Ashwin and Jonathan discuss the Incarnation and the Trinity

First this.

Then this.

Then, incredibly, this.

So it involves a man doing something only God could do, and God did it to Himself but He didn’t do it to Himself. That’s how this sounds. No wonder John is confused.

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Jesus is both fully God and fully man. Since @John_Harshman is an educated man who wants to discuss Christian theology, I expect him to have a minimum familiarity with it.

You haven’t addressed what I wrote. I don’t think you understand exactly why your post was so confusing, and I don’t think you understand why claiming “Jesus is both fully God and fully man” does not help at all. John is certainly aware that Trinitarian Christians believe “Jesus is both fully God and fully man”. However, you apparently do not appreciate that this statement appears logically incoherent to non-Trinitarians. It doesn’t solve anything for a non-Trinitarian, still less a scientist.

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It seems you are speaking for yourself and not John here.

You think John doesn’t know that Trinitarian Christians believe “Jesus is both fully God and fully man”? Or are you saying that John doesn’t think the statement “Jesus is both fully God and fully man” is logically incoherent? Can you explain why you think John is satisfied with the statement “Jesus is both fully God and fully man”, and what John thinks you have solved with this statement?

Do you see any evidence that John has accepted your argument and now believes it is logically coherent? All I see from him are statements like this.

  1. How could they have known it was a sin, lacking knowledge of good and evil? It’s a Catch-22.
  2. You tie yourself in knots. God requires the sacrifice of himself to himself to appease himself of his wrath toward humans for sins he knew when he created them
    they would commit.
  3. Again, you seek to remove God’s agency.
  4. How is that relevant?
  5. How is that relevant too?
  6. In which case, God created man with a sinful nature; not Adam’s fault at all. Why punish us for doing what he created us as?
  7. We could belabor the shaky logic of these claims for quite a while, but do you really want to go through it?
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Let John speak for himself. He is very capable of doing it.
You should speak for yourself. If you have a problem with the doctrine of trinity, then you could start an OP on it.

I am not speaking for John. I am asking you to speak for yourself. Would you care to answer my questions?

I have already spoken for myself, expressing my objections to the incoherence of your argument. There is nothing for me to add since you haven’t addressed those objections.

Shift your questions to an OP on the trinity and I will give it a shot. It will also give other Christians in the group an opportunity to take a crack at the question.

If I understand correctly, your question was, how Jesus can be both God and man when the concept is a logical contradiction.

I am not interested in starting an OP on the Trinity, especially since it would probably result in an instant ban.

I didn’t raise a question about how Jesus can be both God and man. I made a statement about how the claim that Jesus is both God and man, comes across to non-Trinitarians and scientists. Until you understand that statement (and to date you have steadfastly refused to accept it is true), then there’s no discussion to have.

I don’t see why it should lead to an instant ban…
@moderators, will you guys ban an OP on the trinity?

Many scientists here are Trinitarians. Why don’t you ask them yourself?
If you are speaking for John, the question would be, how does the concept of trinity appear to an athiest?

The answer would be that most consider all theology nonsense. If they want to interact with theology, they need to engage in some suspension of disbelief (because they are discussing the actions of a God who they don’t believe exists !)

The last and most relevant perspective (because you are the one asking the question) is that of a non trinitarian who believes the trinity is a false doctrine.
This question deserves an OP.

@Jonathan_Burke holds non-orthodox views on the trinity, so he thinks it will get him banned.

I’m not sure how it makes much sense for us to engage in a prolonged theological debate with, at best, tenuous connection to science. If some one sees a connection I’m missing, go for it. If not, it won’t get you banned, but it might get the topic closed.


My point is that any discussion on the trinity will be prolonged. Hence deserves an OP and should not be done on this OP.
@Jonathan_Burke: it’s upto you to start an OP or mail me personally if you wish to discuss this.

