be judged to be defective or non-defective (Mc Cabe, 2010, 105). Creating in its real sense is the production of the actuality and potentiality in something because nothing existed there before that would be capable of leading to changes. The issue of defective things existed after the creation of the world because that is when defect and lack of defect could be expressed (Mc Cabe, 2010, 106). God created the world himself and it impossible for God to have faults. When God was creating the world, he had already made clear decisions on how he wanted it to be and creation is not a subject of any change. God has perfections in him, so necessary to use the words of perfections in him but not when talking about the creatures. However, the world and the things in it cannot be said to be perfect or non-defective especially when relating a thing with another thing (Mc Cabe, 2010, 107). Defective things were first good and due to changes, that is why they become defective, but during the creation, they were generally good because God cannot be wicked or incompetent.


Mc Cabe, H. (2010). God and Evil in the Theology of St Thomas Aquinas. London: Continuum. (pp. 104-108)