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Re: [christian-philosophy] Introduction and Leibniz

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  • NA
    Dear Thom, I myself am not even acquainted with Leibniz, but Ulrich, a list member, might know something of Leibniz, as he is very knowledgeable. Ulrich went
    Message 1 of 27 , Jul 31, 2002
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      Dear Thom,
       
      I myself am not even acquainted with Leibniz, but Ulrich, a list member, might know something of Leibniz, as he is very knowledgeable. Ulrich went somewhere last week and won't be back for one or more more weeks. (He and I enjoy word play, and you may notice that the preceding sentence contains an instance of this).
       
      Are you aware of Lake Chargoggagoggmonchaugaggogchaubunagungamaug (sp?) there in Massachusetts? It's in the southern center of the state, known as either Lake Chaubunagungamaug or Lake Webster. According to a Christian Trucker's newsletter I got this info from, the full word means "You fish on your side, we fish on our side, nobody fishes in the middle".
       
      On the doctrine of God and the Trinity. According to some Orthodox philosophers, the cosmological argument for the Infinitely Glorious Being (IGB/God) includes the Trinity, but the IGB argument seems to me to imply that one can discover the ontology of the One True God by natural reason. Yet, one of the arguments made by some Orthodox Trinitarians in favor of the Trinity is that the Trinity could never have been thought of by man and that we have the idea of/knowledge of the Trinity only because of special Divine Revelation in the Bible, especially in the New Testament books. One of my latest questions in my research of the Trinity concerns this apparent conflict of arguments for God. (I'm a Trinitarian, BTW, although I humbly believe that I know fundamentally more about it than any other Trinitarian alive at present.)
       
      daniel pech
       
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: tchittom
      Sent: Tuesday, July 30, 2002 5:26 AM
      Subject: [christian-philosophy] Introduction and Leibniz

      Dear Christian Philosophy Post.  My name is Thom Chittom.  I'm a ThM
      student at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts. 
      Unlike many of you, however, I've had little formal training in
      philosophy.  Most of my studies have turned around Biblical exegesis
      and classical systematics.  Philosophy is a personal thing - I
      started reading Plato a few years ago because I felt my ignorance to
      be a glaring embarassment; something was missing from my theological
      understanding.  Since then, I have been working my way up through the
      Western history of ideas.

      The subject that continually interests me is the doctrine of God and
      its metaphysical underpinnings.  The Doctrine of the Trinity, within
      that, is also fascinating and I'm hoping to come up with a topic for
      a Masters Thesis in the connection between metaphysics and
      trinitarian confession.

      That said, is anyone on this list familiar with G. W. Leibniz?  I've
      been reading his metaphysics and would love to talk about it.

      Glad to be a part of this board.

      Thom Chittom
    • rosariodsouza
      Daniel wrote: I m a Trinitarian, BTW, although I humbly believe that I know fundamentally more about it than any other Trinitarian alive at present. Ross
      Message 2 of 27 , Aug 2 10:20 PM
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        Daniel wrote:

        I'm a Trinitarian, BTW, although I humbly believe that I know
        fundamentally more about it than any other Trinitarian alive at
        present.

        Ross replies:

        Hello Daniel, you make a rather bold statement here. I am assuming
        that you examined how much each living Trinitarian knows, compared it
        to how much you know, and thus came to that conclusion.

        What exactly do you believe you know that others don't? Would you
        like to share that knowledge? I am always looking forward to learning
        from someone who knows.

        Thanks.

        ..Ross.
      • NA
        Daniel wrote: I m a Trinitarian, BTW, although I humbly believe that I know fundamentally more about it than any other Trinitarian alive at present. ... Ross
        Message 3 of 27 , Aug 3 9:27 AM
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          Daniel wrote:

          I'm a Trinitarian, BTW, although I humbly believe that I know
          fundamentally more about it than any other Trinitarian alive at
          present.
          ---
          Ross replies:

          Hello Daniel, you make a rather bold statement here. I am assuming
          that you examined how much each living Trinitarian knows, compared it to how much you know, and thus came to that conclusion.
          ---
           
          Daniel Replies:
           
          No, I didn't do that. :-)
           
          It is indeed a bold assertion I've made, but I didn't mean that I was certain that I know fundamentally more about the Trinity than any other Trinitarian alive at present, only that I believe I know more. I am unable to certify my belief. Your assumption is in regard to certification, not belief. Thus, I could be wrong in my belief.
           
          Of course, the question of whether my view of the Trinity is correct and superior to theirs is a necessary question, and only if mine is indeed correct and superior is my assertion worth its claim. In other words, do I have the gold to back up the paper? Most Trinitarians are simply circulating paper without certifying that their paper is backed up by something more than what-it-can-buy-on-account-of-its-currency-and-name. They cannot certify that God as truine, and they believe He is triune only because they have been effectively made to accept that He is Triune by word and by indirect evidence. I would argue that the value of their belief is little, because revelation is not really what God is about, rather, God is about leading sons to think and understand for themselves without having to be programmed by revelation to accept all things true as true. The greatest quandry in the Old Testament was the quandry faced by ignorant Abraham in God's apparent request/desire to have him sacrifice Isaac. Abraham solved the quandry by logic according to knowledge, and he had principally all of the knowledge required to resolve the matter to truth because he identifed the context: it was, in a manner of speaking, staring him in the face and he was staring at it.
           
          He did not view the quandry, out of a misplaced worshipfullness, as evidence of some "incomprehensibly higher logic of God". The mystery was to be solved. But, for us, the quandry of the Trinity does not itself require action to carry it out, and we are not (supposed to be) heathen-istically ignorant. We are, in fact, not commanded to accept it, understand it, or know of it, as it is not given plainly but only by referent, and it is not a dead-line. There is no action whatever about it, only understanding or failure to understand. The greatest of good and wisdom is the benefit of its understanding. The greatest of evil and ignorance is the result of failing to understand it, and the whole world is judged by it. God's ways have not changed, it's just that people keep becoming ignorant of his ways, and are lead into worldly-strong institutions of religious error because of ignorance of evil. Without the truth, the error could not stand.
          ==============
           

           
          Ross continued:
          What exactly do you believe you know that others don't? Would you
          like to share that knowledge? I am always looking forward to learning from someone who knows.

          Thanks.
          ---

          Daniel replies:
           
          You are welcome.
           
          (1) Other Trinitarians do not know how God can be three persons, they accept the revelation without understanding, just like so many Jews accepted (and continue to accept) many features of the Torah  without understanding. But, if God can be, or is, omnipresent, then God is fully personal to virtually infinite number.
           
          (2) Other Trinitarians do not know why God is specifically three persons and not four, ten, or 17.35 persons. They depend entirely on revelation without understanding. They submit to an "incomprehensibly higher logic of God". Paul asserted that man is without excuse in rejecting the existence of God, because of the witness of His existence in the physical world. This witness is a form of proof of man's dependence of God. But, how does the Trinity constitute any such proof? It doesn't if all that is known is a formula devoid of the reality to which the formula refers. The Bible gives no formula for either Abraham's quandry nor ours, and ours is of greater value seeing that the reality to which our *quandry* refers was conducted in the court of human history, while Abraham's was exclusive to him. Due process is not a technical formula, and the question is, what is being proved and by what standards? This is the key.
           
          In light of the fact that many people would make us all submit to an "incomprehensibly higher logic of God", it is fortunate that the book to the Hebrews includes chapter 11, verses 17 through 19. I know very personally people who were brought up "in the faith" who did not know of Hebrews 11:17-19 and who, because of their "true faith/obedience"-training, insisted to me for years that God really wanted to see how "faithful" Abraham would be toward God. Of course, the only reason, then, that God would have required a ritual and not merely an immediate slaying was that the subsequent "obedience" of Abraham was intended by God as a typology/prophecy of our Lord's death. After years of occasional argument with these people, I managed to show them by logic alone that I might have a point after all, but that I was still ultimately wrong, based, they said, on their admission that they knew they were ignorant of nearly everything that could be known about anything. (As it turned out, their assumption of what was the implication of my argument was twisted: they thought that if the bottom line for Abraham in acting on the request was that he had faith that God could and would raise Isaac back to life from ashes, then this was no more test of faith than to be told by a man to give him your money on the deal that he would simply give it right back and that all he wanted was to prove that you knew the deal. But, the faith of Abraham was in coming to the conclusions that he came to, and in that he was so confident in the power of God that he was willing, in his heathen ignorance, to carry out the request in the event that one of his conclusions was wrong.) I then told them of Hebrews 11:17-19. Now, they will never forget the value of thought, both logical and self-critical, while still having faith in God.
           
          The danger of error is not in thought, but in grossness of spirit. God does not want blind-and-starved attack dogs for sons.
          ---
           
           
          I've now hit the ball back into the court from which it came. I am about keeping the ball going back and forth, not about trying to end the play. I mean, my response is obviously far short of the information that you wished to obtain, but I wish for commrades-in-thought, not people whose object is to end the play (end the mutual exploration). Unfortunately, I have yet to find even one in this matter---although I have thought that perhaps I have been ever going about this wrong. I wonder what would happen if I were instead to pose my own self as merely the ignorant commrade-in-thought and not in any wise as a teacher to the supposedly wise? The trouble is that only if these wise know what I know can they know how to correct me if I am wrong as they have insisted, and the only way they can know what I know is if they think of it all themselves with minimal input from me: they are already blindly convinced, like the Orthodox/anti-Jesus Jews, of a particular explanation of a mystery the reality of which they have not verified (the reality of the mystery, not of the particular explanation). The Jews here indeed have a partial explanation, but their error is multiplied in assuming that it is fundamentally the full explanation, as if a typology is its own object and does not extent to a greater object. In their twisted ideas about what are its implications, they call the greater object the backward and erroneous object. But, God has never changed in his ways, it's just that people keep becoming ignorant, so that the strength of the truth is mis-explicated into a superstition and thus keeps the strength without the substance. This is known in the fact that all false gods are based on this strength. Without the truth, no falsehood could stand.
           
          At the very, very least, my knowledge of the Trinity can add subtance to the mystery-doctrine that is already in place, although even this substance (which I have only alluded to above) has been rejected as being in direct opposition to the mystery-doctrine. It is too close to being the explanation of the mystery, so that by posing it as complimentary to that doctrine it threatens the twisted and blind "faith" of those who worship Mystery more that they worship the Father. They would almost as well be Deists, whose greatest version of their god is one who is impossible to comprehend on any point.
           
          So, the matter I leave hidden in a referent---which, in fact, is what all language is anyway: a referent. Just like the referent of creation to the existence of God.
           
           
          One thing I need to understand, but do not have any handle on at all, is the assertion made by some Trinitarians against the modalists concerning a charade. What means a charade if God is his own Son? How does a king on trial, in his own court, under his own laws, in benefience to his citizens, and against an accusor, constitue a charade? If God is the standard of all things, then what is being proved? Although the modalists have a problem in that they fail to even venture to explain whence three modes, much less what those modes mean by that standard, the 'well-informed' Trinitarian fails virtually the same thing. The assumption of each of them is that they possess principally all of the knowledge required to resolve the matter to truth, yet they each fail to identify the context.
           
          With very best regards,
          Daniel Pech
        • rosariodsouza
          Daniel wrote: (1) Other Trinitarians do not know how God can be three persons, (2) Other Trinitarians do not know why God is specifically three persons and not
          Message 4 of 27 , Aug 4 7:55 AM
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            Daniel wrote:

            (1) Other Trinitarians do not know how God can be three persons,

            (2) Other Trinitarians do not know why God is specifically three
            persons and not four, ten, or 17.35 persons.

            Ross replies:

            I can understand your frustration with the lack of thinkers among the
            masses. I think most people on this list will identify with you in
            that regard. Nevertheless, it is good to remember that whatever we
            have we have received by the grace of God. I am sure that you already
            know that though.

            I see that you like to play games. Theological tennis – is that what
            we should call it? Quite an interesting notion. So it is my turn now.
            Here is what I have to say:

            So there are two things that you feel you know that others don't.

            M persons being one God can easily be explained by involving higher
            dimensional geometry. An N-dimensional being (where N is greater than
            three) can appear as separate entities in three-dimensional universe.

            Is that a sufficient explanation? Can you point out a flaw in it?

            Are you sure that God is only three persons and not more? What if I
            were to show you that God is more than three? Now a minimal of three
            is necessary to execute God's plan of salvation for man (this can be
            easily proved), but there is nothing in the Bible that limits God to
            three.

            One question: when you say that God is three persons, do you mean
            that each of these three have separate spirits? Or are they all
            united in a single spirit?

            The ball is in your court now :-)

            ..Ross.
          • NA
            Ross replied: I can understand your frustration with the lack of thinkers among the masses. I think most people on this list will identify with you in that
            Message 5 of 27 , Aug 4 3:06 PM
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              Ross replied:

              I can understand your frustration with the lack of thinkers among the  masses. I think most people on this list will identify with you in that regard. Nevertheless, it is good to remember that whatever we have we have received by the grace of God. I am sure that you already know that though.
               
               
               
              Daniel replies:
               
              I know it well, but thanks for the reminder. I can use it.
               

              Ross continued:
               
              I see that you like to play games. Theological tennis – is that what we should call it? Quite an interesting notion.
               
               
               
              Daniel replies:
               
              No, I don't think of it as a game. I used tennis as an analogy to dialogue, while noting that tennis, as played by most people most of the time, is played with the object of beating the other person. I, for one, can hardly stand to play any sport with a person who plays as if his personal worth is on the table in his end of beating me. I play tennis to keep the ball going, not to stop the ball. Like one-man tennis against a wall, except that that there is some living being enjoying the volley with me. While I am aware that there is a kind of competition that is entirely benevolent, for the most part in this world that is not what happens. Like a woman who likes to converse, I like to play tennis. That is why I used tennis as an analogy to dialogue. In much of my schooling, I was not taught anything, it was forced on me. Rarely did my parents or other teachers care to help me work out something which they imposed on me to "learn". No dialogue, just "that's the way it is and if you don't understand it or how it could be useful, tough." Education devoid of human interaction (as if I must stoop to having to call it 'informal' interaction, as if formal interaction is the basis for understanding human interaction, as if they make bulk nails by breaking apart the clips of nails that go into a nail gun) I say, education devoid of human interaction is worthless in itself.  You can thank God that your mother was not conditioned to ineract with you when you were an infant in a formal, unnatural manner, as if motherhood were the result of special training developed by a committee of rocket scientists. If we were to impose walking lessons on babies in an educational institution, it would not be long before we thought that a babies need to underdstand how to engineer a bipedal robot in order to learn how to walk, when the fact would be only that the babies cannot make sense of the *instructions* without such knowledge.
               
              (It also might help you to know that I have Asperger's, which accounts for much of the way that I express myself. Like an unfeeling robot cranking out calculations. I usually don't mean to sound cold when I'm taken to be argumentative, it's just that trying to inject cordial devices of language into my thought-expressions takes up far too much energy and just gets in the way of my thinking. I can surely go back and work such devices into my expressions, and maybe I should, but I rarely think of that and it would take a huge amount of time. Everything is a sign of something, but even disjointed expressions are not necessarily a sign of poor thinking. Be glad your mother understands what you are saying when you first learn to talk.)
               
               
               
              Ross continued:

              So there are two things that you feel you know that others don't.

              M persons being one God can easily be explained by involving higher dimensional geometry. An N-dimensional being (where N is greater than three) can appear as separate entities in three-dimensional universe.

              Is that a sufficient explanation? Can you point out a flaw in it?
               
               
               
              Daniel replies:
               
              I do not follow what your point is there, but I do not see how  God's triunity (in what I am confident that it is) has anything to do with spatial dimensions. I am aware that some Christains view higher dimensional geometry as a good partial answer to the Trinity, but they think this only because they have no idea what the Divine Trinity really is at base. If they knew of it, they could see that it can be used as the ultimate ontological argument for the existence of God. The fact that God shows Himself to be truine in some sense has a very specific purpose, but He did not invent the Divine Trinity, he is ontologically triune. The word 'person' relative to the problem of understanding the Trinity is no better than the word 'spectrum' for undertanding what light is if you have never seen anything. But, superstition keeps the eyes closed, so that Trinitarians and non-Trinitarians are like blind men arguing about how best to makes sense of the liguistic formula for light. But, then, if what I know about the Divine Trinity is the full story and not merely complementary to the Roman Catholic Mystery Doctrine, God knew that history would be the way that it has been with regard to the Trinity debate and atheism (that the very thing that the atheists are looking for on all fronts is the thing that they are rejecting as some nonsense that has be borrowed from pagan religion).
               
               

              Ross continued:
               
              Are you sure that God is only three persons and not more?
               
               
               
              Daniel replies:
               
              Three root aspects of one being, yes, I am sure there are only three. I have certified it. I have certified it directly, not by what is written in the Bible (not that it is not in the Bible, because it *is* in the Bible, and it is in the Bible as surely as was God's intention for Abraham's deductions concerning God's request to sacrifice Isaac in God's whole relationship to Abraham).
               
               
               
              Ross continued:
               
              What if I were to show you that God is more than three?
               
               
               
              Daniel replies:
               
              If you have expressed how God is more than three, then I have failed to notice it, and so have not so much as interacted with your reasoning concerning it (assuming that you believe God is more than three). You have not demonstrated to my mind how God is more than three persons if that be your intention. If that is not your view, then I am quite interested in why you asked the question and hope you will inform me a little on this.
               
               
               
              Ross continued:
               
              Now a minimal of three is necessary to execute God's plan of salvation for man (this can be easily proved)
               
               
               
              Daniel replies:
               
              If you are implying that it can be proved by text, then this does not prove it because anything can be written. How do I know that what is written about something is true of that thing (not that my ignorance of the thing makes the text in question false)? For instance, we do not believe that God exists on the basis that it is written that God exists. We do not grant that a given action, under a given set of criterion, is ethically wrong on the basis that someone has told us that it is wrong. God did not have to linguistically convey the immanent law to Adam in order for Adam to know what is right to do, and God did not have to linguistically convey any of the contingent law to Seth in order for Seth to know what are the laws of justice. Positive law is a road sign, not a road, and anyone can put up false signs or in places that go nowhere. If you are lost on a particular road, then the signs are the only thing you've got for that road, and that is why Paul knew of the ease of making false signs and opposed it every chance he got. The dogmatic defense of a system of signs does not make the system or the signs true, and Paul strained to reason with his converts concerning the logic of the truth and those who in fact ended up with a powerful organization by selling the influential name to the ignorant. Paul said that when he was gone, he knew that there would be wolves in sheeps clothing who would be successful in leading many astray to a copy.
               
               
               
               
              Ross continued:
               
              , but there is nothing in the Bible that limits God to three.
               

               
              Daniel replies:
               
              On what basis do you assert that? (I am not playing a 'game' here, and I have the alternate impression that you are engaging in a mere exercise of dedate and are not asking these questions from your true view but that you are playing 'devil's advocate'. It is not my preference to be unsure of whether if you are repesenting your own view in your questions.) It seems to me that I could as well say that there is nothing in the Bible that "limits" God to the primary laws of logic, but I would be wrong in saying so.
               
               
               

              Ross continued:
               
              One question: when you say that God is three persons, do you mean that each of these three have separate spirits? Or are they all united in a single spirit?
               
               
               
              Daniel replies:
               
              God is fully personal in three eternal, mutually inclusive, disinct ways, but I would argue that there is no logical basis for saying that God is three people (and I do not see how the debate over the alernate terms 'people'/'person' means anything, as 'people' is simply plural of 'person' in this case).
               
              Whether God really is three people in some incomprehensible way, I cannot know this and so, in my view, it does not matter. The Bible cannot be surely used to base all kinds of errors on it, although anything can be imputed to it by those who would.
               
              Relative to my ignorance of the arguments for the Roman Catholic Trinity in regard to salvation, I see no sure way to argue that the best explanation of the Divine Trinity from the Bible is that the Divine Trinity is a "Holy Secret" that can never be known by our own reasoning to be necessarily true (must be accepted blindly). It *is* necessarily true, but I myself have every reason to be convinced that the singular reason that it has been concluded to be beyond our ability to understand is because of superstition (to reduce it to one word). Abraham was not superstitious in the face of God's request to sacrifice Issac, and if he had been, then God would not have requested it.
               
