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Philosophical & Logical Reasons For Trinity

Prof. M.M.Ninan

 

1.  Why God should be a Unity?

Before we go into an analysis of trinity we need to look into the reasons for the concept that God is a unity. There are several religions in the world, which declares that God is one. The basic declaration of the Old Testament is:

 

 

"Hear O Israel the Lord your God is One God"

(The Christian understanding of this statement will be explained in due course.)
Theologically the reasoning for this basic need runs as follows:

First: Every effect has a cause. Thus if we go backward in the series we will come to a final cause, which we call God.

Secondly in the sovereignty hierarchy, there has to be a series starting at any point to another who is more powerful than the one preceding, leading to one omnipotent God. And if there are more than one holding the same power there will be constant warfare and conflict. Hence one of them will have to be more dominant than the other.

Now let us examine the first reasoning. This series is an infinite series, which cannot be terminated without making the assumption that there was a cause initially which was without a cause. Thus God himself must be self-existent. But then this truncation could have been made at any point. Thus we can actually have three basic systems:

  1. There is only one reality (Brahman) that is self-existent and all the rest are its manifold variations. This is the famous Advaita Sidhanta for which Sankaracharya was the greatest proponent.
  2. Then we have the materialist who considers the only reality as matter and its motion and all existence are the derivations of this matter in relationship with each other and in motion. This is the Sankya School of thought of which the recent formulation was the dialectical materialism of Marx and Engels.
  3. Then there are others who considers both consciousness (Purusha) and nature (Prakriti) as co-eternal and coexistent. This is the Dvaitha School of thought.

The Christian argument is however that even though we can reason back to a monadic (single person of) Brahman such a Brahman existing in isolation even though Omnipotent, will have no reason to act. He is without any property because properties arise only in relation to others.

If there are no others beside him these properties are not even potentially defined. Further this Nirguna Brahman (Brahman without properties) will have no purpose beyond himself. (Calvinism, which defines an Omni God therefore, has to define God as an egoistic, self-centered God - a concept that is directly in conflict with the character of God as seen in the Bible) The egg in mythical symbolism in all ancient religions usually represents this stage. Since a monadic God can have no purpose - because purposes are to be something which is not realizable within himself. So even if such a monotheistic God exists, he cannot initiate a creation process outside of him. We will then simply fall back to a Nirguna Brahman, which is totally inactive and purposeless, and no information of such Godhead can ever be obtained by us. Information on such a state of God will be totally inaccessible. He certainly cannot be the God of creation, and we will have to fall back to the God of the New Age and Hinduism.

As regard to the hierarchical argument, the argument is based entirely on the human character of conflict, power and domination. It assumes that the more powerful will be a superior to the less powerful. If the revelation of Jesus is any measure of God's character, the principle of superiority in the heavenly places is just the reverse.

Mk 9: 35 Jesus called the Twelve and said, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all."

Mk 10: 42 Jesus called them together and said, "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 for even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

The hierarchical argument is based on the fallen nature of man. If we can reverse the argument we will have the correct end point to God. God is the greatest servant of all. It is not a power politics but a love and service politics that characterize God. Instead of conflict we have cooperation and willingness to serve and build one another. Such a system does not lead to a monarchial dictator God.

There is an inherent assumption in the monadic concept of God that God has to be simple. However this is a self-defeating concept. If God created what we see, he himself has to be more complex than us. This is very similar to the theoretical physicist's attempt to create a unified field theory. As we try to make the unified field, the theory becomes more complex. It has to be, because it has to resolve into the complex fields we see in nature. Thus God has to be a unity, while being complex within him, if we have a God who created the visible cosmos and all the consciousness therein. An organic unity is the solution to this enigma.

As we can see, none of these arguments necessitates a simple unitary monadic God. In fact we shall show that such a God cannot exist in reality.
 

 

 

2. Mathematical Reason

Consider a point. A point has no length, breadth or height by definition. It cannot obviously exist in reality; it can only exist as an imaginary object. This is because existence means existence in dimension, and space happens to have three dimensions. Unless the point has extensions in all the three dimensions it cannot be said to be existing.

This is a mathematical point

You cannot see it because it has no length, breadth or height.

But this is a point in reality .

It is a real point existing in space and time because it has extensions. We can reduce the length and breadth and height to an infinitesimal size, but never to zero. What exactly is the difference between the two? There is an area of uncertainty in position in every dimension.

The argument can be carried over to God. Whatever dimensions God exist. (He has to exist in an infinite dimension to be the Omni we define him to be. We cannot limit God in material dimension alone. But God must have a material dimension into which he extends himself in order to act within cosmos. He extends himself in time in order that he can act in history.

