Most of us have heard the familiar refrain from brothers, sisters, children, and friends, “That’s not fair!” You may have never thought about this, but this familiar refrain reveals yet another indication of your transcendental nature.
Since our childhood, most of us are able to “instinctively” recognize virtually every imperfection in people’s fairness, justice, or goodness.
We see unfairness on the part of our parents, teachers, and friends, and later when we grow up, we see the same unfairness or injustice in the educational system, the legal system, and the political system, organizations of commerce, media, and culture – there seems to be no end to it.
Even little lapses in fairness, justice, or goodness seem to leap out at us – not only because they cause inconvenience to ourselves or others, but especially because we expect something better – something more fair or just.
If we think about it, we expect perfect justice – and everything short of it causes frustration, disappointment, and sometimes even outrage.
We may now return to the familiar question we have asked twice above. How could we recognize every imperfection in fairness, justice, and goodness – instinctually — without having to learn it?
Would we not have to have some awareness of what perfect justice or goodness would be like in order for us to recognize every imperfection in it in every context? Wouldn’t this awareness of prefect fairness and goodness be necessary in order for us to desire perfect justice and goodness – and to be disappointed or outraged by every manifestation of justice and goodness that is less than perfect?
If so, then how did we come to be aware of this horizon of perfect justice and goodness? By now you will probably be able to answer this question.
It could not have come from the world around us – because the world around us manifests only imperfect justice and goodness. It could not have come from our brain because it is constituted by restricted physical processes and structures.
Therefore, it would have to come from – you guessed it – perfect justice and goodness itself. Recall what Plato said – only perfect justice itself can induce our awareness of it.
We come once again to a similar conclusion – if perfect justice itself must be one and the same reality as perfect truth itself and perfect love itself (according to the proof from simplicity and unity), and perfect truth itself must be a perfect act of thinking – that is, God, then God must be the source of our awareness of perfect justice and goodness. Inasmuch as God is present to you as the source of your awareness of perfect justice and goodness, you are a transcendental being – beyond the restricted, imperfect, physical world.
Next, let’s explore the fourth transcendental, which is the awareness and desire for perfect beauty.