- Religion and Philosophy
The Rational Absurdity of the Trinity: Keeping Believers in the Dark
There's a memorable line from Don McLean's American Pie: "And the three folks I admire most--the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost--they caught the last train for the coast. . ." In these lyrics the Three are presented as distinct individuals, and so they must, if we have any hope of even talking about them. Believers have no trouble with the three-in-one proposition. No trouble at all. God set it up and declared it to be so, and there's an end to it. To my limited knowledge, however, only the Son and the Father, ever "do" or "say" anything. Makes sense. It would be difficult, even for Believers, to imagine holding a conversation or going for a stroll or eating lunch with a Ghost (in the modern era, I notice that this entity is now more typically called the "Holy Spirit". The word/concept "ghost" does imply a diminished state from another level of existence, an implication hardly appropriate for a "being" on some kind of par with God).
I'm writing this Hub from a stance of cautious optimism that an open-minded Believer might respond with interesting arguments in defence of the Trinity. As a Non-Believer, I see only another device to deepen the Mystery, the rational obfuscation that clouds the basics of Christian belief with so many impenetrable layers of contradiction that Faith, and Faith alone, can deal with it.
St. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Milton, John Donne--to grab only four thinkers down through the ages, who grappled with these issues--attempted with great passion and at great length, to understand and articulate these problems, to--as Milton puts it in the encomium to Paradise Lost--"justify the ways of God to man.".
So, let us play with the rational absurdity of the Trinity............and see if we can dispel the clouds a bit. Parrster--do join in, my good friend.