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Thread: Trinitarians, explain the trinity.

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    Default Trinitarians, explain the trinity.

    The Trinity is supposed to be one "essence" with 3 "persons," one of whom has two "essences." Presumably if you believe this, you have some sort of idea what this means, and you should be able to explain it. Please do so here. Thanks.

    Alternatively: if you can't explain this, how can you believe it? How can you believe something you don't understand?
    Last edited by FreelancePoliceman; 03-21-2021 at 01:14 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreelancePoliceman View Post
    Alternatively: if you can't explain this, how can you believe it? How can you believe something you don't understand?
    this is the interesting part to me because a funny part about feeling His presence after my waking up from my coma is thinking: how would i have explained this recognition (of the obvious) to my old self? and the immediate answer was that i couldn't, because it has nothing to with thinking or *understanding* anything. or feeling anything, if u wanna get all dichotomous, and logic superiority, lol. to me it was like noticing the sky is blue when i felt God BUT to be fair, i haven't worked out the details yet. things other than the Father come to my awareness in prayer, but fuzzier form that i can tell is more subject to my human bias. i don't even know what you mean by one of the 3 having 2 essences?

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    What a wonderful question, which I can't at this moment give a wonderful answer to. (Many wonderful contemplators have much better answers than any I have contemplated).

    But here is a little tangible analogy of the Holy Trinity that I learned about this week!

    Our priest is preparing us for the beautiful centuries-old Easter Week traditions, which involve very specific ancient Christian traditions that people over time and space ahve cherished. People all over the world, and over many, many centuries, Christians now and also our own ancestors, have all their entire lives annually loved and practiced these Easter traditions. I so looked forward to my first experience of them last year, but we had to watch them on TV instead because of covid shutdowns. Just this Sunday in the continuing teaching lectures on Easter Week he told us about the Reed or Tricereo (The Triple Candle), used on Holy Saturday. He had there for us to see the Triple Candle our Sub-Deacon has prepared for us, "the proper way", by twisting three softened candles together, so though they are one candle at the base, and the one candle branches out to three individuals candles at the top, with three separate flames.

    Our priest explained, "See? Just like the Holy Trinity. One - but three separate persons."

    The ancient traditions have much in common with the Orthodox traditions, as they were once one with the Catholic Church. Here is one of their candles for the same Holy Saturday ceremony:



    Our particular "proper way" triple-candle that is prepared for our upcoming Holy Saturday is traditionally (besides theologically and symbolically) correct -
    and it looks like the twisted-base triple candle carried by the Priest in this stained glass window:



    On Holy Saturday, the 2nd candle (representing Christ) of the Triple candle (representing the Holy Trinity) is the particular flame of the three in the trinity candle that the Priest uses to light the Paschal Candle (which represents Christ, Light of the World: risen from the dead. The moment of the lighting of this Paschal Candle (there is a new Paschal candle every year) is part of this Mass that is the moment of the END of the penitential 40 day season of Lent, the end of the sorrowful mourning of Good Friday, and the start of the Easter Season, the Feast of 50 days, which ends on Pentecost Sunday (which is the celebration of the descent of the Holy Spirit into the Church - to Mary and the Apostles in the Upper Room). (Therefore after Mass we can go home and eat what we will!). That moment looks like this:



    More on above:
    The Paschal Candle is an emblem of Christ who has risen from death.... The second Divine Person came down upon the earth as the true light. For this reason the priest (or deacon) sings [while bearing the lit Paschal candle in procession into the sanctuary] “Lumen Christi” (“Light of Christ”), and kneeling, three times humbly adores the Triune Deity...

