Is Allah in the Quran the same God of the Bible?

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Is Allah in the Quran the same God of the Bible?

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Allah means God in Arabic or the god as some contend. Muslims say yes he is the same god and some Christians say yes he is as well, but many Christians say "no He is not." The God in the Bible has a son, but Allah says he doesn't. Muslims say Christians associate partners unto God, but Christians say that is not true and that they are monotheistic or that God is one.

Muslims do not believe when Christians say they are not polytheistic. Christians say Muhammad isn't a confirmed Biblical prophet, but Muslims say he is. Muslims say the Bible has been corrupted, but Christians say the Quran is corrupted.

The Bible says Ishmael is no prophet. Muslims say he is. Jesus said he is "The Way, the Truth, and the Life." Muslims say he was that for his time and for the Jews he came only. Christians say that Jesus is the truth for all time and all people and that Jesus never said I show the truth or the way.

The Quran says that Jesus is not the word of God made flesh, but the Bible says he is. Muslims don't have eternal security, but Christians say we can know now from the Bible if we will be saved and know now if we have eternal life because God assures us. Christians believe that Jesus is Deity, but Muslim so no he is just a prophet or messenger.

Any of these topics on this thread are welcome and open for discussion and or debate!

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A closer look at the Catechism's claims on the Trinity

Post #91

Post by Haven »

[color=blue]Man_With_A_Plan[/color] wrote: The Catholic Catechism in sections 250-260 describes the concept of the Trinity in better words than I can. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/a ... s2c1p2.htm
The way that the Catechism describes the Trinity leaves no doubt that the concept is logically incoherent, self-contradictory, and therefore absurd. Let's take a deeper look:
[color=red]Catholic Catechism, 250-252[/color] wrote:During the first centuries the Church sought to clarify her Trinitarian faith, both to deepen her own understanding of the faith and to defend it against the errors that were deforming it. This clarification was the work of the early councils, aided by the theological work of the Church Fathers and sustained by the Christian people's sense of the faith.

251 In order to articulate the dogma of the Trinity, the Church had to develop her own terminology with the help of certain notions of philosophical origin: "substance", "person" or "hypostasis", "relation" and so on. In doing this, she did not submit the faith to human wisdom, but gave a new and unprecedented meaning to these terms, which from then on would be used to signify an ineffable mystery, "infinitely beyond all that we can humanly understand".82
This is already problematic. In 251, the Catechism claims that the concept of the trinity is "ineffable" (that is, indescribable by any combination of human words, expressions, or experiences). Yet it also claims to describe the trinity by using words like "substance," "person," and "hypostasis" (even though these words have "new and unprecedented meanings"). This is totally nonsensical.

First, if the concept truly is ineffable, then it by definition can't be described. The fact that the Catholic Church then tries to describes means either that the concept isn't actually ineffable (which would make the claim of ineffability false, refuting the dogma of church infallibility), or it would mean that the church is speaking nonsense about a concept that can't be described (since the words it uses by definition have nothing to do with the ineffable concept).

Furthermore, using words in "new and unprecedented ways" renders those words meaningless. For example, if I say "shoe," but by that I mean some unknown essence that holds the universe together rather than an object worn on the feet, how would anyone know what I was talking about (without clarifying this explicitly)? I'm using the word "shoe" in "a new and unprecedented way," and so have made it opaque to anyone other than myself. The point of language is communication, and using words in "new and unprecedented ways" (without first clarifying the new use) defeats this purpose.

The church may as well use "dguonafdns," "pdsbneoiaf," and "beiamwn0rg" to describe the Trinity rather than "substance," "person," and "hypostasis," as these strings of letters have as much meaning (that is, none at all) as the latter in this context.

The church goes on to say:
[color=darkblue]Catholic Catechism, 252[/color] wrote:252 The Church uses (I) the term "substance" (rendered also at times by "essence" or "nature") to designate the divine being in its unity, (II) the term "person" or "hypostasis" to designate the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in the real distinction among them, and (III) the term "relation" to designate the fact that their distinction lies in the relationship of each to the others.
This is also nonsensical. By definition, relationships describe how two or more objects interact, they don't define how two or more objects interact. Two things don't differ from each other because they relate to each other, but they relate to each other because they interact in some way (whether or not they are fundamentally different). It's the interaction of ontologically existent objects that determines the relationship, not the other way around.

The church continues:
[color=indigo]Catholic Catechism, 253-254[/color] wrote:253 The Trinity is One. We do not confess three Gods, but one God in three persons, the "consubstantial Trinity".83 The divine persons do not share the one divinity among themselves but each of them is God whole and entire: "The Father is that which the Son is, the Son that which the Father is, the Father and the Son that which the Holy Spirit is, i.e. by nature one God."84 In the words of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215), "Each of the persons is that supreme reality, viz., the divine substance, essence or nature."85

254 The divine persons are really distinct from one another. "God is one but not solitary."86 "Father", "Son", "Holy Spirit" are not simply names designating modalities of the divine being, for they are really distinct from one another: "He is not the Father who is the Son, nor is the Son he who is the Father, nor is the Holy Spirit he who is the Father or the Son."87 They are distinct from one another in their relations of origin: "It is the Father who generates, the Son who is begotten, and the Holy Spirit who proceeds."88 The divine Unity is Triune.
This claim violates both the law of identity (the principle that X = X, that is, X is identical to itself) and the law of contradiction (the principle that X and ~X cannot both be true). First of all, this statement says that each person in the Trinity is "God in the entire" and that "God is one," but then it goes on to say that "the three persons are really distinct." This violates the law of identity because it claims that 1=3, that the three persons are both one being and three beings at the same time. This is, of course, formally impossible. Furthermore, it also claims that the beings are both not distinct and distinct at the same time, which is a textbook example of a logical contradiction. The trinity concept is not only fundamentally undefined (as discussed in an earlier paragraph), but inherently logically incoherent. It's absurd on many different levels.