Of course God may be existing in other dimensions where he has extensions pertaining to that dimension. Then for that being to break into the coarse existence it will have to go through the singularity point of existence which we call point and comes into existence in all the three dimensions. Similarly God has to break into time at a singularity point to act in history.

Just as a point cannot exist in reality a monadic God cannot exist in our real world or in any real world whatever dimension it may be as an entity. It needs extensions and uncertainty in its properties. A monadic God is an imaginary God, an abstraction. It is essentially a singularity of which we cannot guess or know. The only God we can know must be a real non-singular God. God has to be complexity within him.
 

 

3.  Scientific reason

Consider a single particle (in Physics terms) before everything. Will that particle be White? Black? Good? Evil? We cannot assign any property to it. In other words a single particle or an element alone cannot exist by itself. Properties are defined in terms of relationships. There has to be at least two particles to define a relationship. The same applied to God. God has to be complex within him in order that he may have property and be active.

Objects, molecules, atoms etc have properties because they are complex within themselves.

Scientifically therefore it will not make sense to talk about a monad God existing before anything. Such a God cannot have any properties and is nonexistent for all purposes. So a real God will have to coexistent with a complex structure within himself which gives God his characteristics.
 

 

4. Reason from Person

Now we go a step further. God is the first cause of all creation.  Creation implies purpose. God had or/and has a purpose. Purpose implies Personality. We therefore consider God as the first cause - not a principle- not a Force but as a person.

The very fact that God wants to create implies something desirable outside of him. If we define God as self-existent, omnipotent and complete in every way there is nothing outside of God, which he can desire or want. So God cannot be the creator God and be a unique single person.

Again we will have a problem defining the concept of Person.
Person is something, which has a direction and purpose. This property is usually termed as Freedom of will. A person will have freedom of will. He can make choices. Making choices implies that he can make a choice either A or B. If he is all knowing (Omniscient), he knows what he is going to choose at every step. Then he himself is predestined and therefore has no freedom to choose. So if we want a free Omnipotent Person as God, this property of omniscience cannot be resident on one person. God cannot be a single person and be a sovereign. Omniscience and Sovereignty cannot go together. They are mutually exclusive if they reside in one person. This problem is solved if we assume plurality of persons in Godhead in exactly the same way Christianity define trinity - each independent person with an organic unity forming One God.

If God contains three persons, and if they have the same purpose and and are united as an organic unity, their nature has to be Love.  Jesus used this argument when he was accused of driving the evil spirit by the power of Beelzeboob.
Mark 3:22  And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, "He is possessed by Beelzebub ! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons."
23  So Jesus called them and spoke to them in parables: "How can Satan drive out Satan?24  If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.25  If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26  And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come.

So the nature of this organic unity is love within,  and the nature of love is extenisive and desires to love.  This gives the purpose of creation.
 

 

 

5.  Uncertainty Principle

Uncertainty in position gives rise to real objects. Black bodies have been a typical example of concentration of matter and energy and power. They represent in nature the properties of God to some extent. They have singularities at the center, which is beyond observation. No information of the properties beyond the event horizon can be obtained. The event horizon marks the uncertainty of the black holeís singularity. Then again the property of the black hole can be known only in terms of the behavior of objects near the event horizon. Incidentally the only properties that we know of the black hole are mass, charge, and angular momentum. Only eternal black hole is the one with no mass. They can never be known in anyway. They simply exist because of it zero-point energy. This corresponds to the Nirguna Brahman or the Monadic God.  The only reality that we can know of is the event horizon which is the trinity whch forms the one true God that can be known.
 

 

6. Brahman and Aum

Indian sages understood this impossibility of an active participating, creating God. The Indian term for God is Brahman. (Not Brahmaav who is one of the trinity) Brahman is pure consciousness. He is Sat, Chit and Ananda. He lacks nothing, he is Sophia and he is bliss. In this bliss, or laya Brahman remains inactive. He cannot be described. You cannot ascribe any property to God. Is God good? No because good and evil are defined in terms of Godís character. Is he white, black, and sweet. We have to say no for every question that we may ask. It also includes Does Brahman exist? No, because he is beyond existence. This is what our sages called Nirguna Brahman - Brahman without any guna - any properties. In fact properties arise only in relationship. If the Brahman has to become active he has to be community of real persons. Thus saguna Brahman consists of a Trimurthi - three persons. According to vedas this creation began with the Omkaram. The word which consists of three syllables Au - U - M ending in resonating silence. When St.Thomas came to Kerala which was one of the centers of Vedic learning of that period, he was quick to understand this fact and accepted the Om as a symbol for God. This symbol can be found in the ancient churches even today. The Mavelikara "old" church has Om written at its entrance even today. But then the similarity ends because the Trimurthy of Brahma-vishnu-Maheswara are a far cry from the concept of God. They are distinct Gods. In spite of the perversions in myths and common religions, the Shiva Sindhanta carried this concept to a greater extent.The question of sovereignity requires one God as the supreme being. In the purana the inquireetherefore asks God," "O you three Lords!, know that I recognize only one God. Inform me, therefore, which of you is the true divinity that I may address to him alone my vows and adorations." The Hindu Trinity consists of Brahma, the Creator, Vishnu, the incarnate sustainer.and Siva the destroyer. The three Gods, Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva, replied, "Learn, O devotee, that there is no real distinction between us. What to you appears such is only by semblance. The single being appears under three forms by the acts of creation, preservation and destruction, but he is one."