    (The Paschal candle is always marked with the signs of the Alpha and the Omega ("Christ, yesterday, today, and for ever".) In the candle are five holes with nails, representing the five wounds of Jesus by which mankind was healed, (I Pet. 2:24) and the the nails hold five grains of frankincense signifying the spices with which the body of Our Lord was embalmed. The candle is lit all 50 days of Easter, and at every funeral and baptism throughout the year.*)
    ... (little frankincense nails)
    ____________________
    *Because the Paschal Candle is blessed, it can't be just thrown out with trash or non-religious refuse. If small it can go in the Easter Vigil fire. Or it may be melted down and made into other candles used for prayer, or the melted down wax may be buried in sacred ground.


    Last edited by Eliza Thomason; 03-25-2021 at 02:44 AM.

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    I am one person when I'm at home, another person while I'm out with friends, and still another person when I'm attending a funeral. I am these three (and more) persons, each possessed by one consciousness. It is even possible for me to exist as multiple persons at once, without any outside assistance, provided I envision a dialogue between my different personalities (e.g. by talking to myself). In light of this, it isn't very difficult to understand the nature of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. They are the nearest and dearest roles played by the Supreme Being, at least if the teachings of the Church are to be believed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreelancePoliceman View Post
    The Trinity is supposed to be one "essence" with 3 "persons," one of whom has two "essences." Presumably if you believe this, you have some sort of idea what this means, and you should be able to explain it. Please do so here. Thanks.

    Alternatively: if you can't explain this, how can you believe it? How can you believe something you don't understand?
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple_point

    I'm no Christian, but that's the best analogy I can think of. I think a lot of mythology contains abstract impersonal truths. Trinity is one of them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreelancePoliceman View Post
    The Trinity is supposed to be one "essence" with 3 "persons," one of whom has two "essences." Presumably if you believe this, you have some sort of idea what this means, and you should be able to explain it. Please do so here. Thanks.

    Alternatively: if you can't explain this, how can you believe it? How can you believe something you don't understand?
    Human beings also have 3 parts: body (Son), mind (Father) and soul or spirit (Holy G.) To me is not hard to get God manifested in similar ways. Also I think God reveals himself to those who don't reject him constantly.

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    @FreelancePoliceman

    It comes from Plato, man is made in the image of God:

    The logos (λογιστικόν), or logistikon, located in the head, is related to reason and regulates the other parts. <== the FATHER
    The thymos (θυμοειδές), or thumetikon, located near the chest region and is related to anger. <== the HOLY GHOST
    The eros (ἐπιθυμητικόν), or epithumetikon, located in the stomach and is related to one's desires. <== the SON (flesh and blood Christ)



    Quote Originally Posted by Aramas View Post
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple_point

    I'm no Christian, but that's the best analogy I can think of. I think a lot of mythology contains abstract impersonal truths. Trinity is one of them.
    e_e to understand Christianity one kinda has to understand Greek philosophy as well.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Nunki View Post
    I am one person when I'm at home, another person while I'm out with friends, and still another person when I'm attending a funeral. I am these three (and more) persons, each possessed by one consciousness. It is even possible for me to exist as multiple persons at once, without any outside assistance, provided I envision a dialogue between my different personalities (e.g. by talking to myself). In light of this, it isn't very difficult to understand the nature of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. They are the nearest and dearest roles played by the Supreme Being, at least if the teachings of the Church are to be believed.
    So your understanding of the Trinity is that a singular god just play-acts as three separate characters?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akira View Post
    Human beings also have 3 parts: body (Son), mind (Father) and soul or spirit (Holy G.) To me is not hard to get God manifested in similar ways. Also I think God reveals himself to those who don't reject him constantly.
    Where and what is the soul? How is the mind distinct from the rest of the body? Why not divide up humans into even more component parts; e.g. their skin, lungs, kidneys, and so on? Can any of these parts be considered their own “person”? And finally, what is your “being”/“essence”/“substance” as distinct from your person?