255 introduces more absurdity:
[color=darkred]Catholic Catechism, 255[/color] wrote:255 The divine persons are relative to one another. Because it does not divide the divine unity, the real distinction of the persons from one another resides solely in the relationships which relate them to one another: "In the relational names of the persons the Father is related to the Son, the Son to the Father, and the Holy Spirit to both. While they are called three persons in view of their relations, we believe in one nature or substance."89 Indeed "everything (in them) is one where there is no opposition of relationship."90 "Because of that unity the Father is wholly in the Son and wholly in the Holy Spirit; the Son is wholly in the Father and wholly in the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit is wholly in the Father and wholly in the Son."91
As discussed above, relationships cannot ontologically ground a thing. A relationship is simply a description of how two (or more) things interact with one another. These things must be ontologically prior to their interaction, otherwise you would have a nonexistent entity interacting with another nonexistent entity, which is impossibly incoherent. Existence is a pre-condition for interaction, but the Catechism claims that an interaction produces existence. This is completely backwards.

Now, the Catholic could respond: "well, a computer network is defined by relationships; the network only exists due to the relationships of several computers with one another, and so a relationship can in fact define a thing." However, there are several problems with this:

1. It's debatable whether or not a network exists as a thing, a concrete object in the universe. One could well claim that "network" is simply a descriptive term we apply to talk about how computers relate to each other. It isn't an object or being in the same way that a person is an object or being.

2. Remember, the Catechism claims that the persons of the Trinity only exist because of the relationship, that this relationship is the only thing that defines them. This isn't analogous to a computer network, that is produced by the interaction of several computers (that exist prior to and independent of the network) with each other. There is no example of any existent thing which is defined solely because of a relationship.

_____________
Conclusion:

Far from being simply nonexistent, such a triune being cannot exist. It's logically impossible by its very nature, no different than a married bachelor or a square circle. Either polytheism (three separate gods united in purpose, as in Mormonism and many non-Christian religions) or modalism (God as one being manifesting in different ways) would be better options than this utterly absurd doctrine known as the Trinity.
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Post #92

Post by tam »

Peace to you both.

While I appreciate Haven's post 89 (have not read 90), I must speak as to this, from that catechism:

"The faith of all Christians rests on the Trinity."


No. The faith of all Christians rests upon Christ. He is the foundation cornerstone, upon which our faith is built. He is the Rock upon whom we build our house (our faith), rather than the sand.



Peace to you,
your servant and a slave of Christ,
tammy

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Post #93

Post by Man_With_A_Plan »

Haven wrote: Hi MWAP. Thanks for sharing your thoughts :)!
[color=red]Man_With_A_Plan[/color] wrote:
I don't think there's anything wrong with arguing from ignorance when it comes to the nature of a God.
Arguing from ignorance is always fallacious. It's always logically invalid. When faced with a lack of information, the only honest answer is "I don't know." Anything beyond this is speculative at best and intellectually dishonest at worst. Using ignorance (a lack of information) to make a case for a specific position (such as Orthodox/Catholic dogma) is both irrational and fallacious.
[color=brown]MWAP[/color] wrote:When it comes to dogma, if an ecumenical council is protected from error by God, as the early church believed (and still does), then their dogmatic proclamations are believed to be correct and considered "worthy of belief."
A few things:

1. What reason is there to believe that there is "an ecumenical council is protected from error by God?" Why should anyone believe that such a council exists (or that this state of affairs is even logically or physically possible)? If you say "because the Church teaches it," then you're committing the fallacy of begging the question (assuming the conclusion in your premises). If it's for some other reason, then what is this reason and why is it valid?

2. Why should any empirical claim be accepted simply because an authority makes it? Shouldn't the evidence be the arbiter of claims, not a statement by an authority? Science contains claims by authoritative sources, but these claims can be replicated by others through gathering evidence and analyzing it with the scientific method. Dogma has no such methodology -- it is to be believed, without evidence, without question, simply because an authority that claims to speak for God (also without any evidence) says so. I shouldn't have to explain why this is fallacious, irrational, and potentially immoral.
[color=olive]MWAP[/color] wrote:The Christian faith doesn't believe that the three persons of God are separate beings. Their "difference" is understood as the nature of their relation to each other. The only reason the doctrine of the trinity needed to be proclaimed in the first place was because there was confusion among some groups. The church saw (and sees) itself as an infallible teacher of faith, so when there's a question of faith, the church is obliged to define the truth.
Again, what reason is there to believe that the church is infallible? It's not enough to simply claim infallibility (anyone can do that!), it has to show, using evidence, that it's infallible. The church hasn't met its burden of proof. In fact, it has changed its doctrine several times, which precludes it from being permanently infallible (at the very least there was some time [either now or in the past] when it was in error).
[color=blue]MWAP[/color] wrote:The problem is that these things have to be defined in abstract and simple ways (because the entire point of a "dogma" is to clarify something in an abstract sense for the sake of ending confusion among people, rather than to "describe" with "scientific precision"), which might lead to more questions later on. Dogmas aren't seen as new additions, but clarifications of the Christian faith.
How do unsubstantiated (and, in principle, unsubstantiatable [because dogmas, by definition, can't be questioned or doubted]) claims clarify anything? What about such claims warrant belief? Shouldn't the evidence, not some authority claiming to speak for a deity which can't be shown to exist, be the arbiter of truth?
Of course there's no way to prove any of what I said. I'm arguing from the position that, if Christ is real and Christianity is true, and what He said is true (that the church will remain free from error), then one concludes that it's true, but within the context of that original belief. Ultimately, it's all about believing or not believing in Christianity. Acceptance of the Church as an infallible teacher depends on religious faith in Christianity.

