Trinitarian notes

-A divine person is a relation without being a relation of some “divine stuff”, in a way similar to how light is a wave without being the waving of aether.

-All relations are correlatives and so are simultaneous in being, but we can distinguish them into what is (1.) a relation of cause and effect and (2.) what is not.

In cause and effect, the simultaneity and co-existence of a relation brings with it an order or procession of the effect from the cause. this is being typed at the same time I’m typing, but the former is an effect of the latter. But not all correlatives are of cause/effect, and we can consider (a) parts, like left and right (b) the parts of a motion (c) the letters of a word. This means, crucially: there can be things that come after other things without being caused by them. “A” comes after “c” in “cat”, but is not caused by it; 5 comes after three in counting but is not caused by it. We can make sense of a procession of one thing from another without being caused by it.

– Divine persons, like all relations, are

(a) Simultaneous, (though in the case of God means “co-eternal”)

(b) Equal in being, (though in the case of God means absolutely one, uncaused, and identical with his real essence)

(c) Formally not a relation of some stuff (though in God this formality is the totality of the being of the relation).

-The one God is a relation to a relation, i.e. the Holy Spirit relates to the one reality Father-Son. The Father-Son is impossible without the distinct relations of Father and Son.

-Equality in being follows unity in being. All relations involve equality, even the causal ones, but this unity is either unity of nature or an order of distinct natures.

-If the trinitarian persons are parts of God, then each person/subject is not identical to what God is. But to be equal in being means, in the case of God, to be identical in subject and essence. Therefore the persons are not parts of God.

-There is not even anything properly divine about having an identity of subject and essence: even angels and Platonic forms have this.

-When we say both person/ subject and essence are identical, we say that if they exist they exist equally. IF such a being exists, then nature and person are distinct rationes of one reality, like the concave and convex in (.

-Aristotle was fundamentally wrong to object to Platonic forms on the basis that their substantiality was opposed to their universality. Plato was indeed right that all things are intelligible in light of an essence that is the same as its individuality. STA only adds to this that the first such being must also be identical with his existence. Nothing else could explain why we actually know.

-Moderate realism is not the idea that the universals “exist in the divine mind”. God needs no universals to know anything. Rather, the unity of person and essence is that which allows anything to be known. It would be better to say that moderate realism states that God is a universal, i.e. an individual who is the same as his essence. We do not know in the divine mind but in the divine reality. On this account, Aristotle was right that the Platonists were right to invoke forms, but they erred in simply making them eternalized versions of material things.

-The essence of God is proven identical to the individual and absolutely one by totally different proofs. The identity of essence and person in God means that, viewed from the perspective of individual, it is also the one and only one essence, and vice versa. It does not mean that there is one and only one perspective of individuality.

-We speak about God by introducing notional distinctions into realities. This does not mean that the nature is real and the persons are notional. It simply means that we have no mental category for what transcends the concrete and the abstract, and so we can only speak about a being that so transcends it by adopting a particular notional stance.

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