              Obedience is not all the same, for Hitler asks for one kind of obedience and God for another kind, and the two are diametrically opposed even though they are essentially the same in *form*. The clear lesson of Abraham's account is that God desires our efforts to understand, not to shut our minds down in fear of error, evil, or 'self-will'. It is only in the philosophical products of those who hate God that we are in danger of confusion while believing that we are thinking right. We are not Pinnochio robots who oppose being programmed. We have real minds. God is a father, not a tyrant. I know too many people who have conformed themselves to the box imposed and bribed on them.
               
              The tragic and gross history of the world is made up of instances of confusing and blurring the realms of proof. At present this problem is the worst because wickedness becomes ever wiser and generally gains more influence/power over the course of history. This wisdom is hardly limited to advertizing techniques for consumer products.

              Daniel Pech
            • rosariodsouza
              Daniel wrote: No, I don t think of it as a game… Ross replies: I suspect that we are going to have a very interesting conversation… I have pretty much the
              Message 6 of 27 , Aug 5 6:21 PM
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                Daniel wrote:

                No, I don't think of it as a game…

                Ross replies:

                I suspect that we are going to have a very interesting conversation…

                I have pretty much the same opinion. It is great to have dialogue.
                But, for me at least, most real learning occurs alone. Other people
                can inspire us, and give us ideas, and set us off on a direction. But
                unless we do the homework ourselves our learning is superficial at
                best.

                Daniel wrote:

                It also might help you to know that I have Asperger's…

                Ross replies:

                Thanks for letting me know. That explains your communication style.

                Daniel wrote:

                I do not follow what your point is there, but I do not see how God's
                triunity (in what I am confident that it is) has anything to do with
                spatial dimensions. I am aware that some Christians view higher
                dimensional geometry as a good partial answer to the Trinity, but
                they think this only because they have no idea what the Divine
                Trinity really is at base.

                Ross replies:

                If God is a single being of greater than 3D then he could manifest
                Himself as multiple beings in 3D, just as when a 3D human being puts
                five fingers on a 2D paper and manifests himself as `five beings' in
                2D space.

                The problem that I have with this is that the Bible does not portray
                God as a single being but multiple beings. For example, God
                says, "Let us make man in our image" A single being would say, "Let
                me.."

                Daniel wrote:

                If they knew of it, they could see that it can be used as the
                ultimate ontological argument for the existence of God. The fact that
                God shows Himself to be truine in some sense has a very specific
                purpose, but He did not invent the Divine Trinity, he is
                ontologically triune.

                Ross replies:

                Now I would love to see you prove that! If I understand you
                correctly, you are saying that a triune being must be God. Correct?

                Daniel wrote:

                Three root aspects of one being, yes, I am sure there are only three.
                I have certified it. I have certified it directly, not by what is
                written in the Bible (not that it is not in the Bible, because it
                *is* in the Bible, and it is in the Bible as surely as was God's
                intention for Abraham's deductions concerning God's request to
                sacrifice Isaac in God's whole relationship to Abraham).

                Ross replies:

                Please explain what you mean by `Three root aspects of one being.'
                That is too ambiguous for me.

                Please define `one being' and then please define `three root aspects.'

                Daniel wrote:

                If you have expressed how God is more than three, then I have failed
                to notice it, and so have not so much as interacted with your
                reasoning concerning it (assuming that you believe God is more than
                three). You have not demonstrated to my mind how God is more than
                three persons if that be your intention. If that is not your view,
                then I am quite interested in why you asked the question and hope you
                will inform me a little on this.

                Ross replies:

                I haven't shown this yet, but I can. It is the view I will take
                unless someone shows me differently.

                That a minimal of three is required can be see from the fact that one
                had to die, one had to raise the dead one, and the third had to dwell
                in us while the second intercedes for us before the first.

                Ross had written:

                But there is nothing in the Bible that limits God to three.

                Daniel wrote:

                On what basis do you assert that? (I am not playing a 'game' here,
                and I have the alternate impression that you are engaging in a mere
                exercise of debate and are not asking these questions from your true
                view but that you are playing 'devil's advocate'. It is not my
                preference to be unsure of whether if you are representing your own
                view in your questions.) It seems to me that I could as well say that
                there is nothing in the Bible that "limits" God to the primary laws
                of logic, but I would be wrong in saying so.

                Ross replies:

                I am not playing games here either. I really believe what I am
                writing.

                Have you wondered why the Bible doesn't come out plain and say that
                God is three? That is part of my basis. I will say more on this later.

                Regarding God being limited by our logic – it is interesting that you
                say that. I happen to believe that God is indeed not limited by our
                logic. I believe that our logic is merely an approximation of a more
                generic logic. Our logic does not hold very well when dealing with
                infinity, or when dealing with the infinitesimal, or in an
                environment where time does not exist or where time is not half-
                dimensional.

                Daniel wrote:

                God is fully personal in three eternal, mutually inclusive, distinct
                ways.

                Ross replies:

                Please define what you mean by fully personal. Also, could you give
                me an example of something that is mutually exclusive and yet
                distinct so that I can understand what you are saying?

                You probably agree with me that God is spirit. My question is whether
                these three eternal, mutually inclusive, distinct elements of God are
                a single spirit or three eternal, mutually inclusive, distinct
                spirits.

                Shall stop here now. Looking forward to your answers.

                ..Ross.
              • NA
                Ross replied: It is great to have dialogue. But, for me at least, most real learning occurs alone. Other people can inspire us, and give us ideas, and set us
                Message 7 of 27 , Aug 6 2:30 AM
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                  Ross replied:

                  It is great to have dialogue. But, for me at least, most real learning
                  occurs alone. Other people can inspire us, and give us ideas, and set us off
                  on a direction. But unless we do the homework ourselves our learning is
                  superficial at best.



                  Daniel replies:

                  Alone? Don't you mean independent? There is no other way to learn but
                  independently, but this is not in contradistinction to dialogue nor to
                  listening to a lecture nor even being spanked.
                  ---


                  Daniel wrote:

                  If they knew of it, they could see that it can be used as the ultimate
                  ontological argument for the existence of God. The fact that God shows
                  Himself to be truine in some sense has a very specific purpose, but He did
                  not invent the Divine Trinity, he is
                  ontologically triune.


                  Ross replied:

                  Now I would love to see you prove that! If I understand you correctly, you
                  are saying that a triune being must be God. Correct?


                  Daniel replies:

                  No, I do not mean that 'truine being' = 'God'. I mean that God is a truine
                  being (and only triune). The matter is not *that* there are three, but
                  rather *"what"* these three are. Knowing what they are (not in idea but in
                  concept), you shall know that they are Necessary, Mutually Necessary to each
                  other, and Complete. As for proving it (to your reasoning), I shall now make
                  the first step in that process:

                  Two questions for you to offer me an initial answer: 1)What is the concept
                  of omnipotence?; 2) Why does might not make right?
                  ---


                  Daniel wrote:

                  Three root aspects of one being, yes, I am sure there are only three. I
                  have certified it. I have certified it directly, not by what is written in
                  the Bible (not that it is not in the Bible, because it *is* in the Bible,
                  and it is in the Bible as surely as was God's
                  intention for Abraham's deductions concerning God's request to sacrifice
                  Isaac in God's whole relationship to Abraham).


                  Ross replies:

                  Please explain what you mean by `Three root aspects of one being.' That is
                  too ambiguous for me.


                  Daniel replies:

                  I'm pleased that you requested this. Tell me how omnipresence is an
                  attribute of God as a 'simple' being? Is it because God is the ultimate
                  being and since omnipresence is an ultimate version of a positive attribute,
                  God must have it? If this is your answer, then it seems to me that you have
                  sythesized this attribute to God rather than thesized it (drawn it
                  logically) from God. If God is a simple being, then no ultimate positive
                  attribute can be tacked on to God. Some people, such as some deists and
                  agnostics, end up concluding that God is incomprehensibly non-descript,
                  unknowable, and unable to manifest himself within the physical world. That
                  conclusion is what happens when...?


                  Ross continued:

                  Please define `one being' and then please define `three root aspects.'


                  Daniel replies:

                  A human being is one being, but synthetic. The very necessary implication of
                  a synthetic being is that it can be taken apart (and although one certainly
                  may imagine a synthetic being that cannot be taken apart, such an image is
                  arbitrary, not logically coherent). The human body itself is synthetic (put
                  together of multiple parts). God is one being but simple (non-synthetic).
                  Yet, as hinted in my last new reply above, God must be descript (having
                  identity), otherwise there isn't any sense in anything but infinite regress
                  of parts of what is then a synthetic reality. The thing that something else
                  is made of must have identity in itself and not simply the "identity" of the
                  fact that it is what makes up the thing which is made of it. A thing that
                  has no identity of itself and yet makes up something else that does have
                  observable identity is, in some ways, worse than infinite regress of
                  identities of things that make up other things. Something must have identity
                  of itself in order for anything to have identity. To paraphrase C.S.Lewis
                  (or perhaps to quote him verbatim for all my memory tells me) something must
                  be self-evident, or nothing can be proved (and nothing can be known for what
                  it is). The extreme deist should stop all of his reasoning and just admit to
                  extreme agnosticism and post-modernism.

                  So, that should take care of your 'one being' question. Now, to your 'root
                  aspects' question:

                  God is a person, not a thing. But, what is a person in contradistinction to
                  a thing? The word 'thing' can be used widely enough to include person, and
                  to include God, and to include any combination/permutation of things that
                  you care to make for the sake of happy nonsense ( "jceioje7v a" is just
                  as much a 'thing', then, as is any thing else). But, if there is to be a
                  person at all, anywhere, then there must be either something(s) that make up
                  personhood that are not themselves persons, or a person must be made up of
                  nothing but person (irreducible, non-synthetic). If God is a person and not
                  a thing, and if God is simple and not synthetic, then personhood is
                  irreducible.

                  Yet, if we ourselves are persons and not things, then we can know what a
                  person is (since persons can think while things cannot) and this means that
                  we can know what is the identity of the irreducible thing. That is, unless
                  we cop out and say, like the agnostic of all agnostics, that we cannot
                  really know what we ourselves are. The feely box of the subconscious is a
                  wonderful thing. Ever play the feely box game? It's where you have this box
                  with holes in the side(s), and the holes are covered with curtains of cloth
                  so that you cannot see into the box, and you reach in and feel what's inside
                  and try to determine what are the things that are in there. The extremists
                  in the agnostic and post-modernist groups conclude that since our view of a
                  given thing can change, this proves conclusively that nothing can be proved
                  conclusively. That's kind of stupid, if you ask me. Kind of really, really,
                  really stupid. Cop-out #1.

                  So, what is a person? Care to tackle that one? Some people in the Artificial
                  Intelligence (AI) community think they know the answer: a person is a thing.
                  Other AI'ers realize there is something else involved, but many of them
                  still argue that a person *comes* from a thing (evolution of life from
                  non-life). The blind, fallen Adamic mind is at it again, and will not give
                  up until it proves itself tro be its own master. Yet, the one thing which
                  that mind(set) has been unable to pin down is the universal definition of
                  life. if God is alive, and if God is irreducible, then life is irreducible.

                  But, since good old "science" has been unable to define life, does this mean
                  that an irreducible thing lacks identity of itself? A thing which has
                  identity of itself is not non-descript. And, although one may certainly
                  imagine, like an agnostic, that there may be something which has identity of
                  itself the idenity of which cannot be known, this is knowably, logically an
                  arbitary image. Cannot be known to whom? Cannot be known to a person?
                  Any/every person? If God is non-descript, than God cannot know his own
                  identity, much less communicate that identity, much less still make anything
                  in his image. That is, unless he says things and creates things blindly
                  without knowing what he is doing or even that he is doing anything (he then
                  does not exist as far as he knows, since there is nothing for him to know.
                  How can he know something if he does not know himself? By what measure is he
                  to identify anything if he is non-descript? The same applies to us. We are
                  persons and we can identify things, so there must be some measure that we
                  are using. Otherwise we cannot even have so much as the idea that we are
                  having an illusion of knowing something. Even if the something keeps
                  changing to something else. If nothing is self-evident, then nothing can be
                  proved (or even known). I mean nothing, a logically anti-qualified nothing.
                  There is no greater nothing.

                  "Ask the Professor of Professor-ology how can I know that I exist?"

                  "Whom shall I say is asking?"

                  Oddly enough in all of this is the admission (by most of us) that we each
                  began to exist. If we are irreducible as persons, then it may seem odd that
                  an irreducible thing can have not existed. Many persons in AI say that this
                  is because persons really are made up of things, so that when these things,
                  whatever they are, are combined somehow into a unit, they become a person.
                  That's a nice way of saying that the person who claims to know for sure
                  that persons are made up of things, based upon "science", cannot in the end
                  know for sure that this is true or not since things don't know anything
                  until they are combined to make a person, and, if something is changed in
                  combination or permutation, the resultant person can believe almost
                  anything---as we all know from having various bioactive substances injected
                  into the blood stream of a living human (alchohol would be one of the mild
                  ones).

                  Somehow, though, the observation of distinctions allows us to say that two
                  things are not the same thing if we experience them as different things. The
                  multiverse hypothesis has been used to get past the anthropic principle of
                  cosmology, but that hardly answers the problem of a Creator because there is
                  no logical reason why, say, gravity is correlated to mass and not to shape,
                  color, or to virtually an infinite number of other things ('things', in the
                  widest sense). The ultimate arbitrariness of the universe that we "happen"
                  to be in is not ultimately arbitrary at all: it is "anthropic to a 't' "
                  (specifically, to T=0, the singularity just "before" of the "Big Bang", from
                  which, many cosmologists say, the physical universe and all of its physical
                  laws came).

                  Back to the beginning-ness if an irreducible thing. If the *physical* world
                  had a beginning, yet the physical world is irreducible: it must be made up
                  of something irreducible that is capable of being inferred from what is
                  physically observed. Otherwise, the extremist agnostic is right: nothing at
                  all can be known for what it is, nothing is self-evident. If that is the
                  case, then it is incorrect to assert that a person is made up of things.

                  (((I want to send this out to guarantee that it is not lost, and it is late
                  and I wish to get a wink of sleep before I have to go to work "tomorrow", so
                  I will stop this discourse here and perhaps reply to some of the things
                  below if they can be made short. I hope to return where I left off.)))




                  Daniel wrote:

                  If you have expressed how God is more than three, then I have failed
                  to notice it, and so have not so much as interacted with your
                  reasoning concerning it (assuming that you believe God is more than
                  three). You have not demonstrated to my mind how God is more than
                  three persons if that be your intention. If that is not your view,
                  then I am quite interested in why you asked the question and hope you
                  will inform me a little on this.

                  Ross replies:

                  I haven't shown this yet, but I can. It is the view I will take
                  unless someone shows me differently.


                  daniel replies:
                  Yes, God is more than three in spatial dimensions since God is omnipresent.
                  But, this has nothing to do with God's identity, the description of God in
                  his essence.

                  Ross continues:
                  That a minimal of three is required can be see from the fact that one
                  had to die, one had to raise the dead one, and the third had to dwell
                  in us while the second intercedes for us before the first.

                  daniel replies:
                  These are offices, functions, realms of proof. If "it can be seen from the
                  fact that etc" part is what constitutes the proof of three, then either it
                  is self-evident in this (which it is not) or there are things that can be
                  "unpacked" from this "fact" which do prove it. I say it is the latter.


                  Ross had written:

                  But there is nothing in the Bible that limits God to three.

                  Daniel wrote:

                  On what basis do you assert that? (I am not playing a 'game' here,
                  and I have the alternate impression that you are engaging in a mere
                  exercise of debate and are not asking these questions from your true
                  view but that you are playing 'devil's advocate'. It is not my
                  preference to be unsure of whether if you are representing your own
                  view in your questions.) It seems to me that I could as well say that
                  there is nothing in the Bible that "limits" God to the primary laws
                  of logic, but I would be wrong in saying so.

                  Ross replies:

                  I am not playing games here either. I really believe what I am
                  writing.

                  Have you wondered why the Bible doesn't come out plain and say that
                  God is three? That is part of my basis. I will say more on this later.

                  daniel replies:
                  The OT does not come right out and say a whole lot of things about the
                  significance of what is said in it. It doesn't even say what is the
                  conclusion of Abr which hebrews 11 says he concluded.


                  Ross continued:
                  Regarding God being limited by our logic - it is interesting that you
                  say that. I happen to believe that God is indeed not limited by our
                  logic. I believe that our logic is merely an approximation of a more
                  generic logic. Our logic does not hold very well when dealing with
                  infinity, or when dealing with the infinitesimal, or in an
                  environment where time does not exist or where time is not half-
                  dimensional.

                  daniel replies;
                  can God make a rock too big for him to lift? can God make truth into
                  falsehood?


                  Daniel wrote:

                  God is fully personal in three eternal, mutually inclusive, distinct
                  ways.

                  Ross replies:

                  Please define what you mean by fully personal. Also, could you give
                  me an example of something that is mutually exclusive and yet
                  distinct so that I can understand what you are saying?

                  daniel replies:
                  truth and power are mutually inclusive. the assertion that truth is mutually
                  exclusive of power is an assertion that is mutually exclusive to power.

                  Ross continues:
                  You probably agree with me that God is spirit. My question is whether
                  these three eternal, mutually inclusive, distinct elements of God are
                  a single spirit or three eternal, mutually inclusive, distinct
                  spirits.

                  daniel:
                  One spirit, omnipresent in whatever spatial dimensions exist.

                  Ross:
                  Shall stop here now. Looking forward to your answers.

                  daniel:
                  collapse.
                • rosariodsouza
                  Daniel, Two quick comments regarding your reply. I will discuss further after hearing what you have to say to these comments. First, could you explain why
                  Message 8 of 27 , Aug 6 11:20 PM
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                    Daniel,

                    Two quick comments regarding your reply. I will discuss further after
                    hearing what you have to say to these comments.

                    First, could you explain why Omnipresence (O) should have any
                    relevance towards defining the ontological nature of God, and God's
                    MultiUneness? The way I see it, O is defined only when space exists.
                    If space does not exist then O is undefined. Since God
                    created `space' as we know it, God must transcend space. Therefore,
                    the omnipresence of God only comes into being at the creation of the
                    universe. Therefore, it is not a part of His ontological nature, and
                    therefore it cannot be relevant to His MultiUneness, which according
                    to you, is ontological to God.

                    Second, ditto for God's Omnipotence (P). By definition, a being is P
                    if and only if it is all-powerful. Power, as we know it, is mass
                    times acceleration times velocity. When mass is absent, power is
                    undefined. Now God is spirit. In particular, He is not material; He
                    has no mass. In fact, mass was created with the creation of the
                    universe. Thus, God's P only came into being at the creation of the
                    universe. Therefore, it is not a part of His ontological nature, and
                    therefore it cannot be relevant to His MultiUneness, which according
                    to you, is ontological to God.

                    God's O and P are only relevant in the context of the existence of
                    our universe. Therefore, they cannot be part of His ontological
                    nature. So why even consider O and P in any discussion on God's
                    MultiUneness?

                    ..Ross.
                  • NA
                    Ross replied: First, could you explain why Omnipresence (O) should have any relevance towards defining the ontological nature of God, and God s MultiUneness?
                    Message 9 of 27 , Aug 7 5:39 AM
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                      Ross replied:

                      First, could you explain why Omnipresence (O) should have any
                      relevance towards defining the ontological nature of God, and God's
                      MultiUneness? The way I see it, O is defined only when space exists.
                      If space does not exist then O is undefined. Since God
                      created `space' as we know it, God must transcend space. Therefore,
                      the omnipresence of God only comes into being at the creation of the
                      universe. Therefore, it is not a part of His ontological nature, and
                      therefore it cannot be relevant to His MultiUneness, which according
                      to you, is ontological to God.


                      Daniel replies:

                      No, I do not mean that O is ontological to God at all. The only reason I
                      mentioned O in regard to the Trinity is to show (to Trinitarians) that O
                      implies that God is fully personal to the number that the space allows (a
                      holograph), and so to ask, in a space that allows at least three (human
                      space allows far more than three), how do RC Trinitarians insist that God is
                      only three fully personal 'manifestations' outise the Bible verses that
                      cleary state three persons (they have often used the manifestation of three
                      persons as support for the conclusion that God is ontologically Triune, but
                      O precludes that conclusion)?

                      I myself do not believe that space has anything to do with the ontology of
                      God, including the ontological Trinity (even if space is uncreated),
                      although a space that allows at least three will allow an economic trinity
                      (not to say anything about a linguistically implied ontologic Trinity as in
                      many of the Bible verses).