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Re: A closer look at the Catechism's claims on the Trinity

Post #94

Post by Man_With_A_Plan »

Haven wrote: This is already problematic. In 251, the Catechism claims that the concept of the trinity is "ineffable" (that is, indescribable by any combination of human words, expressions, or experiences). Yet it also claims to describe the trinity by using words like "substance," "person," and "hypostasis" (even though these words have "new and unprecedented meanings"). This is totally nonsensical.

First, if the concept truly is ineffable, then it by definition can't be described. The fact that the Catholic Church then tries to describes means either that the concept isn't actually ineffable (which would make the claim of ineffability false, refuting the dogma of church infallibility), or it would mean that the church is speaking nonsense about a concept that can't be described (since the words it uses by definition have nothing to do with the ineffable concept).

Furthermore, using words in "new and unprecedented ways" renders those words meaningless. For example, if I say "shoe," but by that I mean some unknown essence that holds the universe together rather than an object worn on the feet, how would anyone know what I was talking about (without clarifying this explicitly)? I'm using the word "shoe" in "a new and unprecedented way," and so have made it opaque to anyone other than myself. The point of language is communication, and using words in "new and unprecedented ways" (without first clarifying the new use) defeats this purpose.

The church may as well use "dguonafdns," "pdsbneoiaf," and "beiamwn0rg" to describe the Trinity rather than "substance," "person," and "hypostasis," as these strings of letters have as much meaning (that is, none at all) as the latter in this context.
With all due respect, you've misread it. 251 doesn't say that the concept of the Trinity is ineffable. It says that the Trinity itself is ineffable. The concept is understandable, because it's an abstraction. (For example, cosmologists often say that to ask what happened "before the big bang" is nonsensical because time started with the big bang. This is ineffable, but the concept itself is not ineffable.)

Also, I think you're reading into that phrase "new and unprecedented ways" too much. We in the 21st century use words in "new and unprecedented ways" compared to people in the past. (For example, the word 'awful' is used today in a negative way, but in the past it literally meant "full of awe." We use the word 'awful' in a "new and unprecedented way.") Using philosophical terminology in "new an unprecedented ways" simply means adopting words from the Greek philosophers to describe God. The catechism is basically saying that the early church borrowed from philosophy in order to describe theology in more precise ways.
Haven wrote: The church goes on to say:
[color=darkblue]Catholic Catechism, 252[/color] wrote:252 The Church uses (I) the term "substance" (rendered also at times by "essence" or "nature") to designate the divine being in its unity, (II) the term "person" or "hypostasis" to designate the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in the real distinction among them, and (III) the term "relation" to designate the fact that their distinction lies in the relationship of each to the others.
This is also nonsensical. By definition, relationships describe how two or more objects interact, they don't define how two or more objects interact. Two things don't differ from each other because they relate to each other, but they relate to each other because they interact in some way (whether or not they are fundamentally different). It's the interaction of ontologically existent objects that determines the relationship, not the other way around.
Are we reading the same thing? This passage of the catechism is simply defining what exactly it means by the terms "substance," "essence," "nature," "person," and "hypostasis."

The fact that the three Persons share the same essence implies that their only distinction lies precisely in their relationship to one another, because the three Persons are identical in literally every other way. This passage isn't saying that they "differ from each other because they relate to each other." For example, the only difference between the Father (the first Person) and the Son (the second Person) is that the Father generates the Son. Since this relationship is the only difference between the first and second Persons, that's the only way to define their difference: by their relationship to each other.
Haven wrote: The church continues:
[color=indigo]Catholic Catechism, 253-254[/color] wrote:253 The Trinity is One. We do not confess three Gods, but one God in three persons, the "consubstantial Trinity".83 The divine persons do not share the one divinity among themselves but each of them is God whole and entire: "The Father is that which the Son is, the Son that which the Father is, the Father and the Son that which the Holy Spirit is, i.e. by nature one God."84 In the words of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215), "Each of the persons is that supreme reality, viz., the divine substance, essence or nature."85

