How will I answer this kind of argument against the doctrine of Holy Trinity?


#1

Please, to be distinct from something is only possible if two or more entities have different essences. To say that the three persons of the Godhead all have the same essence is to say that there can be no distinction between them. This is true unless you abstract the three and come up with Being qua Being, and not merely beings as they are. However, once you do this, you would also equate godhood with being or existence. The first option poses a contradiction to the trinitarian doctrine, while the second implies an unfavorable sense of panentheism - that everything is in God, and God is in everything.

Please help me.


#2

Dear Nixe,

You are bringing up the ancient philosophical problem of the one and the many. How can several things be distinct and yet have common qualities? The solution eventually was recognized by the concept of the universal.

See “Universals” and “Blessed Trinity%between%in the Catholic Encyclopedia.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.


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