I don’t think it goes against any forum rules to discuss the doctrine of the Trinity, if people are inclined to do that and want to create a topic for it. So I don’t understand where @Jonathan_Burke thinks discussing that will get him banned.


I don’t think there are “many scientists” here. I think there are a few, and I think that only some of them are Trintiarians.

Asking Trinitarian scientists if they believe the arguments for the Trinity are sound, isn’t going to prove anything. However, if they speak as scientists rather than as Trinitarians, I would expect them to agree that the Trinity is not a scientific conclusion.

I am not speaking for John.

It is perfectly possible to interact with theology without suspending theological disbelief. That’s precisely what John is doing. He is testing your arguments for logical validity and contextual support, which doesn’t require any suspension of his theological disbelief. So far you haven’t convinced him, and it has nothing to do with his disbelief in God, it has to do with the lack of logical coherence that he observes in your arguments.

No it really doesn’t need an OP at all.

But you’re the only person here who wants to discuss the incarnation and Trinity. You’re the one who raised it as some kind of killer argument. I’m suggesting to you that other people won’t see it that way.

You are shifting goal posts here. You were claiming the trinity/Jesus being both fully man as well as God is a logical contradiction.
The issue has never been about whether trinity is a “scientific conclusion”. No one has claimed it is. And there is no necessity for it to be scientific for it to be valid.
So its totally reasonable to ask the scientists in this forum who believe in the trinity whether they think it involves logical contradiction or not.

Glad you stopped doing that. Perhaps you could stop speaking for scientists as well and stick to speaking for yourself.

There you go speaking for John again…

Look, John asks questions and I answered them. Whether John gets the logic or not is John’s issue… and he is free to ask followup questions which he does. Let the guy speak for himself.

And if you find the incarnation or trinity illogical, make your case. Don’t beat around the bush.

I am still claiming that. I would also expect people speaking as scientists to agree with that conclusion, even if they are Trinitarian scientists. After all, one of the historical Trintarian arguments has been that the Trinity is true precisely because it is unconformable to reason.

I haven’t been speaking for John or for scientists.

I am not speaking for John. I am repeating what he has already told you. When he says “We could belabor the shaky logic of these claims for quite a while”, he is challenging the logical coherence of your claims. Is this not clear to you?

The fact that you think I have to make an actual case that the Trinity is illogical, demonstrates to me that you cannot and will not understand how it is illogical. Even mainstream Trinitarian scholars acknowledge it’s a violation of logic. There’s a whole field of study on “the logical problem of the Trinity”, usually called “the Trinitarian paradox”, and endless papers have been written attempting to address the issue. There are typically three approaches.

  1. Redefine the Trinity to avoid the logical problem. This typically departs from the “orthodox” Trinity.
  2. Acknowledge the problem and claim it is insurmountable because God is so mysterious (mysterium logicum), while claiming that this does not matter because we don’t need to understand God.
  3. Acknowledge the problem and claim that the Trinity is true in defiance of human logic, on the basis that human logic is flawed and should not be trusted.

Make your case using the law of non-contradiction instead of saying John/scientists would agree with you. Use a logical proof.

This is just nonsense.

I don’t see any logical problems with the trinity. Like I have said, make your case.

That’s like asking John to prove evolution is a fact. I don’t have to do what has already been done countless times before, including by Trinitarian scholars. You on the other hand have to demonstrate that the Trinity is logical. If you’re prepared to do that, write a paper and have it published in a peer reviewed journal. Then I’ll read it.

Meanwhile, first you deny that you cannot understand how the Trinity is illogical.

Then you say you don’t see any logical problems with the Trinity.

Maybe just choose one argument and stick with it?

And John would easily present details on why he believes so.
This is just a logical argument. It’s accessible to anyone who makes an effort.
When you study the argument, you understand the nuances involved.

For example, are you aware of the logical proposals for the Trinity based on relative identity? And of course the paradoxes involved in a concept of absolute identity?