Analogy for Trinity: Dimensions of a Cube?


#1

Yes I know no analogy can fully capture the mystery of the trinity, nonetheless, we sometimes use them in trying to explain to a non-Christian, and some analogies are better than others. What do you think of this analogy for the trinity: a cube and its dimensions. (I know CSL used a cube and its faces, this is slightly different, and if it's old news, I apologize.)

  1. There is only one cube.
  2. There are 3 dimensions.
  3. The dimensions are coequal. I dont mean just literally coequal (they are of course) but you cant say any of the dimensions are superior to the others.
  4. The dimensions will last as long as the cube.
  5. The dimensions are distinct from each other.
  6. The dimensions are consubstantial. (indulge me the assumption that the cube is homogenous :) )
  7. If you point to or talk about any of the cube's dimensions you're actually referring to the cube.
  8. No dimension can exist apart from the others.
  9. If you take away any dimension the cube ceases to be a cube.
  10. The dimensions are as old as each other.
  11. It is ludicrous to say that one dimension is 1/3 of the cube. In fact it cannot be said what percentage of the cube is one dimension, or two of the dimensions.
  12. At no point in time did one dimension exist by itself, then was followed by the other 2 dimensions. The dimensions formed a cube from the beginning.

What do you think?


#2

As humans, I dont think we even have the ability to speculate about this, it would be similar to an ant trying to figure out quantum mechanics. just not possible, not even remotely close.

Maybe in the future, as we solve more and more of the mysteries of the universe, we may get close enough to make a guess, but this would be in a couple thousand years, if that soon, it is only 2013, Hell, we are still driving cars with internal combustion engines, still have tires and wheels, still building houses out of the same materials they were hundreds of years ago, still using phones to communicate, etc. In other words, we are not as advanced as people like to think. LOL


#3

Interesting. In several ways it demonstrates the inseparability of three aspects.

Reminds me in an offhand way of the "trip-let" on the cover of Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, by Douglas Hofstadter:
wikipedia: Cover Art from Gödel, Escher, Bach
One solid body casts three different shadows (in this case, the letters G, E, and B) in three orthogonal directions. Of course what you posted goes much deeper than that.


#4

Dr. D. James Kennedy used a similar argument in the late 1900s.

He said that the Trinity was not a case of "1 + 1 + 1 = 1", which is of course false, but rather

"1 * 1 * 1 = 1" which is true.

ICXC NIKA


#5

My question when reading this is how are you talking about the cube if you are talking about one of the dimensions. If I speak of its height, I am also speaking about it's depth and width?


#6

[quote="MarcoPolo, post:5, topic:339876"]
My question when reading this is how are you talking about the cube if you are talking about one of the dimensions. If I speak of its height, I am also speaking about it's depth and width?

[/quote]

Well, yeah. Given that it is a cube, if you specify one side, you also specify the other two, because for it to be a cube, lwh = s[sup]3[/sup].

ICXC NIKA


#7

I agree with you about the futility of the exercise. Here is my riddle for you: how is the analogy wrong? In other words, where is the heresy?


#8

[quote="Beryllos, post:3, topic:339876"]
Reminds me in an offhand way of the "trip-let" on the cover of Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, by Douglas Hofstadter:

[/quote]

I've never seen that work of art before. That looks very cool. If I may though I believe it is modalism. :)


#9

[quote="GEddie, post:4, topic:339876"]
Dr. D. James Kennedy used a similar argument in the late 1900s.

He said that the Trinity was not a case of "1 + 1 + 1 = 1", which is of course false, but rather

"1 * 1 * 1 = 1" which is true.

ICXC NIKA

[/quote]

Oooohh that is cool. I've never heard of that. Awesome! One more way to explain the Trinity. I think the difference between + and * is also deep.


#10

[quote="GEddie, post:6, topic:339876"]
Well, yeah. Given that it is a cube, if you specify one side, you also specify the other two, because for it to be a cube, lwh = s[sup]3[/sup].

[/quote]

Nice! As a non-mathematician, the way I describe this aspect visually is like this:

Mr. Skeptic says the length is clearly separate from the height or width. He points to one edge of the cube and say, here is the length, see?

Mr. Answer says ok. He points to another edge that is parallel, and asks, is this the length too? Mr. S says yes. Mr. A continues what about this other edge? Mr. S says yes. Mr. A continues to do so ad infinitum, not only for the surface of the cube but in its interior. Although they have been referring to the length the whole time, they have effectively referred to the width, the height and the cube at the same time.

But GEddie described it much more elegantly.


#11

It's an interesting analogy but it seems to me that it has the same problem most analogies of the trinity have and that is that the Trinity is not "divided". Jesus is fully God; He's not one third of God. A dimension is not fully the cube (it lacks two dimensions).


#12

[quote="GEddie, post:6, topic:339876"]
Well, yeah. Given that it is a cube, if you specify one side, you also specify the other two, because for it to be a cube, lwh = s[sup]3[/sup].