                      Ross continued:

                      Second, ditto for God's Omnipotence (P). By definition, a being is P
                      if and only if it is all-powerful. Power, as we know it, is mass
                      times acceleration times velocity.


                      Daniel replies:

                      That definition of power falls apart with -T=0. (before creation). If the
                      physical world had a beginning, then, for power to have any meaning, it must
                      be ontologically unreferenced to physical action. Quarks seem to demand that
                      this is so even at present.


                      Ross continued:

                      When mass is absent, power is
                      undefined.


                      Daniel replies:

                      That definition of power holds only if the physical universe is uncreate and
                      eternal. Of course, that would also require an infinity of prior events, and
                      this would do away with the any notion of potential on any level. God is
                      ontologically actual, but if God is the Creator, then God must have the
                      potential to create, and this is the power of Prime Mover.


                      Ross continued:

                      Now God is spirit. In particular, He is not material; He
                      has no mass. In fact, mass was created with the creation of the
                      universe. Thus, God's P only came into being at the creation of the
                      universe. Therefore, it is not a part of His ontological nature, and
                      therefore it cannot be relevant to His MultiUneness, which according
                      to you, is ontological to God.


                      Daniel replies:

                      I hope by my replies above that you see where I am coming from on power.
                      Matthew 26:64 has Jesus referring to God the Father as power. BTW,
                      unreferenced power is invisible by definition, and is also infinite and
                      eternal.

                      As for O: Prior to the creation of space, God is still O because there is
                      no 'place' that God is not if there is no space for him not to occupy. The
                      ontology of a being who transcends space is O by definition.


                      Blessings,
                      Daniel
                    • rosariodsouza
                      Daniel wrote: No, I do not mean that O is ontological to God at all. The only reason I mentioned O in regard to the Trinity is to show (to Trinitarians) that O
                      Message 10 of 27 , Aug 7 11:34 PM
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                        Daniel wrote:

                        No, I do not mean that O is ontological to God at all. The only
                        reason I mentioned O in regard to the Trinity is to show (to
                        Trinitarians) that O implies that God is fully personal to the number
                        that the space allows (a holograph), and so to ask, in a space that
                        allows at least three (human space allows far more than three), how
                        do RC Trinitarians insist that God is only three fully
                        personal 'manifestations' outside the Bible verses that clearly state
                        three persons (they have often used the manifestation of three
                        persons as support for the conclusion that God is ontologically
                        Triune, but O precludes that conclusion)?

                        Ross replies:

                        I don't understand what you mean when you say "O implies that God is
                        fully personal to the number that the space allows (a holograph)"
                        and "in a space that allows at least three (human space allows far
                        more than three)." Please clarify. Perhaps an example will help.

                        Ross had written:

                        When mass is absent, power is undefined.

                        Daniel replies:

                        That definition of power holds only if the physical universe is
                        uncreated and eternal. Of course, that would also require an infinity
                        of prior events, and this would do away with the any notion of
                        potential on any level. God is ontologically actual, but if God is
                        the Creator, then God must have the potential to create, and this is
                        the power of Prime Mover.

                        Ross replies:

                        I do believe that the physical universe had a beginning. What God had
                        before the beginning was the potential to create (which is what you
                        call the power of Prime Mover). Power, energy, etc. were all created
                        at the time the universe was created. All these things came into
                        being through the creative power of God. This implies that power (as
                        we know it) is not ontological to God. Rather, the ability to create
                        is ontological to God. This is an important distinction to make.

                        We must realize that words
                        like `eternal,' `infinite,' `omnipresent,' `omnipotent,' `invisible,'
                        etc. are not ontological to God. Eternal is undefined when time, as
                        we know it, was not created. `Infinite' has not meaning without the
                        existence of spatial dimensions. `Invisible' makes no sense when eyes
                        do not exist. And so on. Since all these things did not exist before
                        they were created they cannot be ontological to God.

                        To understand the ontology of God you have to put yourself in the
                        presence of God before the universe was created. At that time there
                        was only spirit (that irreducible, immaterial substance (for lack of
                        a better word)) that provides identity to living beings. There was
                        love (which is why God is Love) and light (which is why God is Light)
                        and (eternal) life (which is moral righteousness) (which is why `in
                        Him was life' (Jn 1:4). It is these things (love, light, life) and
                        the ability to create that are ontological to God (among other things
                        that I will keep silent on at this point).

                        To show that TriUneness is ontological to God you have to work with
                        these. You cannot really use `omnipresence' or `omnipotence', etc.

                        Daniel wrote:

                        I hope by my replies above that you see where I am coming from on
                        power. Matthew 26:64 has Jesus referring to God the Father as power.
                        BTW, unreferenced power is invisible by definition, and is also
                        infinite and eternal.

                        Ross replies:

                        Mt 26:64 Jesus *said to him, "You have said it {yourself;}
                        nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see THE SON OF MAN
                        SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF
                        HEAVEN."

                        I am not sure that you can use this verse to conclude that the Father
                        is `Power' anymore than you can conclude that the Father has a `right
                        hand.' These terms are used figuratively in this verse.

                        Daniel wrote:

                        As for O: Prior to the creation of space, God is still O because
                        there is no 'place' that God is not if there is no space for him not
                        to occupy. The ontology of a being who transcends space is O by
                        definition.

                        Ross replies:

                        Technically, yes. However, O is then an artificial construct. For
                        this reason, any proof based on O is not really strong. It would only
                        be valid in spatial dimensions. God would then be Triune only where
                        space exists. Triuneness as an ontological description of God would
                        not be so.

                        ..Ross.
                      • NA
                        Ross wrote: I don t understand what you mean when you say O implies that God is fully personal to the number that the space allows (a holograph) and in a
                        Message 11 of 27 , Aug 8 5:52 PM
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                          Ross wrote:

                          I don't understand what you mean when you say "O implies that God is
                          fully personal to the number that the space allows (a holograph)"
                          and "in a space that allows at least three (human space allows far
                          more than three)." Please clarify. Perhaps an example will help.
                           
                           
                          daniel replies:
                           
                          If God is a simple being (as opposed to a synthetic being), and if God can be omnipresent, then each and every smallest measure of space that God occupies is fully personal. For simplicity, suppose that created space is constituted by a total of ten smallest units (quanta) of space. If God can be omnipresent, then it is silly, but true, to say that he surely can occupy "at least" seven of those quanta. In each of those seven quanta is the fully personal God, which means that God is fully personal by seven. Seven persons who are each fully God. They have to be fully God if God is a simple being. This only strikes people odd because they do not understand the nature of space from God's perspective. God can choose to be in one quanta of space over here and, aty the same time, in another quanta of space a million miles away, and yet God is not thus divided from himself. One of the arguments that some Trinitarians think is a strong case for the triunity of God is that God  manifested himself as three distinct and spatially separate persons. But, I do not think this means anything if God is, or can be, in as many locations of space at the same time as he chooses. The question, then, is not how many separate locations/persons God manifested himself as, but why he manifested himself as exactly three. The answer to that question cannot be mathematical nor nomological, because God is not an arbitrary quantity of three nor is he three names. Nor is he three internal relationships that have no meaning except as how they somehow are arbitrarily in relation to each other. For those Trinitarians who do not know of the primary triads in the physical creation ( http://www.carm.org/islam/obj_trinity.htm ), they have no way but the "divine revelation" of the Biblical text by which to "know" that God is triune, so that if the text were changed to show a quadrinity (or an octrinity, etc.), and they grew up with this changed text and did not know any other text, they would be nor better or worse off than they are now as far as "knowing" how many persons are in God, or what/who those persons are.   


                          Ross had written:

                          When mass is absent, power is undefined.
                          Daniel replied:

                          That definition of power holds only if the physical universe is
                          uncreated and eternal. Of course, that would also require an infinity
                          of prior events, and this would do away with the any notion of
                          potential on any level. God is ontologically actual, but if God is
                          the Creator, then God must have the potential to create, and this is
                          the power of Prime Mover.

                          Ross replied:

                          I do believe that the physical universe had a beginning. What God had
                          before the beginning was the potential to create (which is what you
                          call the power of Prime Mover). Power, energy, etc. were all created
                          at the time the universe was created. All  these things came into
                          being through the creative power of God. This implies that power (as
                          we know it) is not ontological to God. Rather, the ability to create
                          is ontological to God. This is an important distinction to make.
                           
                           
                           
                          daniel replies:
                           
                          Ross, you just said that "All these things came into being through the creative power of God". What do you think that power is if not physically unreferenced power? "Power as we know it"? Physical power, however you define the term, cannot be power itself if physical power is created. While the thing that you mean by physical power is certainly a useful concept (since it exists as you defined it), how is your idea of physical power metaphysically valid as the most all-encompassing definition of power? Biologists make the same mistake in trying to define life in biological terms. Do you say that God is impotent, then?
                           
                          When Jesus refered to God as power in Matthew 26:64, did Jesus mean merely physical power, the power that you have defined as the truest and most meaningful conception of power? How does your usage of the term 'power' apply to the force of gravity in a limited frame when nothing in that frame is moving? How does your 'power' apply to the binding force of the atom? The whole creation holds together in the way that it does because of miraculous power (there must be either infinite regress of physical forces, or a point at which physical forces have no physical mechanism behind them). I'm not using the word 'power' in the particular narrow physical usage that you seem to have become bound to. The force of gravity is a power, even when nothing is moving. When Jesus healed people, this was power. Defining power as narrowly as you do has the effect of defining any power not under this definition power out of existence. What shall we call Jesus' power to heal people and raise them back to life? Cornering, under certain terms, the various kinds of physical entities, such as 'force' 'power', 'velocity', 'acceleration', etc., does not mean that the terms used for these entities dictate what is what. We could use a different word than 'power' for what you are calling power, and that new word would change nothing except perhaps your notion of what is what when someone then uses the word 'power'.
                           
                           
                          Ross continued:

                          We must realize that words
                          like `eternal,' `infinite,' `omnipresent,' `omnipotent,' `invisible,'
                          etc. are not ontological to God. Eternal is undefined when time, as
                          we know it, was not created. `Infinite' has not meaning without the
                          existence of spatial dimensions. `Invisible' makes no sense when eyes
                          do not exist. And so on. Since all these things did not exist before
                          they were created they cannot be ontological to God.
                           
                           
                           
                          Daniel replies:
                           
                          You are referring here to narrow and specialized concepts (they are good and valid concepts, but it seems that your understanding of what is out there is limited to these specialized uses of these terms). Infinite space is defined under 'space', not under 'infinite'. Omnipotence is defined under 'potence' not under 'omni'. Eternal time is not the same as eternity outside of time. One can imagine an infinite power that lasts for only a moment, and one can imagine an infinite power that is eternal both inside and outside of time. Infinite power is like infinite number: no matter how large a finite quantity is added to, or subtracted from, an infinite quantity, the infinite quantity is neither increased nor decreased.
                           
                          Ross continued:

                          To understand the ontology of God you have to put yourself in the
                          presence of God before the universe was created. At that time there
                          was only spirit (that irreducible, immaterial substance (for lack of
                          a better word)) that provides identity to living beings. There was
                          love (which is why God is Love) and light (which is why God is Light)
                          and (eternal) life (which is moral righteousness) (which is why `in
                          Him was life' (Jn 1:4). It is these things (love, light, life) and
                          the ability to create that are ontological to God (among other things
                          that I will keep silent on at this point).

                          To show that TriUneness is ontological to God you have to work with
                          these. You cannot really use `omnipresence' or `omnipotence', etc.
                           
                          Daniel replies:
                           
                          Again, I am not using omnipresence for this at all.
                           
                          As for your argument about why God is not ontologically power, I can use the same kind argument against you about light: I can object that God is not a photon, or photons.
                           
                          Do you see what I have just done here?
                           
                          As for the view of the ontologogy of the triunity of God that you have proposed here, John 1:1 does not identify one of those three are light, nor as love, nor as life. John 1:1 identified that one as logos. I myself would argue that John's use of the term 'light' was figurative. Logos cannot be figurative in John 1:1.
                           
                          Where is logos in your idea of the Trinity? Also, you said "It is these things (love, light, life) and the ability to create that are ontological to God " That's four, not three. You have added "ability to create" to the three. If God is ontologically triune and not quadriune, then all of God's other attributes are conceptually subsumed under three concepts. How is light mutually indwelling with love? Just as you have objected concerning power, I can object concerning light again, but in another manner than that of photons: Genesis 1:3. Terms, or usage of terms, or neat physical entities, do not determine what is out there to be determined.  
                           
                           

                          Daniel wrote:

                          I hope by my replies above that you see where I am coming from on
                          power. Matthew 26:64 has Jesus referring to God the Father as power.
                          BTW, unreferenced power is invisible by definition, and is also
                          infinite and eternal.

                          Ross replied:

                          Mt 26:64      Jesus *said to him, "You have said it {yourself;}
                          nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see THE SON OF MAN
                          SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF
                          HEAVEN."

                          I am not sure that you can use this verse to conclude that the Father
                          is `Power' anymore than you can conclude that the Father has a `right
                          hand.' These terms are used figuratively in this verse.
                           
                           
                          Daniel replies:
                           
                          The Father is a person, not power. I have merely argued that God the Father is the 'person' associated with God's ontologic power. Your idea about what 'power' is will of course lead you to conclude that both 'power' and 'right hand' are figurative terms, but, as you yourself said, "All these things came into being through the creative power of God". You have either contradicted yourself in your use of the term 'power' here a applied to God, or you used the term in a deeper sense than that physical entity which you seem to have insisted is ontologically bound to that term. It's just a sequence of letters or sounds. If that physical entity had been called some other term in your learning, that entity would still be what it is and it would have no bearing in your mind on this verse. Was that physical entity that you have given me by the term 'power' known in Jesus day?
                           
                           

                          Daniel wrote:

                          As for O: Prior to the creation of space, God is still O because
                          there is no 'place' that God is not if there is no space for him not
                          to occupy. The ontology of a being who transcends space is O by
                          definition.

                          Ross replies:

                          Technically, yes. However, O is then an artificial construct. For
                          this reason, any proof based on O is not really strong. It would only
                          be valid in spatial dimensions. God would then be Triune only where
                          space exists. Triuneness as an ontological description of God would
                          not be so.
                           
                          Daniel replies:
                           
                          I'm not sure you are arguing with me here, or are merely commenting, so let me repeat what I siad in my last post concerning O and God's triunity. I do not argue that O, in the context of created space, has anything to do with the triunity of God. I argue exactly the "opposite": The O within created has nothing to do with God's ontological triunity. 
                           
                          Best regards,
                          Daniel
                        • rosariodsouza
                          Daniel wrote: If God is a simple being (as opposed to a synthetic being), and if God can be omnipresent, then each and every smallest measure of space that God
                          Message 12 of 27 , Aug 11 12:03 AM
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                            Daniel wrote:

                            If God is a simple being (as opposed to a synthetic being), and if
                            God can be omnipresent, then each and every smallest measure of space
                            that God occupies is fully personal. For simplicity, suppose that
                            created space is constituted by a total of ten smallest units
                            (quanta) of space. If God can be omnipresent, then it is silly, but
                            true, to say that he surely can occupy "at least" seven of those
                            quanta. In each of those seven quanta is the fully personal God,
                            which means that God is fully personal by seven. Seven persons who
                            are each fully God. They have to be fully God if God is a simple
                            being. This only strikes people odd because they do not understand
                            the nature of space from God's perspective. God can choose to be in
                            one quanta of space over here and, aty the same time, in another
                            quanta of space a million miles away, and yet God is not thus divided
                            from himself. One of the arguments that some Trinitarians think is a
                            strong case for the triunity of God is that God manifested himself as
                            three distinct and spatially separate persons. But, I do not think
                            this means anything if God is, or can be, in as many locations of
                            space at the same time as he chooses. The question, then, is not how
                            many separate locations/persons God manifested himself as, but why he
                            manifested himself as exactly three. The answer to that question
                            cannot be mathematical nor nomological, … < cut >

                            Ross replies:

                            Okay, now I understand what you are saying. It is an interesting way
                            of looking at things. I never quite thought of it like that before.
                            My one comment though, is that the three distinct manifestations of
                            God that we see in the Bible are not spatially oriented by
                            functionally oriented. That is, each manifestation serves a specific
                            function within the framework of God's interaction with man.


                            Ross had written:

                            I do believe that the physical universe had a beginning. What God had
                            before the beginning was the potential to create (which is what you
                            call the power of Prime Mover). Power, energy, etc. were all created
                            at the time the universe was created. All these things came into
                            being through the creative power of God. This implies that power (as
                            we know it) is not ontological to God. Rather, the ability to create
                            is ontological to God. This is an important distinction to make.

                            Daniel wrote:

                            Ross, you just said that "All these things came into being through
                            the creative power of God". What do you think that power is if not
                            physically unreferenced power?

                            Ross replies:

                            I should have been more careful with my words. Instead of
                            saying `creative power' I should have said `creative potential' just
                            to avoid confusion.

                            I distinguish between `power' as defined in the physical universe
                            and `creative potential.' The latter may be loosely defined as `the
                            power to create.' If this is what you call `physically unreferenced
                            power' that is fine with me. I think we both mean the same thing.

                            The reason why I distinguish between `power' as defined in the
                            physical universe and `creative potential' is because God used the
                            latter to create the former. The latter is ontological to God, the
                            former is not.

                            Daniel wrote:

                            "Power as we know it"? Physical power, however you define the term,
                            cannot be power itself if physical power is created. While the thing
                            that you mean by physical power is certainly a useful concept (since
                            it exists as you defined it), how is your idea of physical power
                            metaphysically valid as the most all-encompassing definition of
                            power? Biologists make the same mistake in trying to define life in
                            biological terms. Do you say that God is impotent, then?

                            Ross replies:

                            Hope my distinction above adequately answers your question above.
                            Within my distinction God is not impotent because being the creator
                            of physical power He has full control of it. He is omnipotent in the
                            framework of our universe. But that omnipotence is not ontological to
                            Him. It is an attribute of His within the framework of our universe.

                            Daniel wrote:

                            When Jesus referred to God as power in Matthew 26:64, did Jesus mean
                            merely physical power, the power that you have defined as the truest
                            and most meaningful conception of power?

                            Ross replies:

                            I believe He did. Within the framework of our universe the power that
                            we experience is physical power – bounded by the laws of physics.
                            Jesus' point was that in the end times God will use His omnipotence
                            to bring His will to pass.

                            As an aside, not all of these laws are yet known to us, and
                            therefore, acts that occur due to laws unknown to us appear as
                            miracles.

                            Daniel wrote:

                            How does your usage of the term 'power' apply to the force of gravity
                            in a limited frame when nothing in that frame is moving?

                            Ross replies:

                            I am not sure what you mean by `a limited frame.' Movement is
                            relative. Gravity will always produce acceleration on a mass. If the
                            mass is not moving with respect to the mass that is exercising
                            gravity over it there must be some other force countering the
                            acceleration being produced. This simple law explains a great deal of
                            the mechanics of our universe. Now the gravitational interactions
                            with space and time and radiation also exist (as per the theories of
                            relativity) but that is a different matter altogether.

                            Daniel wrote:

                            How does your 'power' apply to the binding force of the atom?

                            Ross replies:

                            Are you familiar with the Grand Unified Theories? The power (or more
                            accurately, force) that binds atoms together is the `strong nuclear
                            force' – short ranged and very powerful. My definition of power
                            applies even here. If you think otherwise, please explain why in
                            greater detail.

                            Daniel wrote:

                            The whole creation holds together in the way that it does because of
                            miraculous power (there must be either infinite regress of physical
                            forces, or a point at which physical forces have no physical
                            mechanism behind them). I'm not using the word 'power' in the
                            particular narrow physical usage that you seem to have become bound
                            to. The force of gravity is a power, even when nothing is moving.
                            When Jesus healed people, this was power. Defining power as narrowly
                            as you do has the effect of defining any power not under this
                            definition power out of existence. What shall we call Jesus' power to
                            heal people and raise them back to life?

                            Ross replies:

                            Perhaps you are referring to Col 1:17 [ in Him all things hold
                            together ]

                            I wouldn't say that the force of gravity is a `power'. It is a force.
                            A force exerted on an object will necessarily cause that object to
                            move unless there is a counter force that balances the force of
                            gravity. If you think otherwise, please provide a specific example. I
                            will be very surprised if you are able to.

                            As I said earlier, miracles occur through the use of laws that we
                            know nothing about. Just because we do not know of them does not mean
                            that they do not exist.