254 The divine persons are really distinct from one another. "God is one but not solitary."86 "Father", "Son", "Holy Spirit" are not simply names designating modalities of the divine being, for they are really distinct from one another: "He is not the Father who is the Son, nor is the Son he who is the Father, nor is the Holy Spirit he who is the Father or the Son."87 They are distinct from one another in their relations of origin: "It is the Father who generates, the Son who is begotten, and the Holy Spirit who proceeds."88 The divine Unity is Triune.
This claim violates both the law of identity (the principle that X = X, that is, X is identical to itself) and the law of contradiction (the principle that X and ~X cannot both be true). First of all, this statement says that each person in the Trinity is "God in the entire" and that "God is one," but then it goes on to say that "the three persons are really distinct." This violates the law of identity because it claims that 1=3, that the three persons are both one being and three beings at the same time. This is, of course, formally impossible. Furthermore, it also claims that the beings are both not distinct and distinct at the same time, which is a textbook example of a logical contradiction. The trinity concept is not only fundamentally undefined (as discussed in an earlier paragraph), but inherently logically incoherent. It's absurd on many different levels.
But the thing is that Christianity openly acknowledges this contradiction. So I don't see what the problem is. This is especially true in the Orthodox Church, where writers over the course of history have written lenghty texts on these contradictions.
Haven wrote: 255 introduces more absurdity:
[color=darkred]Catholic Catechism, 255[/color] wrote:255 The divine persons are relative to one another. Because it does not divide the divine unity, the real distinction of the persons from one another resides solely in the relationships which relate them to one another: "In the relational names of the persons the Father is related to the Son, the Son to the Father, and the Holy Spirit to both. While they are called three persons in view of their relations, we believe in one nature or substance."89 Indeed "everything (in them) is one where there is no opposition of relationship."90 "Because of that unity the Father is wholly in the Son and wholly in the Holy Spirit; the Son is wholly in the Father and wholly in the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit is wholly in the Father and wholly in the Son."91
As discussed above, relationships cannot ontologically ground a thing. A relationship is simply a description of how two (or more) things interact with one another. These things must be ontologically prior to their interaction, otherwise you would have a nonexistent entity interacting with another nonexistent entity, which is impossibly incoherent. Existence is a pre-condition for interaction, but the Catechism claims that an interaction produces existence. This is completely backwards.
I addressed your misunderstaning of the of the relation between the three persons and what that means, but where are you getting that the Catechism implies that interaction produces existence? You make it seem as if the people who wrote this catechism (back in the 1980s) had no philosphical training. (This isn't an "appeal to authority," but to common sense.) I read through the Catechism, and not once was I left with such an impression. Can you perhaps quote which passage led you to think that?
Haven wrote: Now, the Catholic could respond: "well, a computer network is defined by relationships; the network only exists due to the relationships of several computers with one another, and so a relationship can in fact define a thing." However, there are several problems with this:
Or, a Catholic could respond with what I've already said. That analogy is more of a representation of your misinterpretation, rather than what the catechism actually says.
Haven wrote: 1. It's debatable whether or not a network exists as a thing, a concrete object in the universe. One could well claim that "network" is simply a descriptive term we apply to talk about how computers relate to each other. It isn't an object or being in the same way that a person is an object or being.

2. Remember, the Catechism claims that the persons of the Trinity only exist because of the relationship, that this relationship is the only thing that defines them. This isn't analogous to a computer network, that is produced by the interaction of several computers (that exist prior to and independent of the network) with each other. There is no example of any existent thing which is defined solely because of a relationship.
The catechism does not claim that the Trinity exists because of the relationship between the three Persons. Maybe I can clear up the whole relationship-as-definition thing a bit by showing what the catechism, and the Christian faith in general, has always taught:

1.) The first Person is the one who generates the second and third Persons.
2.) The second Person is the one who generates from the first Person and through whom the first Person generates the third Person.
3.) The third Person is the one who is generated by the first Person and through the second Person.

That is literally the only way to define any sort of difference between the three Persons: by their relationship to one another. In other words,

1.) The first Person is only "defined" as the one who generates the second and third Persons.
2.) The second Person is only "defined" as the one who is generated by the first, and through whom the first generates the third.
3.) The third Person is only "defined" as the one who is generated by the first Person and through the second Person.

That's what's meant by "defining the Persons by their relationship to each other." The first Person is the one who perpetually causes two Persons, the second Person is the one who is perpetually caused by one Person and through whom one Person perpetually causes another Person, and the third Person is the one who is perpetually caused by one Person and through another Person.

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Post #95

Post by Haven »

Thanks for your input :).

[Replying to post 92 by Man_With_A_Plan]

How is this not question-begging, then? You're literally assuming your conclusion in your premise, and then using your premise to justify your conclusion. This just seems clearly fallacious.
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Re: A closer look at the Catechism's claims on the Trinity

Post #96

Post by Haven »

[color=indigo]Man_With_A_Plan[/color] wrote:
With all due respect, you've misread it. 251 doesn't say that the concept of the Trinity is ineffable. It says that the Trinity itself is ineffable. The concept is understandable, because it's an abstraction. (For example, cosmologists often say that to ask what happened "before the big bang" is nonsensical because time started with the big bang. This is ineffable, but the concept itself is not ineffable.)
Concepts are meant to describe things that exist. If the thing itself is ineffable, then any concept that attempts to describe it will by definition have no relation to it (how can it have a relation, when it's an attempt to describe the fundamentally indescribable). If something is ineffable (absolutely indescribable, not merely difficult to describe) than by definition any concept based on it will have no logical connection to it.

As an aside, cosmologists don't hold that the Big Bang is ineffable, only that it's difficult to describe from our current point in spacetime. There's a big difference--it's not in principle indescribable, it's simply hard to put into words at the present time. The Trinity, on the other hand, is fundamentally ineffable--it can never be described, and therefore any attempts to apply concepts to it will necessarily be total nonsense.
[color=darkblue]MWAP[/color] wrote:Also, I think you're reading into that phrase "new and unprecedented ways" too much. We in the 21st century use words in "new and unprecedented ways" compared to people in the past. (For example, the word 'awful' is used today in a negative way, but in the past it literally meant "full of awe." We use the word 'awful' in a "new and unprecedented way.") Using philosophical terminology in "new an unprecedented ways" simply means adopting words from the Greek philosophers to describe God. The catechism is basically saying that the early church borrowed from philosophy in order to describe theology in more precise ways.
If the early church was merely borrowing terms from Greek philosophy and applying them to God, then it wasn't using them in "new and unprecedented ways," but simply using them in the same way to describe something else. For example, if I take a term used to describe a mountain in Italy (for example, "steep") and use it to describe a mountain in Utah, am I using the term in a new and unprecedented way? No, I'm simply using it in the same way to describe another object. Is this what you're suggesting the church did?

