Why Arguments and Debates on the Trinity are a Waste of Time

by AllTimeJeff 95 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • AllTimeJeff

    This isn't meant to be a shit stirring topic, just a thought or two, a memory really, from my JW days. Because I KNOW I have more experience then most on debating the veracity of the trinity....

    There are two camps, people of faith, and people of math.

    People of faith will always be more convinced of the trinity every day, because for the most part, the teachers of the trinity are very up front about the fact that it is a mystery.

    So the more you point out how illogical it is, the more a mystery the trinity becomes, and thus, it also becomes more real. Awesome! (I think that Congress should explain the national debt in similar terms...)

    People of math will always point out that 1+1+1= 3, and that you can't be seperate but equal, and honestly, lay off of the whacky weed.....

    That's it! Good night.

    Well, that isn't all.... :-p

    My point is this. Arguments on the trinity are very much like trying to wage war between two countries where both countries insist on having their armies assemble the front lines on the beach of their home land. The two warring parties don't even see or know each other......

    It is also known as a cold war.

    It seems silly to me, but whatever.....

    Ok, for real, good night! ZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • tec

    There are two camps, people of faith, and people of math.

    I don't think that's true. Or this:

    People of faith will always be more convinced of the trinity every day, because for the most part, the teachers of the trinity are very up front about the fact that it is a mystery.
    So the more you point out how illogical it is, the more a mystery the trinity becomes, and thus, it also becomes more real.

    I don't think those are true because I am a person of faith. Yet, the more of a mystery something is described as being, the more we're told we can never understand it, then the more I suspect its validity. Christ's teachings were pretty simple and straightforward, and should not need pages and pages and books and books describing them. You only need pages and pages and books and books to describe something that doesn't make any sense, imo :)

    However, I do agree that most often a trinity debate is a waste of time. Very few people ever listen to the others side, and even fewer change their minds.



  • AllTimeJeff

    Hi tec.

    I am sure there are more then 2 groups and trains of thought. I simplified it to illustrate the difficulty that the argument itself brings.

    I for one just wanted to say in my own way "Trinity arguments suck!"


  • tec

    I agree. They do suck :)

  • AK - Jeff
    AK - Jeff

    I would be willing to extend this thinking beyond just a single theistic doctrine.

    I think the 'mystery' element, the unprovable and illogical acceptance of deity/demon and spirit, is so pervasive among 'believers' that it is leading to eventual disaster for our species. Not only is mankind robbed of potential contributors to the 'real' problems of the world, but the zeal of those who think that rewards lay ahead for those who martyr themselves for God/Allah may indeed, in this technological era, leave our landscape looking like Hiroshima, and for the same reasons.

    Sam Harris, in his book, The End of Faith, makes the point well, that somehow, a significant portion of our societies on the planet feel it acceptable, in fact noble, that we believe in beings [God/Angels/Demons], locations [Heaven/Hell/Paradise], and events [miracles/virgin births/resurrections] that have precisely zero evidence to support them. And we believe in Holy Writ that claims God/Allah as author, when the only 'evidence' for such assertions are those that come from within the writings themselves. He makes the interesting point in query, of a time future when our decedents might determine to believe that God authored the code for Windows 98, or that some film might be 'inspired' by God. When you think of it, much of our digital documents today would 'show up' the Bible/Koran for accuracy and technical 'correctness'.

    We would absolutely 'loose it' if our pediatrician suggested that we accept some 14th century medical practice to cure melanoma in one of our children. Yet, with our belief systems, we reject any objective submission of the opinions/doctrines/theisms to critical thinking. We do not 'examine' the evidence for belief and faith - we just pin our hopes on something beyond the grave, instead of seeking to improve the only thing we are assured of - life in the here and now.

    So, I think the title of the subject should be "Why Arguments and Debates on Faith are a Waste of Time". Objective and rational people accept what is evidenced and do not take up 'faith'. The faithful do not care about the lack of evidence no matter the effort we make to assist them.

    Just my two shekels.