                            For example, until the theories of electromagnetic waves were
                            understood the use of radios would seem to be miraculous, would they
                            not?

                            Daniel wrote:

                            Cornering, under certain terms, the various kinds of physical
                            entities, such as 'force' 'power', 'velocity', 'acceleration', etc.,
                            does not mean that the terms used for these entities dictate what is
                            what. We could use a different word than 'power' for what you are
                            calling power, and that new word would change nothing except perhaps
                            your notion of what is what when someone then uses the word 'power'.

                            Ross replies:

                            Not sure I understand you here. Please clarify.



                            Ross had written:

                            We must realize that words like `eternal,' `infinite,' `omnipresent,'
                            `omnipotent,' `invisible,' etc. are not ontological to God. Eternal
                            is undefined when time, as we know it, was not created. `Infinite'
                            has not meaning without the existence of spatial dimensions.
                            `Invisible' makes no sense when eyes do not exist. And so on. Since
                            all these things did not exist before they were created they cannot
                            be ontological to God.

                            Daniel wrote:

                            You are referring here to narrow and specialized concepts (they are
                            good and valid concepts, but it seems that your understanding of what
                            is out there is limited to these specialized uses of these terms).
                            Infinite space is defined under 'space', not under 'infinite'.
                            Omnipotence is defined under 'potence' not under 'omni'. Eternal time
                            is not the same as eternity outside of time. One can imagine an
                            infinite power that lasts for only a moment, and one can imagine an
                            infinite power that is eternal both inside and outside of time.
                            Infinite power is like infinite number: no matter how large a finite
                            quantity is added to, or subtracted from, an infinite quantity, the
                            infinite quantity is neither increased nor decreased.

                            Ross replies:

                            I am not sure what your point here is. My only point was that in
                            attempting to understand the multiuneness of God we must understand
                            the ontology of God, and in order to understand the ontology of God
                            we must consider the nature of God before the universe was created.
                            Since space, time, energy, etc. were created at the time the universe
                            was created they cannot be ontological to God.



                            Ross had written:

                            To understand the ontology of God you have to put yourself in the
                            presence of God before the universe was created. At that time there
                            was only spirit (that irreducible, immaterial substance (for lack of
                            a better word)) that provides identity to living beings. There was
                            love (which is why God is Love) and light (which is why God is Light)
                            and (eternal) life (which is moral righteousness) (which is why `in
                            Him was life' (Jn 1:4). It is these things (love, light, life) and
                            the ability to create that are ontological to God (among other things
                            that I will keep silent on at this point).

                            To show that TriUneness is ontological to God you have to work with
                            these. You cannot really use `omnipresence' or `omnipotence', etc.

                            Daniel wrote:

                            Again, I am not using omnipresence for this at all. As for your
                            argument about why God is not ontologically power, I can use the same
                            kind argument against you about light: I can object that God is not a
                            photon, or photons.

                            Do you see what I have just done here?

                            As for the view of the ontologogy of the triunity of God that you
                            have proposed here, John 1:1 does not identify one of those three are
                            light, nor as love, nor as life. John 1:1 identified that one as
                            logos. I myself would argue that John's use of the term 'light' was
                            figurative. Logos cannot be figurative in John 1:1.
                            Where is logos in your idea of the Trinity? Also, you said "It is
                            these things (love, light, life) and the ability to create that are
                            ontological to God " That's four, not three. You have added "ability
                            to create" to the three. If God is ontologically triune and not
                            quadriune, then all of God's other attributes are conceptually
                            subsumed under three concepts. How is light mutually indwelling with
                            love? Just as you have objected concerning power, I can object
                            concerning light again, but in another manner than that of photons:
                            Genesis 1:3. Terms, or usage of terms, or neat physical entities, do
                            not determine what is out there to be determined.

                            Ross replies:

                            Again, my carelessness with words has led to your misunderstanding
                            me. When I say that God is Light I do not mean `light' as in photons.
                            God is not that kind of light. Photons are a creation of God. The
                            Light that God is refers to the same thing as `Love' and `Life.' See
                            Mt 5:16 for example.

                            Mt 5:16 "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may
                            see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

                            I should have made it clear that `Love,' `Light,' and `Life' are
                            really the same thing.

                            Note also that I am not saying that God is triune. That is what you
                            are saying. I believe that God is more than three, although in the
                            Bible we usually see three persons of the Godhead.

                            Daniel wrote:

                            I hope by my replies above that you see where I am coming from on
                            power. Matthew 26:64 has Jesus referring to God the Father as power.
                            BTW, unreferenced power is invisible by definition, and is also
                            infinite and eternal.

                            Ross replies:

                            Perhaps we are saying the same thing. However, I maintain
                            that `infinite' and `eternal' are only meaningful within the context
                            of our universe. Before our universe existed these terms have no
                            particular meaning because space and time did not exist before our
                            universe was created.

                            If you are saying otherwise, please clarify your position so that I
                            can understand what you are saying.

                            Ross had written:

                            Mt 26:64 Jesus *said to him, "You have said it {yourself;}
                            nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see THE SON OF MAN
                            SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF
                            HEAVEN."

                            I am not sure that you can use this verse to conclude that the Father
                            is `Power' anymore than you can conclude that the Father has a `right
                            hand.' These terms are used figuratively in this verse.

                            Daniel wrote:

                            The Father is a person, not power. I have merely argued that God the
                            Father is the 'person' associated with God's ontologic power. Your
                            idea about what 'power' is will of course lead you to conclude that
                            both 'power' and 'right hand' are figurative terms, but, as you
                            yourself said, "All these things came into being through the creative
                            power of God". You have either contradicted yourself in your use of
                            the term 'power' here a applied to God, or you used the term in a
                            deeper sense than that physical entity which you seem to have
                            insisted is ontologically bound to that term. It's just a sequence of
                            letters or sounds. If that physical entity had been called some other
                            term in your learning, that entity would still be what it is and it
                            would have no bearing in your mind on this verse. Was that physical
                            entity that you have given me by the term 'power' known in Jesus day?

                            Ross replies:

                            I hope that I have by now sufficiently clarified that I was referring
                            to the creative potential of God.




                            Daniel had written:

                            As for O: Prior to the creation of space, God is still O because
                            there is no 'place' that God is not if there is no space for him not
                            to occupy. The ontology of a being who transcends space is O by
                            definition.

                            Ross had written:

                            Technically, yes. However, O is then an artificial construct. For
                            this reason, any proof based on O is not really strong. It would only
                            be valid in spatial dimensions. God would then be Triune only where
                            space exists. Triuneness as an ontological description of God would
                            not be so.

                            Daniel wrote:

                            I'm not sure you are arguing with me here, or are merely commenting,
                            so let me repeat what I said in my last post concerning O and God's
                            triunity. I do not argue that O, in the context of created space, has
                            anything to do with the triunity of God. I argue exactly
                            the "opposite": The O within created has nothing to do with God's
                            ontological triunity.

                            Ross replies:

                            I think I understand your point about why you mentioned O.

                            Ross adds:

                            I am still waiting to see why you believe that God is three.

                            ..Ross.
                          • NA
                            Ross ended his last post with: I am still waiting to see why you believe that God is three. Daniel replies: It is here, in the present post. (This is a long
                            Message 13 of 27 , Aug 11 5:32 AM
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                              Ross ended his last post with:
                               
                              I am still waiting to see why you believe that God is three.
                               
                              Daniel replies:
                               
                              It is here, in the present post. (This is a long one.)
                               
                               
                               
                              Ross wrote:

                              Okay, now I understand what you are saying. It is an interesting way of looking at things. I never quite thought of it like that before. My one comment though, is that the three distinct manifestations of God that we see in the Bible are not spatially oriented but functionally oriented. That is, each manifestation serves a specific function within the framework of God's interaction with man.
                               
                              Daniel replies:
                               
                              Exactly. That's my whole point in posing the omnipresent scenario against that particular argument used by some Trinitarians. Why three, and *what are those three*?
                               
                              In a plain statement made to Abraham, God implied something that could never have been inferred from that statement on its own. The statement was: "Sacrifice Isaac." The context was a promise made to the man Abraham. That promise became increasingly incredible (non-credible) to man with the accumulation of what were really only *circumstances* in the "real world". Yet, Abraham had faith in God, and he realized what was the truly first promise of which his actions upon the statement were merely a type. The whole world is judged by this promise. Then, man's wickedness toward his fellows made people think the statement was concerned with perfectly blind and thoughtless obedience to a harsh God who wanted to show man just how dogishly loyal he wanted him to be to him. Like Hitler's dogs to Hitler: the doctrine of "it-will-all-make-good-sense-in-the-end-if-you-just-follow-the-orders". Anti-qualified obedience. "God has place authorities over you, and God will hold you guilty if you do not obey them no matter how wrong may be the thing which they tell you to do or to assent to."
                               
                              Then, when the truly first promise was fulfilled, in the fulfilling God implied something that could never have been inferred from the actions of the fulfillment on its own. The fullfilment was: Jesus conceived, born, lived, died, and raised from the dead. The context was a promise made to a man (Adam), a promise which became increasingly incredible to man with the accumulation of what were really only *circumstances* in the "real world". The thing implied is a thing by which the whole world thinks to judge, even though the world does not know what it is that it is judging by. This thing judges the world because the world does not know it. If, as so many "scientists" would have it, "science" is not concerned with truth, then upon what foundation does it presume to determine error? Not knowing its own foundation is the height of error, because it is by man's pride in his power of dominion (his power *over other things*) that he fails to attend to first things first, by seeking proof of all things "out there" and thus concluding that if something cannot be proved by looking "out there", then it cannot be known for what it really is. 



                              Ross wrote:

                              I should have been more careful with my words. Instead of
                              saying `creative power' I should have said `creative potential' just to avoid confusion.
                               
                              Daniel replies:
                               
                              Your terms did not confuse me at all as to your meaning. If you wish to use the term 'power' to indicate the precise physical entity of "mass times acceleration times velocity", that's fine with me. If there is any confusion, it seems to be on your own part in my own use of the same term 'power'. I am, after all, using the same terms that are used in the King James Bible, and even today the word 'power' is most commonly used in a general sense, not in your specialize sense of "mass times acceleration times velocity". I feel sure that you were not raised in a box, so I would have to think that your response to my use of the word 'power' may have been based either on your education or on a simple insistence that, to avoid confusion, the word 'power' should from now on be used in this specialized sense only. But, Adam named the animals, and the structure of the Hebrew language gives a clue as to how he would have done so: by taking basic and general words with their basic and general meanings and mixing them together to form new words that effectively describe the animal. That various disciplines sometimes co-opt common words should not then be made the commoner's problem.
                               
                               
                              Ross continued:
                               
                              I distinguish between `power' as defined in the physical universe and `creative potential.' The latter may be loosely defined as `the power to create.' If this is what you call `physically unreferenced power' that is fine with me. I think we both mean the same thing.
                               
                              Daniel replies:
                               
                              Yep. Ok. But, with one very important additional distinction in my use of the term 'power'. God holds the universe together in its ways even now, and "makes it go". God's "power" did not cease its "action" at the end of the "creation week". God's "power" is always in effect. The Bible says so (as far as I have read it).

                              Ross continued:
                               
                              The reason why I distinguish between `power' as defined in the
                              physical universe and `creative potential' is because God used the latter to create the former. The latter is ontological to God, the former is not.
                               
                              Daniel replies:
                               
                              I myself am not so sure of that. While I do suppose that God's ontology does not include motion of any kind, yet even that I am not quite sure about. I'm just thinking about some sort of ultimate "infinite motion" here. I don't know. It doesn't seem to me to matter either way at this point in my thinking.


                              Daniel wrote:

                              "Power as we know it"? Physical power, however you define the term, cannot be power itself if physical power is created. While the thing that you mean by physical power is certainly a useful concept (since it exists as you defined it), how is your idea of physical power metaphysically valid as the most all-encompassing definition of power? Biologists make the same mistake in trying to define life in biological terms. Do you say that God is impotent, then?

                              Ross replied:

                              Hope my distinction above adequately answers your question above.
                               
                              Daniel replies:
                               
                              Yep.
                               
                               
                              Ross continued:
                               
                              Within my distinction God is not impotent because being the creator of physical power He has full control of it. He is omnipotent in the framework of our universe. But that omnipotence is not ontological to Him. It is an attribute of His within the framework of our universe.
                               
                              Daniel replies:

                              I am , in this paragraph, going to use the term 'power' only as 'mass times acceleration times velocity'. It seems to me that the only way it would be correct to say that God has infinite power is if the universe was actually infinite in quantity of mass (which would require an infinite space since the mass is not all in one location). Do you see what I'm getting at here? But, even if the quantity of mass were infinite, it is not now being moved (as far as I know) to infinite power. I think that God's power, here, must be understood in the same kind of way that God's omnipresence is to be understood: it transcends our own viewpoint.
                               
                               
                              <snip>
                               
                              Ross wrote:
                               
                              As an aside, not all of these laws are yet known to us, and
                              therefore, acts that occur due to laws unknown to us appear as
                              miracles.
                               
                              Daniel replies:

                              Indeed. But, that's only good up to a point, otherwise we are admitting an infinite regress of laws.
                               
                               
                              Daniel wrote:

                              How does your usage of the term 'power' apply to the force of gravity in a limited frame when nothing in that frame is moving?

                              Ross replies:

                              I am not sure what you mean by `a limited frame.' Movement is
                              relative. Gravity will always produce acceleration on a mass. If the mass is not moving with respect to the mass that is exercising gravity over it there must be some other force countering the acceleration being produced. This simple law explains a great deal of the mechanics of our universe. Now the gravitational interactions with space and time and radiation also exist (as per the theories of relativity) but that is a different matter altogether.
                               
                              Daniel replies:
                               
                              It seems to me that your thinking is made unduly narrow by your basic understanding of physics (that understanding is only basic and not interactively real). You are even now being acted upon by the gravity of the earth, yet you are not being accelerated with respect to that gravity. Am I missing something here?


                              Daniel wrote:

                              How does your 'power' apply to the binding force of the atom?

                              Ross replies:

                              Are you familiar with the Grand Unified Theories? The power (or more accurately, force) that binds atoms together is the `strong nuclear force' – short ranged and very powerful. My definition of power applies even here. If you think otherwise, please explain why in greater detail.
                               
                              Daniel replies:
                               
                              I'm familiar with them in principle. I go by the accronym 'UFT' (Unified field theory). Unless the universe is one continuous solid (not rigid solid, but matter without spaces), there may be a field force that is irreducible to a direct mechanical connection. This is so because the very existence of physical motion cannot ultimately be reduced to objects bouncing off of each other. This is true even if the total momentum never decreases. While the first law of motion seems to answer that total momentum cannot decrease, this would be true only if all field forces are nothing but mass particles. I myself do not care whether all field forces can be unified under one field force of not, because in the end, any field force seems to me to be synonymous with miracle. If we cannot, in the end, detect an object that is producing a particular field force, then we are looking miracle right in the face. Even so, at some point there must be a "physical" force that in fact is not produced by particles bouncing off of other particles, because of the very nature of motion with repsect to any of the fields: Attraction of objects due to a field cannot be fully explained as particles bouncing off of each other, even if we use a sail boat analogy. 
                               


                              Daniel wrote:

                              The whole creation holds together in the way that it does because of miraculous power (there must be either infinite regress of physical forces, or a point at which physical forces have no physical mechanism behind them). I'm not using the word 'power' in the particular narrow physical usage that you seem to have become bound to. The force of gravity is a power, even when nothing is moving. When Jesus healed people, this was power. Defining power as narrowly as you do has the effect of defining any power not under this definition power out of existence. What shall we call Jesus' power to heal people and raise them back to life?

                              Ross replied:

                              Perhaps you are referring to Col 1:17 [ in Him all things hold
                              together ]
                               
                              Daniel replies:
                               
                              That verse may mean only that God keeps all the natural laws going as they are, not to the injection of a miracle. As Bill Dembski and others try to argue, God made the universe like a harp, not like an enclosed engine; it can be played, not simply let run.
                               

                              Ross continued:

                              I wouldn't say that the force of gravity is a `power'. It is a force. A force exerted on an object will necessarily cause that object to move unless there is a counter force that balances the force of gravity. If you think otherwise, please provide a specific example. I will be very surprised if you are able to.
                               
                              Daniel replies:

                              I would be surprised if God could not directly and invisibly hold an object motionless against gravity.
                               
                               

                              Ross continued:
                              As I said earlier, miracles occur through the use of laws that we know nothing about. Just because we do not know of them does not mean that they do not exist.
                               
                              Daniel replies:
                               
                              That can work, but then, by definition, it's not itself a miracle. Yet, even if this "miracle" is done through laws already in place, there is clearly an introduction of a finger into the strings of the instrument. That is a miracle. The only (theistic) option is to say that God set all miracles into the initial state at creation, and then the clockwork of the laws later reached the points at which these *physically* predetermined "miracles" occured.

                               
                              Ross continued:
                               
                              For example, until the theories of electromagnetic waves were
                              understood the use of radios would seem to be miraculous, would they not?
                               
                              Daniel replies:
                               
                              Yes, but you can take that only so far. The physical laws were set up in such a way so that man could make use of them himself (Genesis 1:28). At some point there will either be a 'wall' (in a manner of speaking) beyond which there are no laws, or there may was well be no such thing as miracle in the face of infinite regress of laws. There is something to be said against the insistance on being able to reduce the definition of miracle to physical law.
                               

                              Daniel wrote:

                              Cornering, under certain terms, the various kinds of physical
                              entities, such as 'force' 'power', 'velocity', 'acceleration', etc., does not mean that the terms used for these entities dictate what is what. We could use a different word than 'power' for what you are calling power, and that new word would change nothing except perhaps your notion of what is what when someone then uses the word 'power'.

                              Ross replied:

                              Not sure I understand you here. Please clarify.
                               
                              Daniel replies:
                               
                              A thing as defined is what it is regardless of the name we may ever see fit to use to refer to it. A rose is a rose by any other name, even if no one used the term 'rose' for that thing which we now call a rose. All physical entities flow backward to one or a few conceptual points, otherwise even much of theoretical physics is in vain as a theoretical enterprise. If all forces and powers and such cannot be classed under a single concept, then I myself do not exist, because I see them all as one. To me, they all flow out from a single concepual point, and only then are they distinct from each other. If this were not in fact the case for all people, then no one could even begin to define them as they are. There is one capacity, and it is infinite and physically unreferenced, and it is by this concept, this standard, that we are able to determine the nature of the various kinds of physical forces/powers. Or, so it seems to me. The same holds for all subjects of study whatever. If there were no conceptual frameworks in common between two given subjects, we could not even so much as make analogies between them. We would have to understand them directly by their own princiles and all of our learning of any other subject would not help us in a new subject. So many "scientists" today have tried to define science in such a way as to perfectly separate it from philosophy and "pseudoscience". This cannot be done, and the failure of every demarcation criterion offered to date is a testament to this. Ignorance of a proud heart is bliss until the imagined lane ends at a wall (like the RoadRunner cartoon). The problem is that more than one non-existent lane can be imagined, although this is possible only because reality is like a diamond with many facets. It is capable of being ideationally misused.



                              Ross had written:

                              We must realize that words like `eternal,' `infinite,' `omnipresent,' `omnipotent,' `invisible,' etc. are not ontological to God. Eternal is undefined when time, as we know it, was not created. `Infinite' has not meaning without the existence of spatial dimensions. `Invisible' makes no sense when eyes do not exist. And so on. Since all these things did not exist before they were created they cannot be ontological to God.
                              Daniel wrote:

                              You are referring here to narrow and specialized concepts (they are good and valid concepts, but it seems that your understanding of what is out there is limited to these specialized uses of these terms). Infinite space is defined under 'space', not under 'infinite'. Omnipotence is defined under 'potence' not under 'omni'. Eternal time is not the same as eternity outside of time. One can imagine an infinite power that lasts for only a moment, and one can imagine an infinite power that is eternal both inside and outside of time. Infinite power is like infinite number: no matter how large a finite quantity is added to, or subtracted from, an infinite quantity, the infinite quantity is neither increased nor decreased.

                              Ross replied:

                              I am not sure what your point here is. My only point was that in
                              attempting to understand the multiuneness of God we must understand the ontology of God, and in order to understand the ontology of God we must consider the nature of God before the universe was created. Since space, time, energy, etc. were created at the time the universe was created they cannot be ontological to God.
                               