If these terms are being used in a new way (that is, with a different meaning than the original, like with your example of "awful"), then what, in plain English, do they mean in this context? If they're undefined, then they're meaningless by definition.
[color=olive]MWAP[/color] wrote:
Are we reading the same thing? This passage of the catechism is simply defining what exactly it means by the terms "substance," "essence," "nature," "person," and "hypostasis."

The fact that the three Persons share the same essence implies that their only distinction lies precisely in their relationship to one another, because the three Persons are identical in literally every other way.
If there is truly no distinction between the three Persons (that is, they are identical in literally every other way save their relationship), then how, other than through the law of identity, can they "relate" to one another? If they share *all* properties in common, then there is literally nothing within the Persons to relate to any other Person, they are literally, in every sense, the same being. They are not three, but one. Any talk of a relationship (beyond the law of identity) is nonsensical. This leads to the conclusion that the three Persons reduce to one Person, since they have absolutely no distinctions whatsoever. This, of course, collapses the Trinity into a simple monotheistic god, refuting the Catholic doctrine.
[color=green]MWAP[/color] wrote:This passage isn't saying that they "differ from each other because they relate to each other." For example, the only difference between the Father (the first Person) and the Son (the second Person) is that the Father generates the Son. Since this relationship is the only difference between the first and second Persons, that's the only way to define their difference: by their relationship to each other.
What could it possibly mean for the Father to generate the Son, when the Father and Son by definition have no distinctions whatsoever (including no separation, but total simplicity and oneness)? Remember the law of identity -- A = A, it shares all properties in common with itself. If A also equals (shares all properties in common with) B (and of course B = B), then it follows that there is no difference at all between A and B. In what sense, therefore, does it make sense to say that "A generates B" when A and B are literally the same thing? Swap "A" and "B" for "Father" and "Son," and the logic still holds. Therefore, the statement "the Father generates the Son" is formally incoherent.

[color=brown]MWAP[/color] wrote:
But the thing is that Christianity openly acknowledges this contradiction. So I don't see what the problem is. This is especially true in the Orthodox Church, where writers over the course of history have written lenghty texts on these contradictions.
Then, on pain of irrationality, the Trinity should be rejected immediately. Contradictory things cannot exist, they are formally logically impossible. The Trinity is no more possible than a square circle or a married bachelor.

I don't really have to make any more arguments. This point alone refutes the Trinity dogma. The Triune god as described in the Catechism cannot exist. Still, for the sake of thoroughness, I'll address the rest of your points.
[color=orange]MWAP[/color] wrote:
I addressed your misunderstaning of the of the relation between the three persons and what that means, but where are you getting that the Catechism implies that interaction produces existence? You make it seem as if the people who wrote this catechism (back in the 1980s) had no philosphical training. (This isn't an "appeal to authority," but to common sense.) I read through the Catechism, and not once was I left with such an impression. Can you perhaps quote which passage led you to think that?
I wasn't trying to make some kind of ad hominem argument against the Catechism's authors. Instead, I was simply saying that the idea of differing only with respect to relationship is incoherent. The passage that led me to believe this was here:

//255 The divine persons are relative to one another. Because it does not divide the divine unity, the real distinction of the persons from one another resides solely in the relationships which relate them to one another: "In the relational names of the persons the Father is related to the Son, the Son to the Father, and the Holy Spirit to both. While they are called three persons in view of their relations, we believe in one nature or substance."//

The line in bold seems to imply that the persons are ontologically grounded in their relationships to one another, which is logically impossible.
[color=darkred]MWAP[/color] wrote:
The catechism does not claim that the Trinity exists because of the relationship between the three Persons. Maybe I can clear up the whole relationship-as-definition thing a bit by showing what the catechism, and the Christian faith in general, has always taught:

1.) The first Person is the one who generates the second and third Persons.
2.) The second Person is the one who generates from the first Person and through whom the first Person generates the third Person.
3.) The third Person is the one who is generated by the first Person and through the second Person.

That is literally the only way to define any sort of difference between the three Persons: by their relationship to one another. In other words,

1.) The first Person is only "defined" as the one who generates the second and third Persons.
2.) The second Person is only "defined" as the one who is generated by the first, and through whom the first generates the third.
3.) The third Person is only "defined" as the one who is generated by the first Person and through the second Person.

That's what's meant by "defining the Persons by their relationship to each other." The first Person is the one who perpetually causes two Persons, the second Person is the one who is perpetually caused by one Person and through whom one Person perpetually causes another Person, and the third Person is the one who is perpetually caused by one Person and through another Person.
Two things:

1. As I've discussed above, it's logically impossible for there to be a relationship (other than that of identity) between two things which share *all* properties in common. If the first, second, and third Persons have *no* distinctions between them, then saying that one "generates another" or "is generated by one through another" is totally nonsensical. What, exactly, is being generated? The Catechism (and your interpretation of it) says there are no distinctions between these persons. This means that there is literally nothing to generate or be generated, because all three "Persons" are simply one being. Again, this collapses the Trinity back into simple monotheism.