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    @shotgunfingers

    Unless you’re prepared to argue that one’s chest or one’s stomach can be conceived of as a separate “person” from the mind, I don’t understand the relevance of anything you said. Of course anything can be divided into three or more parts; I’m just not sure what’s meant by “person” and “essence” in relation to the Trinity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreelancePoliceman View Post
    @shotgunfingers

    Unless you’re prepared to argue that one’s chest or one’s stomach can be conceived of as a separate “person” from the mind, I don’t understand the relevance of anything you said. Of course anything can be divided into three or more parts; I’m just not sure what’s meant by “person” and “essence” in relation to the Trinity.
    how are you Ti again? The graphic should be explanation enough, its simple and clean logic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aramas View Post
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple_point

    I'm no Christian, but that's the best analogy I can think of. I think a lot of mythology contains abstract impersonal truths. Trinity is one of them.
    If you accept the Trinity you don’t believe it’s an “abstract impersonal truth.” Presumably it means something concrete about how you understand God. I’m trying to understand if that’s actually so or if the doctrine is an exercise in convincing believers to accept literal nonsense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shotgunfingers View Post
    how are you Ti again?
    Well, maybe I’m not. Regardless, I’m not looking for analogies; I’m looking for a clear explanation of what the Trinity is. Nothing you said explained what the hell a “person” is, or the difference between a “person” and that person’s “essence.” I’m beginning to suspect that no one else has any idea of what’s meant when people talk about the Trinity either.

    As for the graphic, the transitive property of equality is what I consider “simple and clean logic.”

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    e_e the godhead is a typical Indio-European phenomena found not only in Christianity, where a single deity has 3 aspects.

    For example Hinduism:

    "The Puranas, one of the Hindoo Bibles of more than 3,000 years ago, contain the following passage: 'O ye three Lords! know that I recognize only one God. Inform me, therefore, which of you is the true divinity, that I may address to him alone my adorations.' The three gods, Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva [or Shiva], becoming manifest to him, replied, 'Learn, O devotee, that there is no real distinction between us. What to you appears such is only the semblance. The single being appears under three forms by the acts of creation, preservation, and destruction, but he is one.'

    Neat Venn diagram explanation:


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    Quote Originally Posted by shotgunfingers View Post
    e_e the godhead is a typical Indio-European phenomena found not only in Christianity, where a single deity has 3 aspects.

    For example Hinduism:

    "The Puranas, one of the Hindoo Bibles of more than 3,000 years ago, contain the following passage: 'O ye three Lords! know that I recognize only one God. Inform me, therefore, which of you is the true divinity, that I may address to him alone my adorations.' The three gods, Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva [or Shiva], becoming manifest to him, replied, 'Learn, O devotee, that there is no real distinction between us. What to you appears such is only the semblance. The single being appears under three forms by the acts of creation, preservation, and destruction, but he is one.'
    OK, so maybe Hindus have a similar conception. So what? I’m still looking for an explanation of what it means for three to be one. In what way? Like I asked someone else, is a singular deity just playacting and manifesting himself as 3 different personalities for humanity’s benefit, or for fun?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreelancePoliceman View Post
    If you accept the Trinity you don’t believe it’s an “abstract impersonal truth.” Presumably it means something concrete about how you understand God. I’m trying to understand if that’s actually so or if the doctrine is an exercise in convincing believers to accept literal nonsense.
    Why is the concept of the trinity a higher degree of nonsense than other Christian beliefs like the resurrection? If anything, I think belief in literal things like rising from death etc. requires more faith
    (ie accepting nonsense. And I'm okay with framing faith that way because I'm impressed when ppl can do it and I try my best to do it because I feel like flexing the faith by not demanding proof is kinda the point. But the people who are actually good at it might not approve of putting it that way lol)
    The trinity is easier for me personally. Than say noahs ark.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ashlesha View Post
    Why is the concept of the trinity a higher degree of nonsense than other Christian beliefs like the resurrection? If anything, I think belief in literal things like rising from death etc. requires more faith
    (ie accepting nonsense. And I'm okay with framing faith that way because I'm impressed when ppl can do it and I try my best to do it because I feel like flexing the faith by not demanding proof is kinda the point. But the people who are actually good at it might not approve of putting it that way lol)
    The trinity is easier for me personally. Than say noahs ark.
    I don’t really have any trouble accepting that the creator of reality could violate the natural order of things. Even if I were religious I doubt I’d accept the story of Noah’s ark, but still, if I start with a belief in God, why wouldn’t it at least be possible? The problem is when you have doctrines that just make no sense. If somehow your most trusted religious authority were to say that every Christian must believe that God kettlesnorked jaxony, what would you do with that information? Would you try to believe that? How could you? It’s the same when you say “three is one.” Unless that’s a rhetorical statement that isn’t quite literally true, it can’t actually be believed because it’s nonsensical and saying nothing at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreelancePoliceman View Post
    OK, so maybe Hindus have a similar conception. So what? I’m still looking for an explanation of what it means for three to be one. In what way? Like I asked someone else, is a singular deity just playacting and manifesting himself as 3 different personalities for humanity’s benefit, or for fun?
    Its the same deity with 3 aspects. Its not 3 different entities, that would be heresy.
    Such trinities exist throughout every indo-european religion, Christianity & Hinduism included. The idea of the godhead predates Christianity.