  • The Quiet One
    The Quiet One

    @Akjeff- Excellent points, I don't think that I can add much, except this.. As an agnostic I can see that blind faith can't be argued with, but also that even facts/evidence can be misunderstood or ignored at the same time. (I say that in relation to the statement that there is no evidence for a God.) Unless I've missed something, evolutionary theory still hasn't conclusively proven how it is that living matter sprang from non-living matter, or even where the non-living matter came from, that life didn't come from an intelligient Creator, and so if the theory of evolution hasn't been proven, and neither has the theory of creation been proven beyond doubt, who knows if those who have faith in a God are wrong? Regarding blind faith, here's a scripture that I think is relevant.. (Just to show that you can't argue with faith in something that can't be seen) http://www.watchtower.org/e/bible/heb/chapter_011.htm "Hebrews 11:1-40 1 Faith is the assured expectation of things hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities though not beheld. 2 For by means of this the men of old times had witness borne to them. 3 By faith we perceive that the systems of things were put in order by God’s word, so that what is beheld has come to be out of things that do not appear." "13 In faith all these died, although they did not get the [fulfillment of the] promises, but they saw them afar off and welcomed them and publicly declared that they were strangers and temporary residents in the land."

  • designs


    Because we all hold to ideas and beliefs that lack testable certainty then it becomes a matter of whether these beliefs help us engage in our reality and time or do they cause us to overly day dream and disengage from the necessary things we must do each day to live and also to engage in alturistic goals.

    The main Christian Creed has little value in terms of explaining what a person should do with their life but something like the Sermon on the Mount does.

  • Sulla

    It may be that debates on the Trinity in online forums are a waste of time, but, if so, not for the reasons you say.

    AllTimeJeff confuses the observation that the Trinity is a mystery with the idea that it is illogical and then sweeps everything up with the simpleminded mathematical observation that three is not equal to one. Honestly, the temptation is to use the equally empty comparison of water to the Trinity (liquid, solid, gas, yet still h2o!) in reply. Let's take a step back.

    First, that the Trinity is a mystery doesn't have anything to do with its logical basis. It is a comment on our inability to completely grasp the meaning and cause of the thing. That is, the Trinity is a mystery the way love is a mystery: you don't explain love as much as you experience it. That doesn't mean love is illogical or doesn't exist, but it does mean that love is not like anything else and can only be understood as it is experienced.

    That said, there is quite a lot of theological reflection on the meaning of the Trinity, focusing in various ways on, for example, a person and a nature might not be the same thing. It's all interesting and difficult, of course, and not the sort of thing that lends itself to online debate easily.

    So, the idea that debates on the Trinity are pointless because those who accept the Trinity are illogical is really nothing more than self-flattery. Mental masturbation, I guess.

  • designs

    M&M really, it could simply be that these Post Late Bronze Age Bishops never tackled the contradictions in their theory...

  • WontLeave

    Trinitarians feel their accepting and believing the trinity is a rite of passage. In the same way charismatics believe, upon their baptism, they're supposed to flop around on the floor like a fish and babble like an idiot, they do. Trinitarians believe "holy spirit" reveals the trinity doctrine to them, so to take away that belief would be to take away their perception of an intimate relationship with the Almighty. They worked very hard at shoehorning the trinity into their brain and there's no way they'll easily let go of it. Once an emotional bond is made with a doctrine, no amount of logical discussion will budge it. They believe they see the trinity all through the Bible; hell, they'd see it in a grocery list if they felt they were supposed to.

    Some religious people understand "faith" to mean "belief in the ridiculous and demonstrably false". This stance cannot be reasoned with, as it is unreasonable. The same mentality will believe in screams from Hell, Satan planted dinosaur fossils, glossolalia is "the tongue of angels", etc. Only an emotional event will wrest them free of belief in the ridiculous and that sort of thing is outside the scope of an online argument. A purely emotional attachment to a firmly-held belief can't be touched by logic. The apostle Paul's idea of defending faith and wrestling against unchristian ideals and a so-called "fundamentalist's" idea are entirely different things. Paul's version required using one's knowledge, logic, and mental abilities, whereas a fundamentalist's version requires shutting one's brain off, wallowing in ignorance, and militantly denying the obvious. To them, that's "faith".

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