2. "Cause" and "effect" imply time. If God is said to be both outside of time and eternal, then how is it coherent to speak of cause and effect? These terms make no sense outside of a temporal framework.
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Post #97

Post by alexx »

ttruscott wrote: No.

Only Muslims and pagans think so.

They self define themselves very differently.

Peace, Ted
is this an unacceptable remark? do we believe it on your reputation? which i am not really that familiar with.

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Re: A closer look at the Catechism's claims on the Trinity

Post #98

Post by alexx »

Haven wrote:
[color=indigo]Man_With_A_Plan[/color] wrote:
With all due respect, you've misread it. 251 doesn't say that the concept of the Trinity is ineffable. It says that the Trinity itself is ineffable. The concept is understandable, because it's an abstraction. (For example, cosmologists often say that to ask what happened "before the big bang" is nonsensical because time started with the big bang. This is ineffable, but the concept itself is not ineffable.)
Concepts are meant to describe things that exist. If the thing itself is ineffable, then any concept that attempts to describe it will by definition have no relation to it (how can it have a relation, when it's an attempt to describe the fundamentally indescribable). If something is ineffable (absolutely indescribable, not merely difficult to describe) than by definition any concept based on it will have no logical connection to it.

As an aside, cosmologists don't hold that the Big Bang is ineffable, only that it's difficult to describe from our current point in spacetime. There's a big difference--it's not in principle indescribable, it's simply hard to put into words at the present time. The Trinity, on the other hand, is fundamentally ineffable--it can never be described, and therefore any attempts to apply concepts to it will necessarily be total nonsense.
[color=darkblue]MWAP[/color] wrote:Also, I think you're reading into that phrase "new and unprecedented ways" too much. We in the 21st century use words in "new and unprecedented ways" compared to people in the past. (For example, the word 'awful' is used today in a negative way, but in the past it literally meant "full of awe." We use the word 'awful' in a "new and unprecedented way.") Using philosophical terminology in "new an unprecedented ways" simply means adopting words from the Greek philosophers to describe God. The catechism is basically saying that the early church borrowed from philosophy in order to describe theology in more precise ways.
If the early church was merely borrowing terms from Greek philosophy and applying them to God, then it wasn't using them in "new and unprecedented ways," but simply using them in the same way to describe something else. For example, if I take a term used to describe a mountain in Italy (for example, "steep") and use it to describe a mountain in Utah, am I using the term in a new and unprecedented way? No, I'm simply using it in the same way to describe another object. Is this what you're suggesting the church did?

If these terms are being used in a new way (that is, with a different meaning than the original, like with your example of "awful"), then what, in plain English, do they mean in this context? If they're undefined, then they're meaningless by definition.
[color=olive]MWAP[/color] wrote:
Are we reading the same thing? This passage of the catechism is simply defining what exactly it means by the terms "substance," "essence," "nature," "person," and "hypostasis."

The fact that the three Persons share the same essence implies that their only distinction lies precisely in their relationship to one another, because the three Persons are identical in literally every other way.
If there is truly no distinction between the three Persons (that is, they are identical in literally every other way save their relationship), then how, other than through the law of identity, can they "relate" to one another? If they share *all* properties in common, then there is literally nothing within the Persons to relate to any other Person, they are literally, in every sense, the same being. They are not three, but one. Any talk of a relationship (beyond the law of identity) is nonsensical. This leads to the conclusion that the three Persons reduce to one Person, since they have absolutely no distinctions whatsoever. This, of course, collapses the Trinity into a simple monotheistic god, refuting the Catholic doctrine.
[color=green]MWAP[/color] wrote:This passage isn't saying that they "differ from each other because they relate to each other." For example, the only difference between the Father (the first Person) and the Son (the second Person) is that the Father generates the Son. Since this relationship is the only difference between the first and second Persons, that's the only way to define their difference: by their relationship to each other.
What could it possibly mean for the Father to generate the Son, when the Father and Son by definition have no distinctions whatsoever (including no separation, but total simplicity and oneness)? Remember the law of identity -- A = A, it shares all properties in common with itself. If A also equals (shares all properties in common with) B (and of course B = B), then it follows that there is no difference at all between A and B. In what sense, therefore, does it make sense to say that "A generates B" when A and B are literally the same thing? Swap "A" and "B" for "Father" and "Son," and the logic still holds. Therefore, the statement "the Father generates the Son" is formally incoherent.

[color=brown]MWAP[/color] wrote:
But the thing is that Christianity openly acknowledges this contradiction. So I don't see what the problem is. This is especially true in the Orthodox Church, where writers over the course of history have written lenghty texts on these contradictions.
Then, on pain of irrationality, the Trinity should be rejected immediately. Contradictory things cannot exist, they are formally logically impossible. The Trinity is no more possible than a square circle or a married bachelor.