                              Daniel replies:
                               
                              The Apostle Paul (I think it was him, but I tend to attribute everything to him) said that "they are without excuse" who reject God. Paul meant that all the universe, and every part of it, points to God. A bloodhound who refuses to use the witness of his eyes can keep passing up the critter he is tracking and "not know it". The atheistic use of that human endeavor which many people call 'science' constitutes a refusal to know anything except by "careful, linear tracking". Such a version of science, which is a form of blindly proud self-contradiction, is like the bloodhound who meets the critter head-on at every turn and still refuses to recognize him. For many things, a process of proof is required for the finite and short-sighted mind. But, the fact is that if there is nothing that is both self-evident and beyond a process of proof, then nothing can be proved.


                              <snip>
                               
                              Daniel had written:
                               
                              Just as you have objected concerning power, I can object
                              concerning light again, but in another manner than that of photons: Genesis 1:3. Terms, or usage of terms, or neat physical entities, do not determine what is out there to be determined.

                              Ross replied:

                              Again, my carelessness with words has led to your misunderstanding me.
                               
                              Daniel replies:
                               
                              I have not misunderstood you here. I merely required a qualification of your use of the term 'light' in this case. I did not think you meant photons at all.
                               
                               
                               
                              Ross continued:
                               
                              When I say that God is Light I do not mean `light' as in photons.  God is not that kind of light. Photons are a creation of God. The Light that God is refers to the same thing as `Love' and `Life.' See Mt 5:16 for example.

                              Mt 5:16      "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

                              I should have made it clear that `Love,' `Light,' and `Life' are
                              really the same thing.
                               
                              Note also that I am not saying that God is triune. That is what you are saying. I believe that God is more than three, although in the Bible we usually see three persons of the Godhead.
                               
                              Daniel replies:
                               
                              First, concerning the Triunity matter, and then leading to your assertion that God is more than three:
                              If 'Love', 'Light', and 'Life', are synonymous, then how is God truine in these three? And, how is 'Light' then not merely figurative? God is invisible. If you mean that 'Love', 'Light', and 'Life' are indistinguishable, then there is no truinity in them. If you mean something by each of them that is distinct from the others, then I have yet to infer what it is.
                               
                              If God is more than three, then three synonyms have not got above one, yet. My argument is that God is exactly three primary distinctions of one thing (which implies that they are mutually inclusive ["mutually indwelling"]), and that each of these three can be "unpacked" to reveal the nature of their interaction with the created world. Your argument seems to me to be almost that God is many things, and that every one of these things is understandable only in itself, without reference to any of the others, and that there is no logical organization to the whole of them.
                               
                              My argument can be focused around the matter of proof, and this is only because proof is based on what is itself the reality: the ontology of God. There are exactly three realms of proof because there are exaclty three realms of reality: power (my use of the term, not yours), truth/mind (logos), and love (good emotion/quaia). The omnipotence paradox is the result of the failure to know the truth, and one of many fallacies of that paradox is the unwitting assumption that power can be pitted against logic and this in the court of logic. If the test of the existence of omnipotence were conducted in the court of power, one need not even invoke omnipotence (all-power) in order for power to be the victor. In the court of logic, omniscience is not required either, as the atheistic verdict shows. The fact is that there is no neutral judge of the contest between logic and power, and so there is no way to determine which one would win if it is assumed that it is not an act of contradicting oneself in pitting them against each other. But, if anti-qualified power existed, then no logic could prove that it does not exist, and this lets the air out of the standard of conception that no conception of omnipotence is meaningful unless it is ant-qualified. The fact is that the atheistic verdict of the contest between omnipotence and logic shows that the atheist already cannot help but grant that logic and power are entirely distinct realms (he just fails to see what he has done because he is pitting logic against "omnipotence", not against power proper). The real surprise comes in showing him that logic does not exist as a separate entity any more than does omnipresence, and that this is the real reason that no system of logic was developed for most of human history.
                               
                               
                              A) Power proves only powers ("might does not make right", etc.). B) Logic proves only logics
                              C) Spirit (love) proves only spirits
                              ---
                               
                               
                              a) The idea of impotence presupposses potence (which means that potence is the reality, the standard of the two, not impotence).
                               
                              b) The idea of error presupposes truth.
                               
                              c) The idea of evil presupposes good.
                              ---
                               
                               
                              If God is not self-evident, then nothing can be proved. What is the definition of God? What one thinks is the definition of God depends on what one really knows about things that are self-evident. Too many people think of God in a hazy "that big guy upstairs" kind of way. That's no definition at all. The definition of God is the same as the definition of life. Biologists seek a definition of life as a biological principle, but, not only have they had to admit that this cannot be done, it in very fact cannot be done. The most self-evident thing to them is themselves. They are alive, so how would they define themselves as alive and not as a mere machine? Many atheists in the field of Artificial Intelligence presume that living intelligence can be functionally reproduced in a machine (based on the Chinese Room experiment). But, the fact that qualia is required in order to gather the information about regular physical phenomenon (such as light) so that this information can be put into an unthinking machine in the fiorm of a language convention that then this machine outputs the language convention so that another subjective intelligence can be educated on this phenomenon means that qualia (experience-of-something) is the heart of intelligence. Any object that lacks qualia is, by definition, unintelligent, no matter how closely it has been devised to simulate functional intelligence. It is possible to simulate functional intelligence to some degree, but qualia (subjective intelligence) cannot be simulated: you either have it or you don't. Qualia is not native to the non-minded entities of physics.
                               
                              If God is non-descript, then God cannot know his own identity, much less communicate that identity, much less still make anything in his image. If God has identity but God does not know it, then when he says things and creates things, he does so blindly without knowing what he is doing or even that he is doing anything (he then does not exist as far as he knows, since there is nothing for him to know). How can he know something if he does not know himself? By what measure is he to identify anything if he is either unknowable or non-descript? The same applies to us. We are persons and we can identify things, so there must be some measure that we are using.
                               
                              <snip>
                               


                              Daniel wrote:

                              The Father is a person, not power. I have merely argued that God the Father is the 'person' associated with God's ontologic power. Your idea about what 'power' is will of course lead you to conclude that both 'power' and 'right hand' are figurative terms, but, as you yourself said, "All these things came into being through the creative power of God". You have either contradicted yourself in your use of the term 'power' here a applied to God, or you used the term in a deeper sense than that physical entity which you seem to have insisted is ontologically bound to that term. It's just a sequence of letters or sounds. If that physical entity had been called some other term in your learning, that entity would still be what it is and it would have no bearing in your mind on this verse. Was that physical entity that you have given me by the term 'power' known in Jesus day?

                              Ross replied:

                              I hope that I have by now sufficiently clarified that I was referring to the creative potential of God.
                               
                              Daniel replies:
                               
                              It must also refer to God's potential to hold all things together. Not as if God must do this within the framework of time; I don't think that any two of his uses of his spiritual power (which is himself) which appears to us to be sequential need be sequential from his perspective.


                              ...Daniel
                            • rosariodsouza
                              Daniel, I am a bit tied up with work today and tomorrow. I hope to post an answer to you on wedensday. While I can t wait to continue our conversation I must
                              Message 14 of 27 , Aug 12 10:50 PM
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                                Daniel,

                                I am a bit tied up with work today and tomorrow. I hope to post an
                                answer to you on wedensday.

                                While I can't wait to continue our conversation I must tarry as work
                                these days is rather exhausting.

                                Looking forward to replying soon.

                                ..Ross.
                              • ULRICHPUN7@tiscali.co.uk
                                Dear Daniel , I rtespect even those views of yours which puzzle me and eating your cabbage and chatting with you has turned out to be goodde funne , but I do
                                Message 15 of 27 , Aug 16 5:54 PM
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                                  Dear Daniel , I rtespect even those views of yours which puzzle me and
                                  eating your cabbage and chatting with you has turned out to be goodde funne
                                  , but I do confess to being some what surprised to learn that yopur opinion
                                  of your kowledge of the trinity exceeds that of all other living
                                  trinitarians but not of all dead trinitarians at this present stage of
                                  history . As you are humble as you Rightly note with due humilty ,it would
                                  help all those of us who are unfortunately not so humble if youcould send
                                  along with your cabbage supplies a short explanation as to how you came by
                                  your epistemic supriority ras regards knowledge of The Trinittys
                                  ontiological secrets as well as a summary of that in which the trinitys self
                                  disclosures to you consists so thgat we may modify and correct the orthodox
                                  doctrine accordingly . Ever so umbly , Your affectionate FRiend , Uriah
                                  Ulrich Heep ;dept. of imagination and literature ;trinity college cambridge
                                  .
                                  ----- Original Message -----
                                  From: rosariodsouza <rjds@...>
                                  To: <christian-philosophy@yahoogroups.com>
                                  Sent: Saturday, August 03, 2002 6:20 AM
                                  Subject: [christian-philosophy] Re: Introduction and Leibniz


                                  > Daniel wrote:
                                  >
                                  > I'm a Trinitarian, BTW, although I humbly believe that I know
                                  > fundamentally more about it than any other Trinitarian alive at
                                  > present.
                                  >
                                  > Ross replies:
                                  >
                                  > Hello Daniel, you make a rather bold statement here. I am assuming
                                  > that you examined how much each living Trinitarian knows, compared it
                                  > to how much you know, and thus came to that conclusion.
                                  >
                                  > What exactly do you believe you know that others don't? Would you
                                  > like to share that knowledge? I am always looking forward to learning
                                  > from someone who knows.
                                  >
                                  > Thanks.
                                  >
                                  > ..Ross.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                                  > christian-philosophy-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                  >
                                  >
                                • ULRICHPUN7@tiscali.co.uk
                                  Daniel , When I put my joking aside , I admit how sincere a fellow you are and I hesitate to be forver criticising your views even though all Philosophers can
                                  Message 16 of 27 , Aug 16 6:12 PM
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                                    Daniel , When I put my joking aside , I admit how sincere a fellow you are and I hesitate to be forver criticising your views even though all Philosophers can must and should criticise them selves and others from morning noon to night ;but pray explicate further thou great canbbage eater on just what distictive insight thou hast gained with respect to the trinity lest num skulls like me should fiorever miss the point . Granted ,only roman catholics or other religious un saved persons ought to be believing in in comprehensible mysteries ,but I hope you can distinguish rationality from rationalism and that all your speculations are fitted to scriptures framework and are informed at all times by scriptural data judging all of your thoughts . I am not clear what you want to add to or subtract from received orthodoxy regarding the trinity or what genuine insights you may have that comport with orthodoxy . I accept against John Robbins , for example , what I take to be the insights of Cornelius van til , but I still accept that the trinity are three persons in one Being eternally co sub sisting . I do not know just what lies behind your triangle of love power and Logos and how Scripture enabled you to reach this terminus . PLease clarify and send more raw cabbage as soon as possible . Ulrich Plus confused teddy Bear with Cobwebs .
                                    ----- Original Message -----
                                    From: NA
                                    Sent: Saturday, August 03, 2002 5:27 PM
                                    Subject: Re: [christian-philosophy] Re: Introduction and Leibniz




                                    Daniel wrote:

                                    I'm a Trinitarian, BTW, although I humbly believe that I know
                                    fundamentally more about it than any other Trinitarian alive at
                                    present.
                                    ---
                                    Ross replies:

                                    Hello Daniel, you make a rather bold statement here. I am assuming
                                    that you examined how much each living Trinitarian knows, compared it to how much you know, and thus came to that conclusion.
                                    ---
                                     
                                    Daniel Replies:
                                     
                                    No, I didn't do that. :-)
                                     
                                    It is indeed a bold assertion I've made, but I didn't mean that I was certain that I know fundamentally more about the Trinity than any other Trinitarian alive at present, only that I believe I know more. I am unable to certify my belief. Your assumption is in regard to certification, not belief. Thus, I could be wrong in my belief.
                                     
                                    Of course, the question of whether my view of the Trinity is correct and superior to theirs is a necessary question, and only if mine is indeed correct and superior is my assertion worth its claim. In other words, do I have the gold to back up the paper? Most Trinitarians are simply circulating paper without certifying that their paper is backed up by something more than what-it-can-buy-on-account-of-its-currency-and-name. They cannot certify that God as truine, and they believe He is triune only because they have been effectively made to accept that He is Triune by word and by indirect evidence. I would argue that the value of their belief is little, because revelation is not really what God is about, rather, God is about leading sons to think and understand for themselves without having to be programmed by revelation to accept all things true as true. The greatest quandry in the Old Testament was the quandry faced by ignorant Abraham in God's apparent request/desire to have him sacrifice Isaac. Abraham solved the quandry by logic according to knowledge, and he had principally all of the knowledge required to resolve the matter to truth because he identifed the context: it was, in a manner of speaking, staring him in the face and he was staring at it.
                                     
                                    He did not view the quandry, out of a misplaced worshipfullness, as evidence of some "incomprehensibly higher logic of God". The mystery was to be solved. But, for us, the quandry of the Trinity does not itself require action to carry it out, and we are not (supposed to be) heathen-istically ignorant. We are, in fact, not commanded to accept it, understand it, or know of it, as it is not given plainly but only by referent, and it is not a dead-line. There is no action whatever about it, only understanding or failure to understand. The greatest of good and wisdom is the benefit of its understanding. The greatest of evil and ignorance is the result of failing to understand it, and the whole world is judged by it. God's ways have not changed, it's just that people keep becoming ignorant of his ways, and are lead into worldly-strong institutions of religious error because of ignorance of evil. Without the truth, the error could not stand.
                                    ==============
                                     

                                     
                                    Ross continued:
                                    What exactly do you believe you know that others don't? Would you
                                    like to share that knowledge? I am always looking forward to learning from someone who knows.

                                    Thanks.
                                    ---

                                    Daniel replies:
                                     
                                    You are welcome.
                                     
                                    (1) Other Trinitarians do not know how God can be three persons, they accept the revelation without understanding, just like so many Jews accepted (and continue to accept) many features of the Torah  without understanding. But, if God can be, or is, omnipresent, then God is fully personal to virtually infinite number.
                                     
                                    (2) Other Trinitarians do not know why God is specifically three persons and not four, ten, or 17.35 persons. They depend entirely on revelation without understanding. They submit to an "incomprehensibly higher logic of God". Paul asserted that man is without excuse in rejecting the existence of God, because of the witness of His existence in the physical world. This witness is a form of proof of man's dependence of God. But, how does the Trinity constitute any such proof? It doesn't if all that is known is a formula devoid of the reality to which the formula refers. The Bible gives no formula for either Abraham's quandry nor ours, and ours is of greater value seeing that the reality to which our *quandry* refers was conducted in the court of human history, while Abraham's was exclusive to him. Due process is not a technical formula, and the question is, what is being proved and by what standards? This is the key.
                                     
                                    In light of the fact that many people would make us all submit to an "incomprehensibly higher logic of God", it is fortunate that the book to the Hebrews includes chapter 11, verses 17 through 19. I know very personally people who were brought up "in the faith" who did not know of Hebrews 11:17-19 and who, because of their "true faith/obedience"-training, insisted to me for years that God really wanted to see how "faithful" Abraham would be toward God. Of course, the only reason, then, that God would have required a ritual and not merely an immediate slaying was that the subsequent "obedience" of Abraham was intended by God as a typology/prophecy of our Lord's death. After years of occasional argument with these people, I managed to show them by logic alone that I might have a point after all, but that I was still ultimately wrong, based, they said, on their admission that they knew they were ignorant of nearly everything that could be known about anything. (As it turned out, their assumption of what was the implication of my argument was twisted: they thought that if the bottom line for Abraham in acting on the request was that he had faith that God could and would raise Isaac back to life from ashes, then this was no more test of faith than to be told by a man to give him your money on the deal that he would simply give it right back and that all he wanted was to prove that you knew the deal. But, the faith of Abraham was in coming to the conclusions that he came to, and in that he was so confident in the power of God that he was willing, in his heathen ignorance, to carry out the request in the event that one of his conclusions was wrong.) I then told them of Hebrews 11:17-19. Now, they will never forget the value of thought, both logical and self-critical, while still having faith in God.
                                     
                                    The danger of error is not in thought, but in grossness of spirit. God does not want blind-and-starved attack dogs for sons.
                                    ---
                                     
                                     
                                    I've now hit the ball back into the court from which it came. I am about keeping the ball going back and forth, not about trying to end the play. I mean, my response is obviously far short of the information that you wished to obtain, but I wish for commrades-in-thought, not people whose object is to end the play (end the mutual exploration). Unfortunately, I have yet to find even one in this matter---although I have thought that perhaps I have been ever going about this wrong. I wonder what would happen if I were instead to pose my own self as merely the ignorant commrade-in-thought and not in any wise as a teacher to the supposedly wise? The trouble is that only if these wise know what I know can they know how to correct me if I am wrong as they have insisted, and the only way they can know what I know is if they think of it all themselves with minimal input from me: they are already blindly convinced, like the Orthodox/anti-Jesus Jews, of a particular explanation of a mystery the reality of which they have not verified (the reality of the mystery, not of the particular explanation). The Jews here indeed have a partial explanation, but their error is multiplied in assuming that it is fundamentally the full explanation, as if a typology is its own object and does not extent to a greater object. In their twisted ideas about what are its implications, they call the greater object the backward and erroneous object. But, God has never changed in his ways, it's just that people keep becoming ignorant, so that the strength of the truth is mis-explicated into a superstition and thus keeps the strength without the substance. This is known in the fact that all false gods are based on this strength. Without the truth, no falsehood could stand.
                                     
                                    At the very, very least, my knowledge of the Trinity can add subtance to the mystery-doctrine that is already in place, although even this substance (which I have only alluded to above) has been rejected as being in direct opposition to the mystery-doctrine. It is too close to being the explanation of the mystery, so that by posing it as complimentary to that doctrine it threatens the twisted and blind "faith" of those who worship Mystery more that they worship the Father. They would almost as well be Deists, whose greatest version of their god is one who is impossible to comprehend on any point.
                                     
                                    So, the matter I leave hidden in a referent---which, in fact, is what all language is anyway: a referent. Just like the referent of creation to the existence of God.
                                     
                                     
                                    One thing I need to understand, but do not have any handle on at all, is the assertion made by some Trinitarians against the modalists concerning a charade. What means a charade if God is his own Son? How does a king on trial, in his own court, under his own laws, in benefience to his citizens, and against an accusor, constitue a charade? If God is the standard of all things, then what is being proved? Although the modalists have a problem in that they fail to even venture to explain whence three modes, much less what those modes mean by that standard, the 'well-informed' Trinitarian fails virtually the same thing. The assumption of each of them is that they possess principally all of the knowledge required to resolve the matter to truth, yet they each fail to identify the context.
                                     
                                    With very best regards,
                                    Daniel Pech


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                                  • ULRICHPUN7@tiscali.co.uk
                                    God The Holy Ghost wrote in the Bible of Himself and Jesus and the father , but whence the other members of the seventeen point five persons , where are these
                                    Message 17 of 27 , Aug 16 6:19 PM
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                                      God The Holy Ghost wrote in the Bible of Himself and Jesus and the father ,
                                      but whence the other members of the seventeen point five persons , where are
                                      these mentioned ? We lucky ones who accept johannine comma have an easy time
                                      of not finding more than three , less than three , or any logical conundrams
                                      of three not really being three even though van til correctly pointed out
                                      how one being is one person because not a grek abstraction . We have a
                                      mystery only if the three are not three in respect of their unity .
                                      Fortunately , no mysteries exist , except emotionally adoring ones in the
                                      face of free electing love and Grace . Ulrich
                                      ----- Original Message -----
                                      From: rosariodsouza <rjds@...>
                                      To: <christian-philosophy@yahoogroups.com>
                                      Sent: Sunday, August 04, 2002 3:55 PM
                                      Subject: [christian-philosophy] Re: Introduction and Leibniz


                                      Daniel wrote:

                                      (1) Other Trinitarians do not know how God can be three persons,

                                      (2) Other Trinitarians do not know why God is specifically three
                                      persons and not four, ten, or 17.35 persons.

                                      Ross replies:

                                      I can understand your frustration with the lack of thinkers among the
                                      masses. I think most people on this list will identify with you in
                                      that regard. Nevertheless, it is good to remember that whatever we
                                      have we have received by the grace of God. I am sure that you already
                                      know that though.

                                      I see that you like to play games. Theological tennis - is that what
                                      we should call it? Quite an interesting notion. So it is my turn now.
                                      Here is what I have to say:

                                      So there are two things that you feel you know that others don't.

