Tuesday, January 18, 2005

A Solution to My Trinity/Aseity Query?

Dienekes writes:

Since I'm on this topic, I will also comment on a post over at Maverick Philosopher which identifies a possible contradiction in the doctrine of the Trinity, and asks for a solution:

1. God is a se.

2. Each Person is (identically) God.


3. Each Person is a se....

The problem with this is the old confusion between hypostasis (person) and ousia (nature).

BV: Dienekes appears to be rejecting premise (2). What he wants to say is that each Person is divine, or has the divine nature. In that case, I reformulate the argument as follows:

1'. Anything possessing the divine nature is a se.

2'. Each Person has the divine nature.


3'. Each person is a se.

I then argue as before. Since the Son is begotten by the Father, the Son is not a se; and since the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, or from the Father alone as the Eastern Orthodox would have it, the Holy Spirit is not a se. Thus, it is not the case that each person is a se. It follows that either (1') or (2') is false. But both are creedal commitments.

Thus the problem arises whether one takes 'Each Person is God' as an identity claim or as a predication.