I don't really have to make any more arguments. This point alone refutes the Trinity dogma. The Triune god as described in the Catechism cannot exist. Still, for the sake of thoroughness, I'll address the rest of your points.
[color=orange]MWAP[/color] wrote:
I addressed your misunderstaning of the of the relation between the three persons and what that means, but where are you getting that the Catechism implies that interaction produces existence? You make it seem as if the people who wrote this catechism (back in the 1980s) had no philosphical training. (This isn't an "appeal to authority," but to common sense.) I read through the Catechism, and not once was I left with such an impression. Can you perhaps quote which passage led you to think that?
I wasn't trying to make some kind of ad hominem argument against the Catechism's authors. Instead, I was simply saying that the idea of differing only with respect to relationship is incoherent. The passage that led me to believe this was here:

//255 The divine persons are relative to one another. Because it does not divide the divine unity, the real distinction of the persons from one another resides solely in the relationships which relate them to one another: "In the relational names of the persons the Father is related to the Son, the Son to the Father, and the Holy Spirit to both. While they are called three persons in view of their relations, we believe in one nature or substance."//

The line in bold seems to imply that the persons are ontologically grounded in their relationships to one another, which is logically impossible.
[color=darkred]MWAP[/color] wrote:
The catechism does not claim that the Trinity exists because of the relationship between the three Persons. Maybe I can clear up the whole relationship-as-definition thing a bit by showing what the catechism, and the Christian faith in general, has always taught:

1.) The first Person is the one who generates the second and third Persons.
2.) The second Person is the one who generates from the first Person and through whom the first Person generates the third Person.
3.) The third Person is the one who is generated by the first Person and through the second Person.

That is literally the only way to define any sort of difference between the three Persons: by their relationship to one another. In other words,

1.) The first Person is only "defined" as the one who generates the second and third Persons.
2.) The second Person is only "defined" as the one who is generated by the first, and through whom the first generates the third.
3.) The third Person is only "defined" as the one who is generated by the first Person and through the second Person.

That's what's meant by "defining the Persons by their relationship to each other." The first Person is the one who perpetually causes two Persons, the second Person is the one who is perpetually caused by one Person and through whom one Person perpetually causes another Person, and the third Person is the one who is perpetually caused by one Person and through another Person.
Two things:

1. As I've discussed above, it's logically impossible for there to be a relationship (other than that of identity) between two things which share *all* properties in common. If the first, second, and third Persons have *no* distinctions between them, then saying that one "generates another" or "is generated by one through another" is totally nonsensical. What, exactly, is being generated? The Catechism (and your interpretation of it) says there are no distinctions between these persons. This means that there is literally nothing to generate or be generated, because all three "Persons" are simply one being. Again, this collapses the Trinity back into simple monotheism.

2. "Cause" and "effect" imply time. If God is said to be both outside of time and eternal, then how is it coherent to speak of cause and effect? These terms make no sense outside of a temporal framework.
gosh that sounded like a buncha smart talk...seems like the trinity is a problem with some folks? maybe they know too much.......think of it this way. the trinity is the first condition of creation. in other words its part of the chain of creation. you know like atoms are part of the chain of solid tangible objects.

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Post #99

Post by JoeyKnothead »

From Post 95:
alexx wrote: gosh that sounded like a buncha smart talk...seems like the trinity is a problem with some folks?
A conundrum more'n a problem, best I can tell.
alexx wrote: maybe they know too much
Seems only in religion can folks know too much.
alexx wrote: think of it this way. the trinity is the first condition of creation. in other words its part of the chain of creation.
So you claim.

We await your evidence.
alexx wrote: you know like atoms are part of the chain of solid tangible objects.
We have reams of data in support of the existence of atoms.

Your trinity, not so much.

Care to present some?
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Invention is using things discovered.

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Re: A closer look at the Catechism's claims on the Trinity

Post #100

Post by alexx »

alexx wrote:
Haven wrote:
[color=indigo]Man_With_A_Plan[/color] wrote:
With all due respect, you've misread it. 251 doesn't say that the concept of the Trinity is ineffable. It says that the Trinity itself is ineffable. The concept is understandable, because it's an abstraction. (For example, cosmologists often say that to ask what happened "before the big bang" is nonsensical because time started with the big bang. This is ineffable, but the concept itself is not ineffable.)
Concepts are meant to describe things that exist. If the thing itself is ineffable, then any concept that attempts to describe it will by definition have no relation to it (how can it have a relation, when it's an attempt to describe the fundamentally indescribable). If something is ineffable (absolutely indescribable, not merely difficult to describe) than by definition any concept based on it will have no logical connection to it.

As an aside, cosmologists don't hold that the Big Bang is ineffable, only that it's difficult to describe from our current point in spacetime. There's a big difference--it's not in principle indescribable, it's simply hard to put into words at the present time. The Trinity, on the other hand, is fundamentally ineffable--it can never be described, and therefore any attempts to apply concepts to it will necessarily be total nonsense.
[color=darkblue]MWAP[/color] wrote:Also, I think you're reading into that phrase "new and unprecedented ways" too much. We in the 21st century use words in "new and unprecedented ways" compared to people in the past. (For example, the word 'awful' is used today in a negative way, but in the past it literally meant "full of awe." We use the word 'awful' in a "new and unprecedented way.") Using philosophical terminology in "new an unprecedented ways" simply means adopting words from the Greek philosophers to describe God. The catechism is basically saying that the early church borrowed from philosophy in order to describe theology in more precise ways.
If the early church was merely borrowing terms from Greek philosophy and applying them to God, then it wasn't using them in "new and unprecedented ways," but simply using them in the same way to describe something else. For example, if I take a term used to describe a mountain in Italy (for example, "steep") and use it to describe a mountain in Utah, am I using the term in a new and unprecedented way? No, I'm simply using it in the same way to describe another object. Is this what you're suggesting the church did?

