Christians claim that the single God exists as three distinct persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We claim that this belief is false, because several absurdities follow from it[1]. In this article, we will demonstrate one such absurdity. We argue:

    • If the persons of the Trinity exist, then they would be either qualities, or beings.
    • The persons of the Trinity are neither qualities nor beings.
    • Therefore, the persons of the Trinity do not exist.

Premise 1: If the persons of the Trinity exist, then they would be either qualities, or beings

This premise is true, because existent essences either:

    • Exist while subsisting within some other essence.
    • Exist while not subsisting within some other essence.

The first option is the negation of the second, so they cannot be both false. And the first case describes a quality, whereas the second case describes a being. As such, it is impossible for that which exists, to be neither a quality nor a being.

Given the above, and since the Christian claims that the persons of the Trinity exist, this means that the persons of the Trinity would have to be either qualities or beings.

Premise 2: The persons of the Trinity are neither qualities nor beings

If the Christian claims: “the persons of the Trinity are qualities of God, that subsist within His being.”

We respond: in that case, there would be no reason to limit them to three persons. If the Christian were consistent, he would have treated other qualities (such as Power, Will, and Knowledge) as divine ‘persons’ as well.

Moreover, it is impossible for the qualities of God to separate from Him[2]. Yet the Christian believes that the Son and the Spirit entered the world. So how can he then claim that those persons are qualities?

And if the Christian claims: “the persons of the Trinity are each a divine being, such that each is attributed with all the divine qualities.”

We respond: this is blatant polytheism. In that case, you would be no different than the polytheist who believes in a single family of gods, comprised of a multiplicity of individual deities.

Therefore, the persons of the Trinity do not exist

The two premises are true, so the conclusion necessarily follows. Therefore, the persons of the Trinity do not exist.


 

[1] Apart from the absurdity demonstrated in this article, the Trinity is also a false belief for the exact same reason polytheism is so. Two proofs- Burhan Al-Tamayuz, and Burhan Al-Tamanu’– have been offered against polytheism, and those two proofs work just as well against the Trinity.

[2] If this were possible, then this would make those qualities accidents. And accidents are emergent, as they are other than the being they are attributed to. However, the Christian claims that the persons of the Trinity are beginningless, not emergent.

3 thoughts on “The Trinity

  1. salaam alaikum

    when they say that the son is “fully 1 being” and that the father is “fully 1 being,” then are they saying that the “one being” is existing as “fully father” and “fully son” who are differing beings ?

    so are they saying that the “one” is differing beings ?

    either “one” transforms the TWO into one or “one” is abstract for two differing beings ?

    1. Wa ‘Alaykum Al-Salam,

      You make an excellent point. We can make this clearer by substituting “Father”, “Son”, “Spirit”, and “God” with variables. So we say:
      “A” represent the Father. “B” represents the Son. “C” represents the Spirit. And “X” represents God.

      1. A = X (the Father is God)
      2. B = X (the Son is God)
      3. C = X (the Spirit is God)
      4. A ≠ B ≠ C (the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are distinct).

      What follows from this (since A and B and C are each equal to X) is:

      5. X ≠ X ≠ X

      This is a violation of the law of identity (X = X), and is as such a logical impossibility.

      The fact of the matter is, the only way to make sense of the Trinity, is to treat each of the three persons as particulars in a single “god” universal. Such that each is an instantiation of this “god” universal. And there is no doubt that this is no different from polytheism (a single group of three gods). And whatever they append to their catechisms to avoid this (e.g. “…but there is only One God”), is simply a vacuous claim, that only serves to make their beliefs even more contradictory.

      Also: I don’t know who this Ken temple is, but if the opponent submits that the “persons” are not qualities, and if the opponent claims that those persons exist, then what follows is that those persons are beings.

  2. “As such, it is impossible for that which exists, to be neither a quality nor a being.”

    yes, this is what i used to ask ken temple, how can the “person” be “being less” person ?

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