    ^^ Jesus IS God.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreelancePoliceman View Post
    I don’t really have any trouble accepting that the creator of reality could violate the natural order of things. Even if I were religious I doubt I’d accept the story of Noah’s ark, but still, if I start with a belief in God, why wouldn’t it at least be possible? The problem is when you have doctrines that just make no sense. If somehow your most trusted religious authority were to say that every Christian must believe that God kettlesnorked jaxony, what would you do with that information? Would you try to believe that? How could you? It’s the same when you say “three is one.” Unless that’s a rhetorical statement that isn’t quite literally true, it can’t actually be believed because it’s nonsensical and saying nothing at all.
    If you have no trouble accepting that a creator could "violate the natural order" (I would reframe that as a human error in the perception of the natural order) then doesn't it naturally follow that the natural order could be violated with respect to concepts like "one is one" ?

    I feel myself understanding the trinity in the same part of my brain that processes art, music, poetry, and maybe that's relevant. Idk if I can communicate it to you. Something about the sides of a square, maybe

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    A 1st-century BC denarius (RRC 486/1) depicting the head of Diana and her triple cult statue:



    Threefold unity of the divine huntress, the Moon goddess and the goddess of the nether world, Hekate (all are the same godess: Diana)

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreelancePoliceman View Post
    Well, maybe I’m not. Regardless, I’m not looking for analogies; I’m looking for a clear explanation of what the Trinity is. Nothing you said explained what the hell a “person” is, or the difference between a “person” and that person’s “essence.” I’m beginning to suspect that no one else has any idea of what’s meant when people talk about the Trinity either.

    As for the graphic, the transitive property of equality is what I consider “simple and clean logic.”
    The concept of the Trinity might be a test.

    You know, like those offers you sometimes get on the internet, where this deposed African king just needs a little money from you to gain access to his huge fortune which he has been unfairly denied, but which he will share with you as soon as you send him your bank information.

    Or asking you to sign a Billion Year Contract.

    It’s a filtering process, really. If you are smart enough to call bullshit, they don’t want to waste their time dealing with you. But if you Believe, whoa, then they want to talk.

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    @ashlesha,

    logic isn’t something that can be violated, even by an all-powerful god. When we talk about something like “rules of logic” we’re playing a semantic game; we’re pretending that logic is a “thing,” which consequently an all-powerful god could dispense with as he pleased, and, worse, if that god couldn’t dispense with these rules would make him not all-powerful. But logic isn’t a “thing” in itself; just the relation between things. Our language can’t speak of this relation without making it into a “thing”, a noun itself, and that’s where this confusion comes from. It’s not that God “can’t” make three equal one; it’s that saying “three equaling one” is nonsense; the statement itself doesn’t mean anything. The fault is in the language we use to express this, which is imprecise, and consequently can serve to obscure thought.