If these terms are being used in a new way (that is, with a different meaning than the original, like with your example of "awful"), then what, in plain English, do they mean in this context? If they're undefined, then they're meaningless by definition.
[color=olive]MWAP[/color] wrote:
Are we reading the same thing? This passage of the catechism is simply defining what exactly it means by the terms "substance," "essence," "nature," "person," and "hypostasis."

The fact that the three Persons share the same essence implies that their only distinction lies precisely in their relationship to one another, because the three Persons are identical in literally every other way.
If there is truly no distinction between the three Persons (that is, they are identical in literally every other way save their relationship), then how, other than through the law of identity, can they "relate" to one another? If they share *all* properties in common, then there is literally nothing within the Persons to relate to any other Person, they are literally, in every sense, the same being. They are not three, but one. Any talk of a relationship (beyond the law of identity) is nonsensical. This leads to the conclusion that the three Persons reduce to one Person, since they have absolutely no distinctions whatsoever. This, of course, collapses the Trinity into a simple monotheistic god, refuting the Catholic doctrine.
[color=green]MWAP[/color] wrote:This passage isn't saying that they "differ from each other because they relate to each other." For example, the only difference between the Father (the first Person) and the Son (the second Person) is that the Father generates the Son. Since this relationship is the only difference between the first and second Persons, that's the only way to define their difference: by their relationship to each other.
What could it possibly mean for the Father to generate the Son, when the Father and Son by definition have no distinctions whatsoever (including no separation, but total simplicity and oneness)? Remember the law of identity -- A = A, it shares all properties in common with itself. If A also equals (shares all properties in common with) B (and of course B = B), then it follows that there is no difference at all between A and B. In what sense, therefore, does it make sense to say that "A generates B" when A and B are literally the same thing? Swap "A" and "B" for "Father" and "Son," and the logic still holds. Therefore, the statement "the Father generates the Son" is formally incoherent.

[color=brown]MWAP[/color] wrote:
But the thing is that Christianity openly acknowledges this contradiction. So I don't see what the problem is. This is especially true in the Orthodox Church, where writers over the course of history have written lenghty texts on these contradictions.
Then, on pain of irrationality, the Trinity should be rejected immediately. Contradictory things cannot exist, they are formally logically impossible. The Trinity is no more possible than a square circle or a married bachelor.

I don't really have to make any more arguments. This point alone refutes the Trinity dogma. The Triune god as described in the Catechism cannot exist. Still, for the sake of thoroughness, I'll address the rest of your points.
[color=orange]MWAP[/color] wrote:
I addressed your misunderstaning of the of the relation between the three persons and what that means, but where are you getting that the Catechism implies that interaction produces existence? You make it seem as if the people who wrote this catechism (back in the 1980s) had no philosphical training. (This isn't an "appeal to authority," but to common sense.) I read through the Catechism, and not once was I left with such an impression. Can you perhaps quote which passage led you to think that?
I wasn't trying to make some kind of ad hominem argument against the Catechism's authors. Instead, I was simply saying that the idea of differing only with respect to relationship is incoherent. The passage that led me to believe this was here:

//255 The divine persons are relative to one another. Because it does not divide the divine unity, the real distinction of the persons from one another resides solely in the relationships which relate them to one another: "In the relational names of the persons the Father is related to the Son, the Son to the Father, and the Holy Spirit to both. While they are called three persons in view of their relations, we believe in one nature or substance."//

The line in bold seems to imply that the persons are ontologically grounded in their relationships to one another, which is logically impossible.
[color=darkred]MWAP[/color] wrote:
The catechism does not claim that the Trinity exists because of the relationship between the three Persons. Maybe I can clear up the whole relationship-as-definition thing a bit by showing what the catechism, and the Christian faith in general, has always taught:

1.) The first Person is the one who generates the second and third Persons.
2.) The second Person is the one who generates from the first Person and through whom the first Person generates the third Person.
3.) The third Person is the one who is generated by the first Person and through the second Person.

That is literally the only way to define any sort of difference between the three Persons: by their relationship to one another. In other words,

1.) The first Person is only "defined" as the one who generates the second and third Persons.
2.) The second Person is only "defined" as the one who is generated by the first, and through whom the first generates the third.
3.) The third Person is only "defined" as the one who is generated by the first Person and through the second Person.

That's what's meant by "defining the Persons by their relationship to each other." The first Person is the one who perpetually causes two Persons, the second Person is the one who is perpetually caused by one Person and through whom one Person perpetually causes another Person, and the third Person is the one who is perpetually caused by one Person and through another Person.
Two things:

1. As I've discussed above, it's logically impossible for there to be a relationship (other than that of identity) between two things which share *all* properties in common. If the first, second, and third Persons have *no* distinctions between them, then saying that one "generates another" or "is generated by one through another" is totally nonsensical. What, exactly, is being generated? The Catechism (and your interpretation of it) says there are no distinctions between these persons. This means that there is literally nothing to generate or be generated, because all three "Persons" are simply one being. Again, this collapses the Trinity back into simple monotheism.

2. "Cause" and "effect" imply time. If God is said to be both outside of time and eternal, then how is it coherent to speak of cause and effect? These terms make no sense outside of a temporal framework.
gosh that sounded like a buncha smart talk...seems like the trinity is a problem with some folks? maybe they know too much.......think of it this way. the trinity is the first condition of creation. in other words its part of the chain of creation. you know like atoms are part of the chain of solid tangible objects.
the atom contains 3 basic forces or charges. this is the trinity revealed at the the level of atoms which are the building blocks of matter itself.

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