The thrimurthy of Hinduism consists of three fallen beings. They are selfish, they fight each other and hindu cosmos is the result of this evergrowing conflict between the three persons. Hindu Trimurthy is a dialectical God. God with contradictions within. It is a coherent philosophy as long as the whole universe is Brahman (Advaitic) himself and not its creation. The problem of fall and redemption does not arise as long as God himself is the creator of the fall and the enjoyer of the result. It is only a game of God.
 

 

7.  Christian Trinity

Christianity offers a different picture. The trinity is forming one organic unity - one in essence. There is no conflict between the three persons within the Godhead. Therefore if ever God is to be described it can only be as "God is Love".

Love is the character of God because there is a trinity in godhead. Cosmos for Christians is the interplay of this love of God in action. They work together. But each has a personality of its own and sphere of its own. There are areas where each person in the godhead acts independently.

Mat 24: 36 "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

Act 1: 7 He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.

In this concept God has the uncertainty to be personalities with each complementing the other to produce a complex organic unity. This organic unity becomes God with the character of love that binds them together so that each serves the other eternally. The competition within them is simply how one can best serve the other. The Christian God differs from the monadic God of Islam and Judaism in that "God is Love". It is this that differentiated the revelation and teaching of Jesus from that of Moses. Mohammed evidently could not understand this in the midst of his conflicting war infested time. Both these therefore naturally projects a God of War, Judgement and Punishment. At best this God can be merciful at his whim and fancy. Jehovah Witness and even Calvinism depicts such a picture because of their emphasis on sovereignty within one person.
 
 

  8. Other Religions

Other ancient religions also conceives God in plurality. Roman Pantheon is a classic example of this with close similarity with Christian Trinity even in terminology.
Greek Gods
Mithrite God
Tao Ying and Yang
 

+ Concept of Singularity:    1/x  or is it |1/x|

+  Concept of Blackholes and white holes
Event horizon
Removal of apparent singularities by change in coordinate systems.
Real singulairty at r=0

For every black hole there must be a white hole somewhere, a new universe. - within or without ours.

+  Unified field theory
Strings and vibrations instead of particles and motion
Space as bonds, structures; form and content; waves, vibrations and torsions.

+  How to know the properties of a singularity:  by the behaviour of the objects near the event horizon.

== How to know God - by the behavior of christians
Jn 13:3535  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
== Relation between good works and slavation:
Eph 2: 10  For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Royal Law and Law:
Ja 2:8  If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing right.
Jo 13:34  "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
 
 

My Personal Beliefs

I believe in a Triune God - One God as an organic unity of three persons. Because God has a personality, God has purposes and plans and will. God has choices and is not bound to take any particular choice. This is what gives God Omnipotence and this is real sovereignity. Because God is self-existent, God's essence is Love. That is the only way an existence could be same yesterday, today and forever. There are no conflicts within the God's persons. Are there more than three persons in the God head? I don't know. Ask God.

I do believe that God has created other persons as images of God in material and immaterial universes. Because they are created as image of God's personality, these consciousness has their own personalities and free will, just as God's. It is God's desire that these personalities may be One as God is One rooted and anchored in love. Bliss comes when this is attained. This is the ultimate Ananda and Nirvana. But when the personal will is aligned with the will of God a partial pre-taste of this Ananda can be experienced here and now. 

I do believe that our Creator allows for randomness - which is the essence of choice He allows variableness ub nature which will allow Intelligence to choose from these alternatives. Without alternatives there is no choice. Personalities can act against any compelling choice to act against constraints within given parameters of the universe because these personalities exists in many different dimensions of existences. This is free will. I believe we have Free Will. But its exercise is dependant on conditions, on circumstances, on constraints of life, on time.