What a telling sentiment. I’m certain that everyone would agree that we’ve all found ourselves saying it at one point in our lives or the other.
(I’m always most fascinated by the things we say and do by instinct rather than by the beliefs we profess to hold in theory)
The reason I find it strange is because one hundred percent of the time when we use it, we seem to take it for granted that we’ve assumed that the person we’re saying it to holds to the very same ideas about this assumed ‘standard of perfection,’ and that it should be a given that they agree that ‘we all’ indeed ‘fall short of it’ – like it should be common knowledge.
If this wasn’t true, we’d instead find ourselves saying things like: “I’m not perfect, but you possibly could be.” Yet, unless for merely sarcastic effect, I’ve never heard anyone retorting that before.
Instead, the sentiment seems to always be used when we want to validate our own imperfection by reminding our hearers that ‘they too’ fall short of this standard they also should already know of.
Imagine if the person turned to respond, “No, I actually am perfect!”
If we were kind, we might then see fit to insist upon a mental health assessment on their behalf.
But before I stray too far from the original thought, I think it’s a good time to now clarify that the kind of perfection that I noticed that we seem to assume that ‘all people fall short of’ when we say ‘nobody’s perfect’, seems to be *moral* perfection.
But I’m curious to investigate today *why* we all assume that it should be collectively acknowledged that “nobody’s perfect”… unless of course we all believe that the statement we’re making is ‘objectively true’ – meaning, regardless of our individually professed belief system, this stands as an absolute fact that should be acknowledge by all and that it transcends our individual beliefs even if we hold to the contrary somehow ‘in theory’. In which case, a self-professed moral relativist would be guilty of undermining their own professed beliefs by ever making such a statement.
Here’s the problem though:
Self-professed moral relativists ‘do’ make such statements.
In which case they make it apparent that although they profess to believe such things as “all ways to God are right” or even that “many ways to God” is plausible, (even if they know that the world’s top religions fundamentally contradict one another), we find that although they can try to escape logic in theory, they can’t seem to escape their own subconscious from making absolute and objective statements in daily practice.
Which tells me something very important about moral relativists – that their theoretical professions, no matter how articulate, how forceful, how brazen, how self-assured, nor how much approved by the consensus of others – should *never* be accepted as valid or ‘true.’
I’d even go as far as to say that if the dogmatic beliefs of such professors was a form of ‘subjective moral reasoning religious adherence,’ (which I totally believe it is) then I caution you: *Beware,* these are the true hypocrites of our day.
There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
Since “nobody’s perfect” – not Muhammad, not Buddha, not Mother Teresa nor Hitler – what better reason is there than for us to trust in the one sinless, perfect, Son of God who gave His life for us?
So I implore you,