                                      M persons being one God can easily be explained by involving higher
                                      dimensional geometry. An N-dimensional being (where N is greater than
                                      three) can appear as separate entities in three-dimensional universe.

                                      Is that a sufficient explanation? Can you point out a flaw in it?

                                      Are you sure that God is only three persons and not more? What if I
                                      were to show you that God is more than three? Now a minimal of three
                                      is necessary to execute God's plan of salvation for man (this can be
                                      easily proved), but there is nothing in the Bible that limits God to
                                      three.

                                      One question: when you say that God is three persons, do you mean
                                      that each of these three have separate spirits? Or are they all
                                      united in a single spirit?

                                      The ball is in your court now :-)

                                      ..Ross.



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                                    • ULRICHPUN7@tiscali.co.uk
                                      Dear Daniel , You talk a lot of sense for most of the time and I appreciate your genuine searching despite pulling your leg in a friendly way every now and
                                      Message 18 of 27 , Aug 16 6:57 PM
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                                        Dear Daniel , You talk a lot of sense for most of the time and I appreciate your genuine searching despite pulling your leg in a friendly way every now and then , but I am somewhat disturbed by what now appears to turn out to be your belief that the trinity is three ways of manifesting rather than three persons ;this heresy is taught by Witness Lees Local Church cult . God is not three people only becuase Three people , lets say you me and David Block , are not eternally co willing divers things in unison since David Block may be eating fruit cake whilst You eat Carrot or cabbage cake , and I eat cofffee cake ---- The Three persons of the trinity by contrast all eat coffeee cake at the same time so to speak , hence three persons in one being . Scripture tells us that God The Father Works by reason of His Spirit and that The Father and Son chat to each other which three modes or manifestations dont do . Only when Jesus went to Father Did  Was The Holy Ghost poured out which was expedient for The Church so the Three work in concert yet atre distinct persons . Fine for you to demand logic but it must not be would be autonomous logic acting out of fallen rationalism subjecting revelation to apostate assumptions un recognised as being such ; but must be the Logic of God ,a one and one makes two but on the basis of Revelatuion . No natural theology please , Our Philosophising is not the wisdom of this world but Comes from Jesus in whom is hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge . Thus we destroy arguments and everything that exalts it self against the knowledge of God for God has made fooloish that which the world couunts as wisdom , namely would be autonomous man pitting his fakllen logic over against scriptureand setting itself up in Gods Place . Man is not the final reference point in predication . WE study un believing thought only to understand better its errors and to assess it in the light of Scripture that we may philosophize biblically , thinking Gods Thoughts after Him . Your aspergers may well be why you reject literature  , albeit in consistently , in stead of writying christian literature , poetry and novels , in the light of Scripture , or rather , approving of those who do so .                                                                                                                             God wished to reconcile all things unto Himself including literature and Philosophy , Biblically redeemed and sanctified . By His Son , the alpha and omega of true thinking and creativity .                                                                                                                                                                     The trinity must be pre supposed in a transcendental argument toward unbelievers as the pre supposition of all possibility since any other pre supposition cannot account for a univers like ours or for why anything should be logical at all . No other God head or origin can account for unity in variety , the very form that reality must take , without leading to a unity that dissolves variety or a variety thof partculars without meraning or unity .                                                                                                             The reason why WE as opposed to un believers believe is because the self attesting trinity testifies through the self attesting messiah through the self attesting scripture that that the self attesting scripture is true , witnessing the same to us ,and leading our theorizing in consequence . Our theorising is subject to scriptural authourity which THe Holy Ghost causes us to believe by irresistable Grace .                                                                                                                                             But the reason why unbelievers OUGHT to Believe is because the creation plainly speaks , not natyural deductive theology , but clearly of the truth of scripture which alone makes sense of reality .                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Best Wishes with Cabbage , Ulrich
                                        ----- Original Message -----
                                        From: NA
                                        Sent: Sunday, August 04, 2002 11:06 PM
                                        Subject: Re: [christian-philosophy] Re: Introduction and Leibniz




                                        Ross replied:

                                        I can understand your frustration with the lack of thinkers among the  masses. I think most people on this list will identify with you in that regard. Nevertheless, it is good to remember that whatever we have we have received by the grace of God. I am sure that you already know that though.
                                         
                                         
                                         
                                        Daniel replies:
                                         
                                        I know it well, but thanks for the reminder. I can use it.
                                         

                                        Ross continued:
                                         
                                        I see that you like to play games. Theological tennis – is that what we should call it? Quite an interesting notion.
                                         
                                         
                                         
                                        Daniel replies:
                                         
                                        No, I don't think of it as a game. I used tennis as an analogy to dialogue, while noting that tennis, as played by most people most of the time, is played with the object of beating the other person. I, for one, can hardly stand to play any sport with a person who plays as if his personal worth is on the table in his end of beating me. I play tennis to keep the ball going, not to stop the ball. Like one-man tennis against a wall, except that that there is some living being enjoying the volley with me. While I am aware that there is a kind of competition that is entirely benevolent, for the most part in this world that is not what happens. Like a woman who likes to converse, I like to play tennis. That is why I used tennis as an analogy to dialogue. In much of my schooling, I was not taught anything, it was forced on me. Rarely did my parents or other teachers care to help me work out something which they imposed on me to "learn". No dialogue, just "that's the way it is and if you don't understand it or how it could be useful, tough." Education devoid of human interaction (as if I must stoop to having to call it 'informal' interaction, as if formal interaction is the basis for understanding human interaction, as if they make bulk nails by breaking apart the clips of nails that go into a nail gun) I say, education devoid of human interaction is worthless in itself.  You can thank God that your mother was not conditioned to ineract with you when you were an infant in a formal, unnatural manner, as if motherhood were the result of special training developed by a committee of rocket scientists. If we were to impose walking lessons on babies in an educational institution, it would not be long before we thought that a babies need to underdstand how to engineer a bipedal robot in order to learn how to walk, when the fact would be only that the babies cannot make sense of the *instructions* without such knowledge.
                                         
                                        (It also might help you to know that I have Asperger's, which accounts for much of the way that I express myself. Like an unfeeling robot cranking out calculations. I usually don't mean to sound cold when I'm taken to be argumentative, it's just that trying to inject cordial devices of language into my thought-expressions takes up far too much energy and just gets in the way of my thinking. I can surely go back and work such devices into my expressions, and maybe I should, but I rarely think of that and it would take a huge amount of time. Everything is a sign of something, but even disjointed expressions are not necessarily a sign of poor thinking. Be glad your mother understands what you are saying when you first learn to talk.)
                                         
                                         
                                         
                                        Ross continued:

                                        So there are two things that you feel you know that others don't.

                                        M persons being one God can easily be explained by involving higher dimensional geometry. An N-dimensional being (where N is greater than three) can appear as separate entities in three-dimensional universe.

                                        Is that a sufficient explanation? Can you point out a flaw in it?
                                         
                                         
                                         
                                        Daniel replies:
                                         
                                        I do not follow what your point is there, but I do not see how  God's triunity (in what I am confident that it is) has anything to do with spatial dimensions. I am aware that some Christains view higher dimensional geometry as a good partial answer to the Trinity, but they think this only because they have no idea what the Divine Trinity really is at base. If they knew of it, they could see that it can be used as the ultimate ontological argument for the existence of God. The fact that God shows Himself to be truine in some sense has a very specific purpose, but He did not invent the Divine Trinity, he is ontologically triune. The word 'person' relative to the problem of understanding the Trinity is no better than the word 'spectrum' for undertanding what light is if you have never seen anything. But, superstition keeps the eyes closed, so that Trinitarians and non-Trinitarians are like blind men arguing about how best to makes sense of the liguistic formula for light. But, then, if what I know about the Divine Trinity is the full story and not merely complementary to the Roman Catholic Mystery Doctrine, God knew that history would be the way that it has been with regard to the Trinity debate and atheism (that the very thing that the atheists are looking for on all fronts is the thing that they are rejecting as some nonsense that has be borrowed from pagan religion).
                                         
                                         

                                        Ross continued:
                                         
                                        Are you sure that God is only three persons and not more?
                                         
                                         
                                         
                                        Daniel replies:
                                         
                                        Three root aspects of one being, yes, I am sure there are only three. I have certified it. I have certified it directly, not by what is written in the Bible (not that it is not in the Bible, because it *is* in the Bible, and it is in the Bible as surely as was God's intention for Abraham's deductions concerning God's request to sacrifice Isaac in God's whole relationship to Abraham).
                                         
                                         
                                         
                                        Ross continued:
                                         
                                        What if I were to show you that God is more than three?
                                         
                                         
                                         
                                        Daniel replies:
                                         
                                        If you have expressed how God is more than three, then I have failed to notice it, and so have not so much as interacted with your reasoning concerning it (assuming that you believe God is more than three). You have not demonstrated to my mind how God is more than three persons if that be your intention. If that is not your view, then I am quite interested in why you asked the question and hope you will inform me a little on this.
                                         
                                         
                                         
                                        Ross continued:
                                         
                                        Now a minimal of three is necessary to execute God's plan of salvation for man (this can be easily proved)
                                         
                                         
                                         
                                        Daniel replies:
                                         
                                        If you are implying that it can be proved by text, then this does not prove it because anything can be written. How do I know that what is written about something is true of that thing (not that my ignorance of the thing makes the text in question false)? For instance, we do not believe that God exists on the basis that it is written that God exists. We do not grant that a given action, under a given set of criterion, is ethically wrong on the basis that someone has told us that it is wrong. God did not have to linguistically convey the immanent law to Adam in order for Adam to know what is right to do, and God did not have to linguistically convey any of the contingent law to Seth in order for Seth to know what are the laws of justice. Positive law is a road sign, not a road, and anyone can put up false signs or in places that go nowhere. If you are lost on a particular road, then the signs are the only thing you've got for that road, and that is why Paul knew of the ease of making false signs and opposed it every chance he got. The dogmatic defense of a system of signs does not make the system or the signs true, and Paul strained to reason with his converts concerning the logic of the truth and those who in fact ended up with a powerful organization by selling the influential name to the ignorant. Paul said that when he was gone, he knew that there would be wolves in sheeps clothing who would be successful in leading many astray to a copy.
                                         
                                         
                                         
                                         
                                        Ross continued:
                                         
                                        , but there is nothing in the Bible that limits God to three.
                                         

                                         
                                        Daniel replies:
                                         
                                        On what basis do you assert that? (I am not playing a 'game' here, and I have the alternate impression that you are engaging in a mere exercise of dedate and are not asking these questions from your true view but that you are playing 'devil's advocate'. It is not my preference to be unsure of whether if you are repesenting your own view in your questions.) It seems to me that I could as well say that there is nothing in the Bible that "limits" God to the primary laws of logic, but I would be wrong in saying so.
                                         
                                         
                                         

                                        Ross continued:
                                         
                                        One question: when you say that God is three persons, do you mean that each of these three have separate spirits? Or are they all united in a single spirit?
                                         
                                         
                                         
                                        Daniel replies:
                                         
                                        God is fully personal in three eternal, mutually inclusive, disinct ways, but I would argue that there is no logical basis for saying that God is three people (and I do not see how the debate over the alernate terms 'people'/'person' means anything, as 'people' is simply plural of 'person' in this case).
                                         
                                        Whether God really is three people in some incomprehensible way, I cannot know this and so, in my view, it does not matter. The Bible cannot be surely used to base all kinds of errors on it, although anything can be imputed to it by those who would.
                                         
                                        Relative to my ignorance of the arguments for the Roman Catholic Trinity in regard to salvation, I see no sure way to argue that the best explanation of the Divine Trinity from the Bible is that the Divine Trinity is a "Holy Secret" that can never be known by our own reasoning to be necessarily true (must be accepted blindly). It *is* necessarily true, but I myself have every reason to be convinced that the singular reason that it has been concluded to be beyond our ability to understand is because of superstition (to reduce it to one word). Abraham was not superstitious in the face of God's request to sacrifice Issac, and if he had been, then God would not have requested it.
                                         
                                        Obedience is not all the same, for Hitler asks for one kind of obedience and God for another kind, and the two are diametrically opposed even though they are essentially the same in *form*. The clear lesson of Abraham's account is that God desires our efforts to understand, not to shut our minds down in fear of error, evil, or 'self-will'. It is only in the philosophical products of those who hate God that we are in danger of confusion while believing that we are thinking right. We are not Pinnochio robots who oppose being programmed. We have real minds. God is a father, not a tyrant. I know too many people who have conformed themselves to the box imposed and bribed on them.
                                         
                                        The tragic and gross history of the world is made up of instances of confusing and blurring the realms of proof. At present this problem is the worst because wickedness becomes ever wiser and generally gains more influence/power over the course of history. This wisdom is hardly limited to advertizing techniques for consumer products.

                                        Daniel Pech


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                                      • ULRICHPUN7@tiscali.co.uk
                                        Dear Daniel , Although I own more Philosophic books than almost any one You could ever meet ,I happen not to own any By Leibniz ,although They very briefly
                                        Message 19 of 27 , Aug 17 4:21 AM
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                                          Dear Daniel , Although I own more Philosophic books than almost any one You could ever meet ,I happen not to own any By Leibniz ,although They very briefly touched on his monadology when I was at Warwick for one seminar I think . All I can recall is that Leibniz had two Philosophies , one secret and one public , the latter he pretended to believe . He was a polymath , I believe who was good at everything and better at most things than every one else . I would have to go look up the chap in My Encyclopaedia of Philosophy or one of my vast collection of dictionaries but at present I have too much else I am trying to read which Is why I doubt I will turn up at Christian Philosophy too often . Maybe Your Correspondent should Expound Leibniz's views and indicate his particular line of enquiry with respect to them but I may not find time to reply ----Others may wish to debate the whys and wherefores with Him . Ulrich
                                          ----- Original Message -----
                                          From: NA
                                          Sent: Thursday, August 01, 2002 5:44 AM
                                          Subject: Re: [christian-philosophy] Introduction and Leibniz

                                          Dear Thom,
                                           
                                          I myself am not even acquainted with Leibniz, but Ulrich, a list member, might know something of Leibniz, as he is very knowledgeable. Ulrich went somewhere last week and won't be back for one or more more weeks. (He and I enjoy word play, and you may notice that the preceding sentence contains an instance of this).
                                           
                                          Are you aware of Lake Chargoggagoggmonchaugaggogchaubunagungamaug (sp?) there in Massachusetts? It's in the southern center of the state, known as either Lake Chaubunagungamaug or Lake Webster. According to a Christian Trucker's newsletter I got this info from, the full word means "You fish on your side, we fish on our side, nobody fishes in the middle".
                                           
                                          On the doctrine of God and the Trinity. According to some Orthodox philosophers, the cosmological argument for the Infinitely Glorious Being (IGB/God) includes the Trinity, but the IGB argument seems to me to imply that one can discover the ontology of the One True God by natural reason. Yet, one of the arguments made by some Orthodox Trinitarians in favor of the Trinity is that the Trinity could never have been thought of by man and that we have the idea of/knowledge of the Trinity only because of special Divine Revelation in the Bible, especially in the New Testament books. One of my latest questions in my research of the Trinity concerns this apparent conflict of arguments for God. (I'm a Trinitarian, BTW, although I humbly believe that I know fundamentally more about it than any other Trinitarian alive at present.)
                                           
                                          daniel pech
                                           
                                          ----- Original Message -----
                                          From: tchittom
                                          Sent: Tuesday, July 30, 2002 5:26 AM
                                          Subject: [christian-philosophy] Introduction and Leibniz

                                          Dear Christian Philosophy Post.  My name is Thom Chittom.  I'm a ThM
                                          student at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts. 
                                          Unlike many of you, however, I've had little formal training in
                                          philosophy.  Most of my studies have turned around Biblical exegesis
                                          and classical systematics.  Philosophy is a personal thing - I
                                          started reading Plato a few years ago because I felt my ignorance to
                                          be a glaring embarassment; something was missing from my theological
                                          understanding.  Since then, I have been working my way up through the
                                          Western history of ideas.

                                          The subject that continually interests me is the doctrine of God and
                                          its metaphysical underpinnings.  The Doctrine of the Trinity, within
                                          that, is also fascinating and I'm hoping to come up with a topic for
                                          a Masters Thesis in the connection between metaphysics and
                                          trinitarian confession.

                                          That said, is anyone on this list familiar with G. W. Leibniz?  I've
                                          been reading his metaphysics and would love to talk about it.

                                          Glad to be a part of this board.

                                          Thom Chittom


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                                        • pnpmacknam
                                          Dear Ulrich, Your expressions are truly endearing. I have not specialized in thoroughly qualified summaries of the processes of my learning, nor even in the
                                          Message 20 of 27 , Aug 17 6:32 AM
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                                            Dear Ulrich,
                                             
                                            Your expressions are truly endearing.
                                             
                                            I have not specialized in thoroughly qualified summaries of the processes of my learning, nor even in the ideas I learn. I specialize in my continued sanity in light of the deepness of my observations, relative to the dimness of my mental sight. I have on occasion tried to share something of my learning processes with others in regard to subjects that I want them to understand, but these explanations have been poor. Interpreting them sufficiently is not even begun to be possible for most people in their present level, depth, and range of understanding. They spend so much mind on pithy matters that are produced for money and social gain, and otherwise on such artificial alloys of sobriety, that there is little that I can do for them on a given day with any words that I can say during that day to which they will listen. The Bible is like a dull seed, powerful when tended carefully, but otherwise emotive at best.
                                             
                                            Paul said that he knew that there would come wolves in sheep's clothing to lead many astray when he left to be executed. There had already been such people, and Paul did what he could to warn his flocks of them. But, there became a powerful "church" that was built on the appeal and popularity of the name of "Christian", even while it had many of the truths of the martyrs (it could not but have many of these truths considering the times in which it was founded, but the wolves who started this institution were no better than some today whom you may have seen on TV.) That church is apostate, even while there are many in heaven who had thought themselves members under its name. It's attraction is not primarily by Christ, but by an order and power and history that was not even present with Christ, from the time he called his disciples until his death. Those who followed him did so without being presented with any "wonderful institution" to cling to. The history of this apostate church is a damning witness against it, for which Paul himself had said cursed is himself or anyone, or any angel, who teaches any other gospel but the one which Paul had first delivered.
                                             
                                            If God is the standard of all things, then either we can recognize it when it is presented to us, or it is beyond our comprehension because we are blind by virtue of being creatures.
                                             
                                            Since good old "science" has been unable to define life, many "rational thinkers" conclude that this means that life cannot have a universal definition. Does life lack identity, then? If life lacks identity, then how is it that we each personally even grant that we are alive? What makes us think we are not non-living automated machines? A thing which has identity of itself is not non-descript. Although we may certainly imagine, like an agnostic, that there may be something which has identity of itself the identity of which cannot be known, this is knowably, logically an arbitrary image. Cannot be known to whom? Cannot be known to a person? Any/every person? If God is non-descript, then God cannot know his own identity, much less communicate that identity, much less still make anything in his image. If God has identity but God does not know it, then when he says things and creates things, he does so blindly without knowing what he is doing or even that he is doing anything. He then does not exist as far as he knows, since there is nothing for him to know. How can he know something if he does not know himself? By what measure is he to identify anything if he is either unknowable or non-descript? The same applies to us. We are persons and we can identify things, so there must be some measure that we are using.
                                             
                                            The extremists in the agnostic and post-modernist groups conclude that since our view of a given thing can change, this proves conclusively that nothing can be proved conclusively.
                                             
                                            I do not want to be guilty of error concerning the Most High God, but I also cannot abide with a paranoid rejection of understanding. If God will declare a thing, I will not deny it. But, to Abraham God did not declare error, and Abraham was faithful in his desire for understanding, not against it. The entire relationship which God had with him was one of successive and increasing puzzlements and amazements, and God allowed this on purpose. God knew what he was doing, and knew every effect of it, toward a single great end. If God never changes, then neither do his ways with fallen man. I am not amazed at myself, although many are. I am amazed and awed at the truth, whenever I find it. Paul was an "educated" man. Abraham was not.
                                             