    Can God kettlesnork jaxony? It’s just as useful to contemplate that question as it is to contemplate whether God can make three equal one. Again: it’s not that God can or can’t do it, but that the question itself is nonsense.

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    My understanding (I'm not a Catholic):

    The one essence is three persons and the three persons is one essence - the relationship between one and three as both interwoven and separate, manifesting to worshipers differently depending on context.

    Person relating to who one is.
    Essence relating to what one is.

    From wikipedia:

    "The three persons are distinct, yet are one "substance, essence or nature" (homoousios). In this context, a "nature" is what one is, whereas a "person" is who one is."

    The premise was decided for whatever reason, probably partially borrowed from elsewhere (sg suggests Platonic origins) and to make God more personal.

    The "truth" of it is realised through ritual (see Eliza post) and/or revelation.
    ἀταραξία

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    Quote Originally Posted by leckysupport View Post
    Person relating to who one is.
    Essence relating to what one is.
    Oh, how simple!

    ...And yet somehow nothing is clearer than before.

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    @FreelancePoliceman interesting to notice that physical "violations" are harder for me to accept and logical "violations" are harder for you to accept. I'm not going to attempt to convince you to accept anything lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by ashlesha View Post
    @FreelancePoliceman interesting to notice that physical "violations" are harder for me to accept and logical "violations" are harder for you to accept. I'm not going to attempt to convince you to accept anything lol
    What’s difficult to accept about a god who created time and space from nothing being able to pop some bread and dead fish into existence, or to make Jesus’ heart start again?

    On the other hand I don’t find it just difficult to accept that one can be three. Even to say I find it “impossible” wouldn’t be quite right. It’s that that statement means nothing. Anything that is three is, by definition, three and not one. Saying 3 = 1 means either your thinking is compromised or between the time you say “3” and “1” something has happened to the 3 to make it no longer 3. There’s not an alternative.

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    I feel like it's what makes Christianity pretty beefy. If u wanna get all pseudo anthropologist. U want the father, the king, the everything? U got it. U want the human who understood being human that u can vibe with? U got it. U want the floaty spirit with magic powers? U got it. Robust

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    If the one is everything, why not three things?

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    if this is so hard to understand.. Idk how OP will understand Brahman

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreelancePoliceman View Post
    Anything that is three is, by definition, three and not one.
    I think that this issue only arises when we do discrete enumeration.

    The trinity thing doesn't exist in that subset of problems (and probably not the continuous either, but I ain't no mathematician).
    ἀταραξία

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreelancePoliceman View Post
    @ashlesha,

    logic isn’t something that can be violated, even by an all-powerful god. When we talk about something like “rules of logic” we’re playing a semantic game; we’re pretending that logic is a “thing,” which consequently an all-powerful god could dispense with as he pleased, and, worse, if that god couldn’t dispense with these rules would make him not all-powerful. But logic isn’t a “thing” in itself; just the relation between things. Our language can’t speak of this relation without making it into a “thing”, a noun itself, and that’s where this confusion comes from. It’s not that God “can’t” make three equal one; it’s that saying “three equaling one” is nonsense; the statement itself doesn’t mean anything. The fault is in the language we use to express this, which is imprecise, and consequently can serve to obscure thought.

    Can God kettlesnork jaxony? It’s just as useful to contemplate that question as it is to contemplate whether God can make three equal one. Again: it’s not that God can or can’t do it, but that the question itself is nonsense.
    You seem to hold the belief that there are constants that words fail to represent. I don't recall which philosophers debated on this. I think among the Greeks were Heraclitus and Parmenides.

    Regarding the trinity issue:

    Last edited by Kalinoche buenanoche; 03-25-2021 at 02:36 PM.