ICXC NIKA

[/quote]

I understand that, but why can't I refer to just the "l" in the equation?


#13

[quote="anthonymarie, post:11, topic:339876"]
It's an interesting analogy but it seems to me that it has the same problem most analogies of the trinity have and that is that the Trinity is not "divided". Jesus is fully God; He's not one third of God. A dimension is not fully the cube (it lacks two dimensions).

[/quote]

I agree that's probably the biggest weakness of the analogy. However, I think it is an aspect of the trinity that is vaguely hinted at by the analogy. Not sure if you saw my previous response on it but this is what I'm talking about -- what do you think of it:

[quote="amoremseram, post:10, topic:339876"]
Nice! As a non-mathematician, the way I describe this aspect visually is like this:

Mr. Skeptic says the length is clearly separate from the height or width. He points to one edge of the cube and say, here is the length, see?

Mr. Answer says ok. He points to another edge that is parallel, and asks, is this the length too? Mr. S says yes. Mr. A continues what about this other edge? Mr. S says yes. Mr. A continues to do so ad infinitum, not only for the surface of the cube but in its interior. Although they have been referring to the length the whole time, they have effectively referred to the width, the height and the cube at the same time.

But GEddie described it much more elegantly.

[/quote]


#14

[quote="MarcoPolo, post:12, topic:339876"]
I understand that, but why can't I refer to just the "l" in the equation?

[/quote]

Of course you can.

But that determines the whole cube, since l = s = V[sup]1/3[/sup].


#15

[quote="GEddie, post:6, topic:339876"]
Well, yeah. Given that it is a cube, if you specify one side, you also specify the other two, because for it to be a cube, lwh = s[sup]3[/sup].

ICXC NIKA

[/quote]

Not necessarily, lets say you hold the cube by the bottom two corners of the front face and choose this as your width, your height and breadth are not yet set in stone. If you let the cube drop, your width remains the width but the height and breadth are interchanged. I assume this what MarcoPolo meant but I may have misunderstood.


#16

[quote="amoremseram, post:13, topic:339876"]
Nice! As a non-mathematician, the way I describe this aspect visually is like this:

Mr. Skeptic says the length is clearly separate from the height or width. He points to one edge of the cube and say, here is the length, see?

Mr. Answer says ok. He points to another edge that is parallel, and asks, is this the length too? Mr. S says yes. Mr. A continues what about this other edge? Mr. S says yes. Mr. A continues to do so ad infinitum, not only for the surface of the cube but in its interior. Although they have been referring to the length the whole time, they have effectively referred to the width, the height and the cube at the same time.

But GEddie described it much more elegantly.

[/quote]

Yes, I guess the problem of perspective here is what's reflecting the mystery of the Trinity. But it is interesting. I find analogies of the Trinity always are. They are almost like a tease. You think you have got it and then . . . no. Always so near and yet so far.


#17

[quote="anthonymarie, post:15, topic:339876"]
Not necessarily, lets say you hold the cube by the bottom two corners of the front face and choose this as your width, your height and breadth are not yet set in stone. If you let the cube drop, your width remains the width but the height and breadth are interchanged. I assume this what MarcoPolo meant but I may have misunderstood.

[/quote]

Rotating the cube in any direction does not change the sides, whatever we may call them on relation to vertical.

ICXC NIKA


#18

[quote="GEddie, post:17, topic:339876"]
Rotating the cube in any direction does not change the sides, whatever we may call them on relation to vertical.

ICXC NIKA

[/quote]

If it is positional relationship you are concerned with then why use a formula that relates quantitiy, namely lwh = s^3.

lwh = s^3 is a quantative relationship with respect to a given perspective?

Now I'm confused?

Maybe the problem is you are talking about three sets of four edges and then refering to these sets of edges in terms which are relative to perspective. Maybe?


#19

[quote="GEddie, post:14, topic:339876"]
Of course you can.

But that determines the whole cube, since l = s = V[sup]1/3[/sup].

[/quote]

I am not following what you mean by the length of a cube "determines" the whole cube? And how that resembles the Trinity.


#20

[quote="MarcoPolo, post:19, topic:339876"]
I am not following what you mean by the length of a cube "determines" the whole cube? And how that resembles the Trinity.

[/quote]

Maybe if 1*1*1 = 1, and 1^1/3 = 1? I'm not a mathematician so I'll leave it to those smarter than me to explain. But MarcoPolo, in response to your original query, what do you think of this?

[quote="amoremseram, post:10, topic:339876"]

Mr. Skeptic says the length is clearly separate from the height or width. He points to one edge of the cube and say, here is the length, see?

Mr. Answer says ok. He points to another edge that is parallel, and asks, is this the length too? Mr. S says yes. Mr. A continues what about this other edge? Mr. S says yes. Mr. A continues to do so ad infinitum, not only for the surface of the cube but in its interior. Although they have been referring to the length the whole time, they have effectively referred to the width, the height and the cube at the same time.

[/quote]


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