                                            How I came to know what I know of anything has rarely been by setting my sights on it. This is the case with the Trinity. I have no ambition to resolve great problems, I merely hunger for understanding as such. Ignorance helps, as then I have not had my mind pickled in the dubious brine surrounding the Great Problems. There is too much knowledge of dubious sorts that one has to wade through if you are to get an education in the halls of academia. As if any of the renowned solutions have needed all that garbage in order to finally arrive at the truth. The Greeks were as bad, and we have inherited our ways from them, not from David. I rejected it from the start as pithy and confusing and suffocating, although I was spared so much of it that would have come later had I been made to "keep at it" (I was "taken" out of "school" at the age of twelve). It's not odd histories that makes people repeat it, it's failing to understand the principle things of wisdom despite it, while the central history is left to rot as the boys watch their games. I have little of what most people would call knowledge, and would now have little of what I do have (and continue to get) had I been put upon to become "educated" as the world counts education. No one has failed to be very impressed with me, but I did not get where I am by "diligently" shoving a product down my dry throat. The mind is not a pack animal forced to do chores, it is a stomach that can be given various disorders...or not. I do not have a mind, I am a mind. But, not as if this is separate from a heart. We do not judge things by logic alone, despite how proud some are of their "minds" which they hardly know. They come to be convinced of things as if they have all fundamental knowledge by which to determine it, although they are omniscient in their own minds regarding its fundamentals and so can no longer learn what they don't know.
                                             
                                            Why is the Lamb of God called logos? Why not "wine", "purple", "enclosure", or any of a million other concrete or abstract things? No, John did not use the name Jesus, nor Christ, nor any other proper name or title. Of all things he could have used, he used 'logos'. While one may answer that John used this because it is a reference to comparable terms in a few other verses, this is no more an explanation than to say that God gave the types of things which he had given just so that he could later fulfill them. Nothing God does in reference to himself is fancy frills. Nor does he declare something that cannot be understood or self-verified. What he does not declare he leaves to be learned based upon all that he has said and done before it. There is a difference between the natural way of mind of a blind Adam and an Adam who has come to see his own essential errors directly. It is not enough to know things by their opposites.
                                             
                                            Ulrich, if you wish to know of which you asked, you may have to ask very specific questions, as my mind does not generally think that way.
                                             
                                            Daniel
                                             
                                            ----- Original Message -----
                                            Sent: Friday, August 16, 2002 5:54 PM
                                            Subject: Re: [christian-philosophy] Re: Introduction and Leibniz

                                            Dear Daniel , I rtespect even those views of yours which puzzle me and
                                            eating your cabbage and chatting with you has turned out to be goodde funne
                                            , but I do confess to being some what surprised to learn that yopur opinion
                                            of your kowledge of the trinity exceeds that of all other living
                                            trinitarians but not of all dead trinitarians at this present stage of
                                            history . As you are humble as you Rightly note with due humilty ,it would
                                            help all those of us who are unfortunately not so humble if youcould send
                                            along with your cabbage supplies a short explanation as to how you came by
                                            your epistemic supriority ras regards knowledge of The Trinittys
                                            ontiological secrets as well as a summary of that in which the trinitys self
                                            disclosures to you consists so thgat we may modify and correct the orthodox
                                            doctrine accordingly . Ever so umbly , Your affectionate  FRiend , Uriah
                                            Ulrich Heep ;dept. of imagination and literature ;trinity college cambridge
                                            .
                                            ----- Original Message -----
                                            From: rosariodsouza <rjds@...>
                                            To: <christian-philosophy@yahoogroups.com>
                                            Sent: Saturday, August 03, 2002 6:20 AM
                                            Subject: [christian-philosophy] Re: Introduction and Leibniz


                                            > Daniel wrote:
                                            >
                                            > I'm a Trinitarian, BTW, although I humbly believe that I know
                                            > fundamentally more about it than any other Trinitarian alive at
                                            > present.
                                            >
                                            > Ross replies:
                                            >
                                            > Hello Daniel, you make a rather bold statement here. I am assuming
                                            > that you examined how much each living Trinitarian knows, compared it
                                            > to how much you know, and thus came to that conclusion.
                                            >
                                            > What exactly do you believe you know that others don't? Would you
                                            > like to share that knowledge? I am always looking forward to learning
                                            > from someone who knows.
                                            >
                                            > Thanks.
                                            >
                                            > ..Ross.
                                          • pnpmacknam
                                            Ulrich, It is good that you remind me by this post of what you are after. And, no, your criticisms are so kind and well-qualified that they do me nothing but
                                            Message 21 of 27 , Aug 17 8:21 AM
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                                              Ulrich,
                                               
                                              It is good that you remind me by this post of what you are after. And, no, your criticisms are so kind and well-qualified that they do me nothing but good, even though sometimes mistaken. Criticize away.
                                               
                                              The danger of being rationalistic I know well, but that is behind me. I have had quite a lot of experience with it. Not that reminders are in vain, because they are not in vain. I'm dogmatically open-minded. So much so that the very reason I know what my mind is made of is because it falls out all the time. I almost cannot help but be my own critic, although not as if I am not me and don't understand me.
                                               
                                              > Ulrich Plus confused teddy Bear with Cobwebs .
                                               
                                              LOL!
                                               
                                              I am stuck on people, to interact, and not so much to sit down and write essays and treatises. But, we will get there eventually.
                                               
                                              God is three personals, not three things. God is not made up of things, much less is he a made-up-of being. Yet, he is not non-descript (except to a rock). He is entirely simple, yet knowable. If God really wished to be sure that we know that he is three mutually indwelling *people* in one being, then I'm hoping he would have said so, because it seems out of type that he would have let something so important be left to be inferred as we may. I mean, if God's Trinity is a "holy secret" that cannot be understood by us as creatures, then the ultimate point of this odd "revelation" would be.. what? It was never declared in any codified formula as we have it in the creeds, even though the Athanasian formula is not in error (depending on just how you interpret the words, though). It's just a formula. God is not redundant, and we are meant to understand the distinctions of the "persons" much more than what that formula gives because those distinctions are in the Bible in plane language and in their most appropriate contexts relative to the original audience. God knows what he is doing with his book, and he knows what all the matters are in the world today in relation to it.
                                               
                                              Why is everything in threes? Everything. Not every little thing, but everything. Every fundamental thing in its fundamentals, and every basic object in the creation.
                                               
                                              Reason is not the only realm of proof, although the ability to reason can know all realms of proof for what they are. There are exactly three of them, and one of them is logos (the realm of reason). Yet, they are merely distinct and interconnected, not separate like the USA over here and Africa over there. It is because people confuse them and do not know them that they can so easily be lead to believe that they have been proven something is so which is not so. The base of the entire complex and wonderful immanent and contingent reality can be "boiled down" to these three. People have become so "educated" as the Greeks that they have come to have the blindly narrow view that proof as a concept is in regard to logic, even while they fail to be logical. Some people then conclude that we are at base irrational since we are unable to prove ALL things in the court of logic (the "omnipotence paradox" is a prime example). Adam keeps looking outside himself for proof of some things that have no definition in mere mechanico-spatial function, even while it was not this realm by which he granted that a realm actually exists outside of and independent of himself in his "subjective" personal experience (that's a triple-redundant phrase). Things do not subsist in logic; logic in not a thing in itself. Fortunately (by design, actually)the Greek logos is much more than that. What means "way", "truth", and "life" in Jesus' self reference? Are these three terms synonyms? No. Nor are they cut-and-dry separate. That's a trinity.
                                               
                                              The Cosmological Argument for the Infinitely Glorious Being (IGB) tries to argue that a being is not IGB if it does not include the "attribute" of multiple persons on account of the  Perfect Love argument. Yet, some of the most staunch defenders of the Trinity argue that the Trinity must be true because it could never have been thought up or arrived at by "natural reason". This presents a conflict, and, further, it is not reason by which man fails, it is his *pride* in his ability to arrive at truth and against error. The wholly ambiguous idea of "natural reason" is misleading. There is only reason and error of reason. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, not the ends of it. The fear of God is not the depth of understanding but the key to it.
                                               
                                              God is not three selves (at least not that I could ever know). This does not bring God down under the "power of the mind of man", because the blind Adam's mind is too low already, and almost no one saved (let alone anyone unsaved) understands this even at these words. The context in which the Trinity is made known to man is a trial, not a theology class. I did not find this triangle of love, logos, and power by looking for it. I was not trying to resolve any great mystery. All I wished to do was to find the fundamental laws of proof.
                                               
                                              This was because of a nasty and long-standing debate with a know-it-all who would not let me be because he could not and would not believe that I could really, truly believe all the "bizarre" things that I do and yet be as intelligent as I am. As if he's the only one with the correct view of everything on which he has an "opinion", and that no one else in the world who has a different view that he could think about me what he does. I had hit upon the hunch of a hunch of it one day and only slightly wished to find it. When I tried to think about what it might be, I thought it was all reasoning kinds of proof. Logical procedures of some kind that would prove anything. Then, one day, while debating with the man in my mind in my open and semi-conscious way, I came to assert, in the context of dubious matters of human government, that "power cannot not prove reason, power can only prove power!")
                                               
                                              "Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit saith the Lord of hosts."
                                               
                                              Fallacy presupposes Truth,
                                              Impotence presupposes Power.
                                              Evil presupposes Good.
                                               
                                              By what Measure does the world presume to know error? That Measure judges the whole world because the world is blind in its pride. Adam was made a nobody, not a great scholar. A nobody is far more free (and Paul [if it was he] said not to have our minds on "high things").
                                               
                                              "It is absolutely true that nothing is absolutely true." That is the height of error and hypocrisy. Every great controversy in the world, even the debate over what is the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI), can be truly understood only with all three. But, one must understand each of these three in what they really are, not in what some blind Adam has taught you, whether he be believer or not. I cannot think for you, nor can I inject any understanding into you. God made man to begin with, but God has not remade him. As Paul said of himself, it is still true: we have not arrived.
                                               
                                              On to the next thought-provoking post by Ulrich and his bear. I hope my posts return the thoughts with interest.
                                               
                                              Daniel
                                               
                                               
                                               
                                               
                                              ----- Original Message -----
                                              Sent: Friday, August 16, 2002 6:12 PM
                                              Subject: Re: [christian-philosophy] Re: Introduction and Leibniz

                                              Daniel , When I put my joking aside , I admit how sincere a fellow you are and I hesitate to be forver criticising your views even though all Philosophers can must and should criticise them selves and others from morning noon to night ;but pray explicate further thou great canbbage eater on just what distictive insight thou hast gained with respect to the trinity lest num skulls like me should fiorever miss the point . Granted ,only roman catholics or other religious un saved persons ought to be believing in in comprehensible mysteries ,but I hope you can distinguish rationality from rationalism and that all your speculations are fitted to scriptures framework and are informed at all times by scriptural data judging all of your thoughts . I am not clear what you want to add to or subtract from received orthodoxy regarding the trinity or what genuine insights you may have that comport with orthodoxy . I accept against John Robbins , for example , what I take to be the insights of Cornelius van til , but I still accept that the trinity are three persons in one Being eternally co sub sisting . I do not know just what lies behind your triangle of love power and Logos and how Scripture enabled you to reach this terminus . PLease clarify and send more raw cabbage as soon as possible . Ulrich Plus confused teddy Bear with Cobwebs .
                                            • pnpmacknam
                                              Ross, where did you go? This one I think is addressed to you from Ulrich. ... From: ULRICHPUN7@tiscali.co.uk To: christian-philosophy@yahoogroups.com Sent:
                                              Message 22 of 27 , Aug 17 8:25 AM
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                                                Ross, where did you go? This one I think is addressed to you from Ulrich.
                                                ----- Original Message -----
                                                Sent: Friday, August 16, 2002 6:19 PM
                                                Subject: Re: [christian-philosophy] Re: Introduction and Leibniz

                                                God The Holy Ghost wrote in the Bible of Himself and Jesus and the father ,
                                                but whence the other members of the seventeen point five persons , where are
                                                these mentioned ? We lucky ones who accept johannine comma have an easy time
                                                of not finding more than three , less than three , or any logical conundrams
                                                of three not really being three even though van til correctly pointed out
                                                how one being is one person because not a grek abstraction . We have a
                                                mystery only if the three are not three in respect of their unity .
                                                Fortunately , no mysteries exist , except emotionally adoring ones in the
                                                face of free electing love and Grace . Ulrich

                                                ----- Original Message -----
                                                From: rosariodsouza <rjds@...>
                                                To: <christian-philosophy@yahoogroups.com>
                                                Sent: Sunday, August 04, 2002 3:55 PM
                                                Subject: [christian-philosophy] Re: Introduction and Leibniz


                                                Daniel wrote:

                                                (1) Other Trinitarians do not know how God can be three persons,

                                                (2) Other Trinitarians do not know why God is specifically three
                                                persons and not four, ten, or 17.35 persons.

                                                Ross replies:

                                                I can understand your frustration with the lack of thinkers among the
                                                masses. I think most people on this list will identify with you in
                                                that regard. Nevertheless, it is good to remember that whatever we
                                                have we have received by the grace of God. I am sure that you already
                                                know that though.

                                                I see that you like to play games. Theological tennis - is that what
                                                we should call it? Quite an interesting notion. So it is my turn now.
                                                Here is what I have to say:

                                                So there are two things that you feel you know that others don't.

                                                M persons being one God can easily be explained by involving higher
                                                dimensional geometry. An N-dimensional being (where N is greater than
                                                three) can appear as separate entities in three-dimensional universe.

                                                Is that a sufficient explanation? Can you point out a flaw in it?

                                                Are you sure that God is only three persons and not more? What if I
                                                were to show you that God is more than three? Now a minimal of three
                                                is necessary to execute God's plan of salvation for man (this can be
                                                easily proved), but there is nothing in the Bible that limits God to
                                                three.

                                                One question: when you say that God is three persons, do you mean
                                                that each of these three have separate spirits? Or are they all
                                                united in a single spirit?

                                                The ball is in your court now :-)

                                                ..Ross.



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                                              • pnpmacknam
                                                Dear Ulrich, My replies are below, interspersed, and bounded by ((((((( ))))))). ... From: ULRICHPUN7@tiscali.co.uk To: christian-philosophy@yahoogroups.com
                                                Message 23 of 27 , Aug 17 9:34 AM
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                                                  Dear Ulrich,

                                                  My replies are below, interspersed, and bounded by (((((((   ))))))).

                                                  ----- Original Message -----
                                                  Sent: Friday, August 16, 2002 6:57 PM
                                                  Subject: Re: [christian-philosophy] Re: Introduction and Leibniz

                                                  Dear Daniel , You talk a lot of sense for most of the time and I appreciate your genuine searching despite pulling your leg in a friendly way every now and then , but I am somewhat disturbed by what now appears to turn out to be your belief that the trinity is three ways of manifesting rather than three persons
                                                   
                                                  (((((((This is a false dichotomy. If you ask modalists whence three modes, they will not be able to identify these three as the ontology of God, and that is a huge error of ignorance that seeks to resolve a mystery by looking at only what is being shined in their faces by man. While I have no reason *yet* to conclude that God is three mutually indwelling people/persons (because of what I do know of the matter) it's not a matter of modes vs. 'persons', despite the clear fact that the Biblical data is refering to personal entities and not to mere modes or things. It is entirely false and in error to refer to God as a thing, even though describing God involves imperfect references to things when dealing with a mind that has yet to obtain the truth of the matter, even as Paul used one or more imperfect analogies which he gave only because they were the only way to best convey the ideas to the people to which he was writing. God's Triunity is not made up of modes, and this can be answered partly by saying that God has no modes. God is not made up of modes. I rather strongly reject modalism as the last word. It is hardly even the first word (no pun intended).)))))))
                                                   
                                                   ;this heresy is taught by Witness Lees Local Church cult . God is not three people only becuase Three people , lets say you me and David Block , are not eternally co willing divers things in unison since David Block may be eating fruit cake whilst You eat Carrot or cabbage cake , and I eat cofffee cake ---- The Three persons of the trinity by contrast all eat coffeee cake at the same time so to speak , hence three persons in one being . Scripture tells us that God The Father Works by reason of His Spirit and that The Father and Son chat to each other which three modes or manifestations dont do .
                                                   
                                                  (((((((Every scripture was written for us, not for God. It surely would have been misleading at best for Jesus to have said nothing in those times which are recorded as him speaking to God. Jesus was God as a man ministering to men, even while God was in heaven on the throne. When he prayed to God concerning Lazarus, he made it known for those hearing that he was not in any need himself to pray, but rather for those who heard. Yet, there was more involved for our sakes than simply that this man Jesus was praying as a man to model what we should do. There is distinction within God ontologically (and a message in relation to it for man) that cannot be left to man's ignorance to find out entirely on his own even if he could (not that it would be on his own since God had already done much to intervene and was not about to stop there).)))))))
                                                   
                                                   Only when Jesus went to Father Did  Was The Holy Ghost poured out which was expedient for The Church so the Three work in concert yet atre distinct persons .
                                                   
                                                  (((((((They are disinct, but inseparable. If Jesus be God, then Jesus was not ontologically limited to that human body (although the nature of God's omni-presence may not be quite what a Newtonian physics thinks it must be). If they are inseparable and mutually indwelling, then there waas something quite else going on with the spatial and chronological separations than simply that God is three persons mysteriously making up one simple and personal God. It was under the Roman empire that "science" began, and this was no mere chance cooincidence. It has quite a lot of import although it is not itself the key. One can find the key without going this route, and there are plenty of routes that are possible so long as you don't reach a bluff and think it is the top of the mountain.))))))
                                                   
                                                   Fine for you to demand logic but it must not be would be autonomous logic acting out of fallen rationalism subjecting revelation to apostate assumptions un recognised as being such ; but must be the Logic of God ,a one and one makes two but on the basis of Revelatuion . No natural theology please , Our Philosophising is not the wisdom of this world but Comes from Jesus in whom is hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge . Thus we destroy arguments and everything that exalts it self against the knowledge of God for God has made fooloish that which the world couunts as wisdom , namely would be autonomous man pitting his fakllen logic over against scriptureand setting itself up in Gods Place . Man is not the final reference point in predication . WE study un believing thought only to understand better its errors and to assess it in the light of Scripture that we may philosophize biblically , thinking Gods Thoughts after Him . Your aspergers may well be why you reject literature  , albeit in consistently , in stead of writying christian literature , poetry and novels , in the light of Scripture , or rather , approving of those who do so .
                                                   
                                                  (((((((Well, I sure hope I have qualified myself well enough in my other email concerning this, because if I haven't, it may not be easy for me to do so after you have read this far into all my new reply posts)))))))
                                                   
                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                            God wished to reconcile all things unto Himself including literature and Philosophy , Biblically redeemed and sanctified . By His Son , the alpha and omega of true thinking and creativity .                                                                                                                                                                     The trinity must be pre supposed in a transcendental argument toward unbelievers as the pre supposition of all possibility since any other pre supposition cannot account for a univers like ours or for why anything should be logical at all .
                                                   
                                                  (((((((As I hope you duly noted, I mentioned something curious about logic in a previous post in this set of new posts.)))))))
                                                   
                                                   No other God head or origin can account for unity in variety , the very form that reality must take , without leading to a unity that dissolves variety or a variety thof partculars without meraning or unity .                                                                                                             The reason why WE as opposed to un believers believe is because the self attesting trinity testifies through the self attesting messiah through the self attesting scripture that that the self attesting scripture is true , witnessing the same to us ,and leading our theorizing in consequence . Our theorising is subject to scriptural authourity which THe Holy Ghost causes us to believe by irresistable Grace .  
                                                   
                                                  (((((((That is all correct, although you appear not to understand very well what it means.)))))))
                                                                                                                                                                                             But the reason why unbelievers OUGHT to Believe is because the creation plainly speaks , not natyural deductive theology , but clearly of the truth of scripture which alone makes sense of reality .                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Best Wishes with Cabbage , Ulrich
                                                   
                                                  ((((((( Thank you, Ulrich, you are still so kind. That's helps like you may not know. Deductive logic is worthless if the premises are untrue, and the more in number and importance are untrue or alloyed premises which a man thinks he has to work with, the worse his deductions. I generally prefer hunches over deductions any day if I am still learning. )))))))
                                                   
                                                  ----- Original Message -----
                                                  From: NA
                                                  Sent: Sunday, August 04, 2002 11:06 PM
                                                  Subject: Re: [christian-philosophy] Re: Introduction and Leibniz




                                                  Ross replied:

                                                  I can understand your frustration with the lack of thinkers among the  masses. I think most people on this list will identify with you in that regard. Nevertheless, it is good to remember that whatever we have we have received by the grace of God. I am sure that you already know that though.
                                                   
                                                   
                                                   
                                                  Daniel replies:
                                                   
                                                  I know it well, but thanks for the reminder. I can use it.
                                                   

                                                   
                                                • rosariodsouza
                                                  ... Ulrich. Daniel, Sorry for my absence. I am still suffocated with work. The last two weeks have been very, very hectic as key projects are at deadline. I
                                                  Message 24 of 27 , Aug 18 11:13 PM
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                                                    --- In christian-philosophy@y..., "pnpmacknam" <pnpmacknam@e...>
                                                    wrote:
                                                    > Ross, where did you go? This one I think is addressed to you from
                                                    Ulrich.