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    Socionics is a spook ashlesha's Avatar
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    Kali that song yes yes yes

    Exactly

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    Socionics is a spook ashlesha's Avatar
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    I'll never hear that song the same way ahaha

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    Psychic/Ghost Type Nunki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FreelancePoliceman
    So your understanding of the Trinity is that a singular god just play-acts as three separate characters?
    I don't know that I have a particular understanding of the Trinity. I'm not even sure it exists. But if it does, I would say that the playacting theory is a pretty good contender for describing God's nature. Of course, it does raise the question of how God, a perfect being who experiences no pain, could have suffered in Christ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreelancePoliceman View Post
    @ashlesha,

    logic isn’t something that can be violated, even by an all-powerful god. When we talk about something like “rules of logic” we’re playing a semantic game; we’re pretending that logic is a “thing,” which consequently an all-powerful god could dispense with as he pleased, and, worse, if that god couldn’t dispense with these rules would make him not all-powerful. But logic isn’t a “thing” in itself; just the relation between things. Our language can’t speak of this relation without making it into a “thing”, a noun itself, and that’s where this confusion comes from. It’s not that God “can’t” make three equal one; it’s that saying “three equaling one” is nonsense; the statement itself doesn’t mean anything. The fault is in the language we use to express this, which is imprecise, and consequently can serve to obscure thought.

    Can God kettlesnork jaxony? It’s just as useful to contemplate that question as it is to contemplate whether God can make three equal one. Again: it’s not that God can or can’t do it, but that the question itself is nonsense.
    I don't know why you think logic can't be violated. Even the laws of physics are just extrapolations made based on repeated experiment. Why can't something be what it isn't? There's no such thing as logical or physical law as if there are stone tablets sitting somewhere in the ether out there saying XYZ can't happen. Humans just like calling things laws because they have a desperate need for certainty and a fear of the unknown.

    And yeah it's nonsense. But so is everything else really except within its own arbitrary scope.

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    Serious Left-Static Negativist Eliza Thomason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Strange View Post
    The concept of the Trinity might be a test.

    You know, like those offers you sometimes get on the internet, where this deposed African king just needs a little money from you to gain access to his huge fortune which he has been unfairly denied, but which he will share with you as soon as you send him your bank information.

    Or asking you to sign a Billion Year Contract.
    This is really lame, Adam. And your analogy is akin to comparison of the Matterhorn to piece of chicken poop.
    "A man with a definite belief always appears bizarre, because he does not change with the world; he has climbed into a fixed star, and the earth whizzes below him like a zoetrope."
    ........ G. ........... K. ............... C ........ H ........ E ...... S ........ T ...... E ........ R ........ T ........ O ........ N ........


    "Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the Church, is often labeled today as fundamentalism... Whereas relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and swept along
    by every wind of teaching, looks like the only
    attitude acceptable to today's standards."
    - Pope Benedict the XVI, "The Dictatorship of Relativism"

    .
    .
    .


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    Quote Originally Posted by Eliza Thomason View Post
    This is really lame, Adam. And your analogy is akin to comparison of the Matterhorn to piece of chicken poop.
    Well, my opinion in these matters is not flattering, but it seems to fit what I see.

    I'm aware that that doesn't make it correct.

    In my view, the moral principles of religion don't need miracles to be valid or useful, but I think that a lot of people find the miraculous part to be the most important, when it's the moral part that actually is important.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreelancePoliceman View Post
    Where and what is the soul? How is the mind distinct from the rest of the body? Why not divide up humans into even more component parts; e.g. their skin, lungs, kidneys, and so on? Can any of these parts be considered their own “person”? And finally, what is your “being”/“essence”/“substance” as distinct from your person?
    The parts you mentioned are also parts of the body. The brain doesnt equals self consciousness in creatures.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ashlesha View Post
    I feel like it's what makes Christianity pretty beefy. If u wanna get all pseudo anthropologist. U want the father, the king, the everything? U got it. U want the human who understood being human that u can vibe with? U got it. U want the floaty spirit with magic powers? U got it. Robust
    You can be a Christian without being a trinitarian tho.

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