Jan 6, 2003
There is a young philosophy scholar named Dale Tuggy, who has evidently taken an avid interest in Social and Latin Trinitarianism (ST and LT). This professor claims that there are serious logical difficulties with ST and LT. One problem that Tuggy points to in connection with ST is mentioned below.
In the manner of Richard Cartwright, he lists six propositions which do not seem to logically cohere. These propositions are:
1. God is divine.
2. The Father of Jesus Christ is divine.
3. The Son, Jesus Christ, is divine.
4. The Holy Spirit is divine.
5. The Father is not the Son is not the Holy Spirit is not God.
That is, these four - Father, Son, Holy Spirit, God - are numerically distinct individuals.
Tuggy then contends that (5) can be broken into two parts:
5a. These three are numerically distinct: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
5b. God is numerically distinct from any of these: Father, Son, Holy Spirit.
5a-b are then followed by the proposition:
6. Whatever is divine is identical to at least one of these: the Father, the Son, or the
Tuggy is working with a particular definition of
"divine" that he makes clear at the outset of his
study. Tuggy observes that there are two senses of the
adjective "divine," but he is working with the priamry
sense in his study. He writes:
"The word 'divine' has primary and secondary uses. In
the primary sense, the word 'divine' refers to the
property of being a divinity or being a god, some sort
of supernatural personal being. In secondary senses,
'divine' is used to describe things somehow related to
or associated with things which are 'divine' in the
primary sense. Thus the church, the scriptures,
angels, and various people may be called 'divine'.
According to the biblical writers, God is divine in
the primary sense. Thus, if we accept their testimony,
we must accept 1, understanding 'divine' in this way."
When discussing LT, Tuggy reworks 5, however. Since
the claims of LT significantly differ from ST, Tuggy
now introduces what he calls 5I in order to adequately
delineate LT. LT posits:
5I. The Father is identical to God, the Son is
identical to God, and the Holy Spirit is identical to
God, but the Father is not identical to the Son, the
Son is not identical to the Holy Spirit, and the
Holy Spirit is not identical to the Father.
Tuggy then writes:
"All of 1-6 can't be true because 5I is a
contradiction, and so a necessary falsehood. By its
very structure, it is false, because the identity
relation (=) is transitive. For any a, b, and c
whatever, if a=b, and b=c, then a=c. By this rule of
inference, it follows from 5I that the Father is the
Son, the Son is the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit
is the Father, all of which are expressly denied in
5I. In other words, 5I is equivalent to this
statement: 'The Father, Son, Holy Spirit, and God are
just one thing, and they are not.'"
What do you think of Tuggy's argument against LT? Does
LT wind up positing that a=b, and b=c, therefore a=c?