                                                    Daniel,

                                                    Sorry for my absence. I am still suffocated with work. The last two
                                                    weeks have been very, very hectic as key projects are at deadline.

                                                    I will post at first opportunity. At present, I am just trying to
                                                    focus on work. Gotta work to eat, gotta eat to think, gotta think to
                                                    write :-)

                                                    ..Ross.
                                                  • Ken Higgins
                                                    Why do you people foolishly argue over the trinity? They are three in one. Leave it at that. No one and I mean no one can comperhind the trinty in their
                                                    Message 25 of 27 , Aug 22 7:22 AM
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                                                      Why do you people foolishly argue over the trinity? They are three in one. Leave it at that. No one and I mean no one can comperhind the trinty in their fullness. There are other things that need more descussion like the herisy of pre-millenniumism. You waste to much time on the trinity. Ken
                                                      -----Original Message-----
                                                      From: "pnpmacknam"<pnpmacknam@...>
                                                      To: christian-philosophy@yahoogroups.com
                                                      Date: Sat Aug 17 08:21:50 PDT 2002
                                                      Subject: Re: [christian-philosophy] Re: Introduction and Leibniz

                                                      >Ulrich,
                                                      >
                                                      >It is good that you remind me by this post of what you are after. And, no, your criticisms are so kind and well-qualified that they do me nothing but good, even though sometimes mistaken. Criticize away.
                                                      >
                                                      >The danger of being rationalistic I know well, but that is behind me. I have had quite a lot of experience with it. Not that reminders are in vain, because they are not in vain. I'm dogmatically open-minded. So much so that the very reason I know what my mind is made of is because it falls out all the time. I almost cannot help but be my own critic, although not as if I am not me and don't understand me.
                                                      >
                                                      >> Ulrich Plus confused teddy Bear with Cobwebs .
                                                      >
                                                      >LOL!
                                                      >
                                                      >I am stuck on people, to interact, and not so much to sit down and write essays and treatises. But, we will get there eventually.
                                                      >
                                                      >God is three personals, not three things. God is not made up of things, much less is he a made-up-of being. Yet, he is not non-descript (except to a rock). He is entirely simple, yet knowable. If God really wished to be sure that we know that he is three mutually indwelling *people* in one being, then I'm hoping he would have said so, because it seems out of type that he would have let something so important be left to be inferred as we may. I mean, if God's Trinity is a "holy secret" that cannot be understood by us as creatures, then the ultimate point of this odd "revelation" would be.. what? It was never declared in any codified formula as we have it in the creeds, even though the Athanasian formula is not in error (depending on just how you interpret the words, though). It's just a formula. God is not redundant, and we are meant to understand the distinctions of the "persons" much more than what that formula gives because those distinctions are in the Bible in plane language and in their most appropriate contexts relative to the original audience. God knows what he is doing with his book, and he knows what all the matters are in the world today in relation to it.
                                                      >
                                                      >Why is everything in threes? Everything. Not every little thing, but everything. Every fundamental thing in its fundamentals, and every basic object in the creation.
                                                      >
                                                      >Reason is not the only realm of proof, although the ability to reason can know all realms of proof for what they are. There are exactly three of them, and one of them is logos (the realm of reason). Yet, they are merely distinct and interconnected, not separate like the USA over here and Africa over there. It is because people confuse them and do not know them that they can so easily be lead to believe that they have been proven something is so which is not so. The base of the entire complex and wonderful immanent and contingent reality can be "boiled down" to these three. People have become so "educated" as the Greeks that they have come to have the blindly narrow view that proof as a concept is in regard to logic, even while they fail to be logical. Some people then conclude that we are at base irrational since we are unable to prove ALL things in the court of logic (the "omnipotence paradox" is a prime example). Adam keeps looking outside himself for proof of some things that have no definition in mere mechanico-spatial function, even while it was not this realm by which he granted that a realm actually exists outside of and independent of himself in his "subjective" personal experience (that's a triple-redundant phrase). Things do not subsist in logic; logic in not a thing in itself. Fortunately (by design, actually)the Greek logos is much more than that. What means "way", "truth", and "life" in Jesus' self reference? Are these three terms synonyms? No. Nor are they cut-and-dry separate. That's a trinity.
                                                      >
                                                      >The Cosmological Argument for the Infinitely Glorious Being (IGB) tries to argue that a being is not IGB if it does not include the "attribute" of multiple persons on account of the Perfect Love argument. Yet, some of the most staunch defenders of the Trinity argue that the Trinity must be true because it could never have been thought up or arrived at by "natural reason". This presents a conflict, and, further, it is not reason by which man fails, it is his *pride* in his ability to arrive at truth and against error. The wholly ambiguous idea of "natural reason" is misleading. There is only reason and error of reason. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, not the ends of it. The fear of God is not the depth of understanding but the key to it.
                                                      >
                                                      >God is not three selves (at least not that I could ever know). This does not bring God down under the "power of the mind of man", because the blind Adam's mind is too low already, and almost no one saved (let alone anyone unsaved) understands this even at these words. The context in which the Trinity is made known to man is a trial, not a theology class. I did not find this triangle of love, logos, and power by looking for it. I was not trying to resolve any great mystery. All I wished to do was to find the fundamental laws of proof.
                                                      >
                                                      >This was because of a nasty and long-standing debate with a know-it-all who would not let me be because he could not and would not believe that I could really, truly believe all the "bizarre" things that I do and yet be as intelligent as I am. As if he's the only one with the correct view of everything on which he has an "opinion", and that no one else in the world who has a different view that he could think about me what he does. I had hit upon the hunch of a hunch of it one day and only slightly wished to find it. When I tried to think about what it might be, I thought it was all reasoning kinds of proof. Logical procedures of some kind that would prove anything. Then, one day, while debating with the man in my mind in my open and semi-conscious way, I came to assert, in the context of dubious matters of human government, that "power cannot not prove reason, power can only prove power!")
                                                      >
                                                      >"Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit saith the Lord of hosts."
                                                      >
                                                      >Fallacy presupposes Truth,
                                                      >Impotence presupposes Power.
                                                      >Evil presupposes Good.
                                                      >
                                                      >By what Measure does the world presume to know error? That Measure judges the whole world because the world is blind in its pride. Adam was made a nobody, not a great scholar. A nobody is far more free (and Paul [if it was he] said not to have our minds on "high things").
                                                      >
                                                      >"It is absolutely true that nothing is absolutely true." That is the height of error and hypocrisy. Every great controversy in the world, even the debate over what is the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI), can be truly understood only with all three. But, one must understand each of these three in what they really are, not in what some blind Adam has taught you, whether he be believer or not. I cannot think for you, nor can I inject any understanding into you. God made man to begin with, but God has not remade him. As Paul said of himself, it is still true: we have not arrived.
                                                      >
                                                      >On to the next thought-provoking post by Ulrich and his bear. I hope my posts return the thoughts with interest.
                                                      >
                                                      >Daniel
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > ----- Original Message -----
                                                      > From: ULRICHPUN7@...
                                                      > To: christian-philosophy@yahoogroups.com
                                                      > Sent: Friday, August 16, 2002 6:12 PM
                                                      > Subject: Re: [christian-philosophy] Re: Introduction and Leibniz
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > Daniel , When I put my joking aside , I admit how sincere a fellow you are and I hesitate to be forver criticising your views even though all Philosophers can must and should criticise them selves and others from morning noon to night ;but pray explicate further thou great canbbage eater on just what distictive insight thou hast gained with respect to the trinity lest num skulls like me should fiorever miss the point . Granted ,only roman catholics or other religious un saved persons ought to be believing in in comprehensible mysteries ,but I hope you can distinguish rationality from rationalism and that all your speculations are fitted to scriptures framework and are informed at all times by scriptural data judging all of your thoughts . I am not clear what you want to add to or subtract from received orthodoxy regarding the trinity or what genuine insights you may have that comport with orthodoxy . I accept against John Robbins , for example , what I take to be the insights of Cornelius van til , but I still accept that the trinity are three persons in one Being eternally co sub sisting . I do not know just what lies behind your triangle of love power and Logos and how Scripture enabled you to reach this terminus . PLease clarify and send more raw cabbage as soon as possible . Ulrich Plus confused teddy Bear with Cobwebs .


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                                                    • ULRICHPUN7@tiscali.co.uk
                                                      I dont believe One can waste time by discussing The Trinity wityh regard to anmy philosophic or theologic problem which might arise in regard to The Them . I
                                                      Message 26 of 27 , Aug 25 2:53 PM
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                                                        I dont believe One can waste time by discussing The Trinity wityh regard to
                                                        anmy philosophic or theologic problem which might arise in regard to The
                                                        Them . I hope to answer Daniels last mails on the subject if and When time
                                                        permits . These arguments are constructive and historically important and
                                                        merit perpetual attention . Pre millenialism is a theological topic rather
                                                        than a philosophic one and although I would tend to regard it as heretickal
                                                        too ,Your so calling it begs the question on a forum where any and every
                                                        view might happen to be floating around . You say no one can comprehend the
                                                        Trinity in their fullness but no one can comprehend anything what so ever in
                                                        its full ness ;I cannot comprehend The prime minister in His Half fullness
                                                        never mind in his fullness . I was not aware that Daniel was wanting to
                                                        Comprehend The Trinity in their fullness . You obviously feel You do in fact
                                                        comprehend much about the Trinity because you 1)Comprehend enough to
                                                        determine a putative limit to Trinity comprehension capacity ,up to which
                                                        said limit you comprehend , but not beyond ,and 2) You comprehend That They
                                                        are Three in one . But if THey are Thre in one , it remains to be discussed
                                                        just What is being asserted by defining their number and unity ,and how this
                                                        formulation differs from other three in ones which do not qualify , such as
                                                        triads for example ,or threes which are somehow one and not three at the
                                                        same time in some mysterious un biblical manner ;more over , Daniel has a
                                                        Particular theory regarding their Being constituted of Truth Logos and Power
                                                        etc which needs Clarification so that we might all understand His ideas and
                                                        assess their merits or de merits in terms of Scriptures teaching . Whether
                                                        he is correct or not , He as well as us , needs to brring his views on the
                                                        forum for assessment and friendly debate in case He has any thing to teach
                                                        us , or we him . As iron sharpens iron Daniels wits and ours need sharpening
                                                        against each other for this is one of the ways Philosophy proceeds .I
                                                        therefore humbly beg to Differ concerning your assessment of the value of
                                                        such discussion . With Best Wishes from Ulrich .
                                                        ----- Original Message -----
                                                        From: Ken Higgins <khigg@...>
                                                        To: pnpmacknam <pnpmacknam@...>;
                                                        <christian-philosophy@yahoogroups.com>
                                                        Sent: Thursday, August 22, 2002 3:22 PM
                                                        Subject: Re: Re: [christian-philosophy] Re: Introduction and Leibniz


                                                        > Why do you people foolishly argue over the trinity? They are three in
                                                        one. Leave it at that. No one and I mean no one can comperhind the trinty
                                                        in their fullness. There are other things that need more descussion like
                                                        the herisy of pre-millenniumism. You waste to much time on the trinity.
                                                        Ken
                                                        > -----Original Message-----
                                                        > From: "pnpmacknam"<pnpmacknam@...>
                                                        > To: christian-philosophy@yahoogroups.com
                                                        > Date: Sat Aug 17 08:21:50 PDT 2002
                                                        > Subject: Re: [christian-philosophy] Re: Introduction and Leibniz
                                                        >
                                                        > >Ulrich,
                                                        > >
                                                        > >It is good that you remind me by this post of what you are after. And,
                                                        no, your criticisms are so kind and well-qualified that they do me nothing
                                                        but good, even though sometimes mistaken. Criticize away.
                                                        > >
                                                        > >The danger of being rationalistic I know well, but that is behind me. I
                                                        have had quite a lot of experience with it. Not that reminders are in vain,
                                                        because they are not in vain. I'm dogmatically open-minded. So much so that
                                                        the very reason I know what my mind is made of is because it falls out all
                                                        the time. I almost cannot help but be my own critic, although not as if I am
                                                        not me and don't understand me.
                                                        > >
                                                        > >> Ulrich Plus confused teddy Bear with Cobwebs .
                                                        > >
                                                        > >LOL!
                                                        > >
                                                        > >I am stuck on people, to interact, and not so much to sit down and write
                                                        essays and treatises. But, we will get there eventually.
                                                        > >
                                                        > >God is three personals, not three things. God is not made up of things,
                                                        much less is he a made-up-of being. Yet, he is not non-descript (except to a
                                                        rock). He is entirely simple, yet knowable. If God really wished to be sure
                                                        that we know that he is three mutually indwelling *people* in one being,
                                                        then I'm hoping he would have said so, because it seems out of type that he
                                                        would have let something so important be left to be inferred as we may. I
                                                        mean, if God's Trinity is a "holy secret" that cannot be understood by us as
                                                        creatures, then the ultimate point of this odd "revelation" would be.. what?
                                                        It was never declared in any codified formula as we have it in the creeds,
                                                        even though the Athanasian formula is not in error (depending on just how
                                                        you interpret the words, though). It's just a formula. God is not redundant,
                                                        and we are meant to understand the distinctions of the "persons" much more
                                                        than what that formula gives because those distinctions are in the Bible in
                                                        plane language and
                                                        > in their most appropriate contexts relative to the original audience. God
                                                        knows what he is doing with his book, and he knows what all the matters are
                                                        in the world today in relation to it.
                                                        > >
                                                        > >Why is everything in threes? Everything. Not every little thing, but
                                                        everything. Every fundamental thing in its fundamentals, and every basic
                                                        object in the creation.
                                                        > >
                                                        > >Reason is not the only realm of proof, although the ability to reason can
                                                        know all realms of proof for what they are. There are exactly three of them,
                                                        and one of them is logos (the realm of reason). Yet, they are merely
                                                        distinct and interconnected, not separate like the USA over here and Africa
                                                        over there. It is because people confuse them and do not know them that they
                                                        can so easily be lead to believe that they have been proven something is so
                                                        which is not so. The base of the entire complex and wonderful immanent and
                                                        contingent reality can be "boiled down" to these three. People have become
                                                        so "educated" as the Greeks that they have come to have the blindly narrow
                                                        view that proof as a concept is in regard to logic, even while they fail to
                                                        be logical. Some people then conclude that we are at base irrational since
                                                        we are unable to prove ALL things in the court of logic (the "omnipotence
                                                        paradox" is a prime example). Adam keeps looking outside himself for proof
                                                        of some things that hav
                                                        > e no definition in mere mechanico-spatial function, even while it was not
                                                        this realm by which he granted that a realm actually exists outside of and
                                                        independent of himself in his "subjective" personal experience (that's a
                                                        triple-redundant phrase). Things do not subsist in logic; logic in not a
                                                        thing in itself. Fortunately (by design, actually)the Greek logos is much
                                                        more than that. What means "way", "truth", and "life" in Jesus' self
                                                        reference? Are these three terms synonyms? No. Nor are they cut-and-dry
                                                        separate. That's a trinity.
                                                        > >
                                                        > >The Cosmological Argument for the Infinitely Glorious Being (IGB) tries
                                                        to argue that a being is not IGB if it does not include the "attribute" of
                                                        multiple persons on account of the Perfect Love argument. Yet, some of the
                                                        most staunch defenders of the Trinity argue that the Trinity must be true
                                                        because it could never have been thought up or arrived at by "natural
                                                        reason". This presents a conflict, and, further, it is not reason by which
                                                        man fails, it is his *pride* in his ability to arrive at truth and against
                                                        error. The wholly ambiguous idea of "natural reason" is misleading. There is
                                                        only reason and error of reason. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom,
                                                        not the ends of it. The fear of God is not the depth of understanding but
                                                        the key to it.
                                                        > >
                                                        > >God is not three selves (at least not that I could ever know). This does
                                                        not bring God down under the "power of the mind of man", because the blind
                                                        Adam's mind is too low already, and almost no one saved (let alone anyone
                                                        unsaved) understands this even at these words. The context in which the
                                                        Trinity is made known to man is a trial, not a theology class. I did not
                                                        find this triangle of love, logos, and power by looking for it. I was not
                                                        trying to resolve any great mystery. All I wished to do was to find the
                                                        fundamental laws of proof.
                                                        > >
                                                        > >This was because of a nasty and long-standing debate with a know-it-all
                                                        who would not let me be because he could not and would not believe that I co
                                                        uld really, truly believe all the "bizarre" things that I do and yet be as
                                                        intelligent as I am. As if he's the only one with the correct view of
                                                        everything on which he has an "opinion", and that no one else in the world
                                                        who has a different view that he could think about me what he does. I had
                                                        hit upon the hunch of a hunch of it one day and only slightly wished to find
                                                        it. When I tried to think about what it might be, I thought it was all
                                                        reasoning kinds of proof. Logical procedures of some kind that would prove
                                                        anything. Then, one day, while debating with the man in my mind in my open
                                                        and semi-conscious way, I came to assert, in the context of dubious matters
                                                        of human government, that "power cannot not prove reason, power can only
                                                        prove power!")
                                                        > >
                                                        > >"Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit saith the Lord of hosts."
                                                        > >
                                                        > >Fallacy presupposes Truth,
                                                        > >Impotence presupposes Power.
                                                        > >Evil presupposes Good.
                                                        > >
                                                        > >By what Measure does the world presume to know error? That Measure judges
                                                        the whole world because the world is blind in its pride. Adam was made a
                                                        nobody, not a great scholar. A nobody is far more free (and Paul [if it was
                                                        he] said not to have our minds on "high things").
                                                        > >
                                                        > >"It is absolutely true that nothing is absolutely true." That is the
                                                        height of error and hypocrisy. Every great controversy in the world, even
                                                        the debate over what is the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI), can
                                                        be truly understood only with all three. But, one must understand each of
                                                        these three in what they really are, not in what some blind Adam has taught
                                                        you, whether he be believer or not. I cannot think for you, nor can I inject
                                                        any understanding into you. God made man to begin with, but God has not
                                                        remade him. As Paul said of himself, it is still true: we have not arrived.
                                                        > >
                                                        > >On to the next thought-provoking post by Ulrich and his bear. I hope my
                                                        posts return the thoughts with interest.
                                                        > >
                                                        > >Daniel
                                                        > >
                                                        > >
                                                        > >
                                                        > >
                                                        > > ----- Original Message -----
                                                        > > From: ULRICHPUN7@...
                                                        > > To: christian-philosophy@yahoogroups.com
                                                        > > Sent: Friday, August 16, 2002 6:12 PM
                                                        > > Subject: Re: [christian-philosophy] Re: Introduction and Leibniz
                                                        > >
                                                        > >
                                                        > > Daniel , When I put my joking aside , I admit how sincere a fellow you
                                                        are and I hesitate to be forver criticising your views even though all
                                                        Philosophers can must and should criticise them selves and others from
                                                        morning noon to night ;but pray explicate further thou great canbbage eater
                                                        on just what distictive insight thou hast gained with respect to the trinity
                                                        lest num skulls like me should fiorever miss the point . Granted ,only roman
                                                        catholics or other religious un saved persons ought to be believing in in
                                                        comprehensible mysteries ,but I hope you can distinguish rationality from
                                                        rationalism and that all your speculations are fitted to scriptures
                                                        framework and are informed at all times by scriptural data judging all of
                                                        your thoughts . I am not clear what you want to add to or subtract from
                                                        received orthodoxy regarding the trinity or what genuine insights you may
                                                        have that comport with orthodoxy . I accept against John Robbins , for
                                                        example , what I take to be the insights of C
                                                        > ornelius van til , but I still accept that the trinity are three persons
                                                        in one Being eternally co sub sisting . I do not know just what lies behind
                                                        your triangle of love power and Logos and how Scripture enabled you to reach
                                                        this terminus . PLease clarify and send more raw cabbage as soon as possible
                                                        . Ulrich Plus confused teddy Bear with Cobwebs .
                                                        >
                                                        >
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