A Thoroughly Trinitarian Metaphysic

Beginning with reason, logic, and reality, we start far from home. Then, along the way, we follow reason as truth-finder as she [1] avoids reductions to absurdity and [2] satisfies her own relentless demands for lucidity. Then, by the end, we find ourselves within a thoroughly Trinitarian metaphysic. The syntax is going to be – at times – intentionally repetitive with respect to just why and how it is that the metaphysic in question is in fact Trinitarian. The occasionally repetitive syntax is used so that at *each* step through our progression we are forced to recall – and include – each claim along the way vis-à-vis one’s proverbial [A] Reductio Ad Deum as opposed to one’s proverbial [B] Reductio Ad Absurdum. So, with that disclaimer – with that forewarning – we can start.

Far from closure – far from home:

Whether it is QM or Atheism or Christianity or X or Y or Z, the issue is not uncertainty/certainty unless one wants to assume the unfortunate posture of defending what can only be a radical, opaque skepticism. Of course, the Christian is quite satisfied in these discussions when Non-Theists assume that unfortunate posture. The Christian there only needs to simply coach the Non-Theist further and further down the Non-Theist’s own wish-list of premises in that path and, when the Non-Theist finally embraces the manifestly absurd, it is a sort of intellectually satisfying “QED” for the Christian.

If uncertainty/certainty do not necessarily compel reason (…in her role as truth-finder…) then what will rationally (…and necessarily…) compel her? That’s obvious: the proverbial “Y” in the road is when and if one is forced to embrace this or that reductio ad absurdum – this or that reduction to absurdity.

The goal of reason as truth-finder is [1] avoiding reductions to absurdity and [2] satisfying reason’s demands for lucidity. On occasion our Non-Theist friends are confronted with that and they argue-by-emote with something akin to, “Sophistry! Pure sophistry!” but of course that’s not surprising given the Non-Theist’s (…somewhat common…) decision at that proverbial “Y” in the road.

As for the disagreements internal to Christianity, the entire array of peripheral topics which our Non-Theist friends point to are irrelevant to what defines Christianity’s metaphysical wellspring of all ontological possibility – or Christianity’s epicenter – (…as all vectors converge in Christ). That is a substratum which our Non-Theist friends have not managed to negate – as too often all they’ve done in each attempt to negate that fountainhead is point to things outside of Christianity’s epicenter – which in a sense merely begs the question.

What everyone is left with is uncertainty in several layers, and certainty in several layers, and, so, that is all a proverbial “wash”. As in: Corrie ten Boom, no stranger to life’s unknowns, commented,

Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”

Faced with the challenge of the unknown in, say, the initially perplexing problem of how to get X into orbit around the earth, we rely on, trust in, the mathematics which we’ve every rational reason to trust as we face the challenge of, again, “…how to get X into orbit around the earth…”. We do not there assert that we are irrational for moving forward with our Mathematics in hand. No. We embrace, trust in, the known, that which we’ve rational reason to trust and we push forward into the problems and the unknowns. Rationally. Such is the nature of Corrie ten Boom, Reason, Faith, and Mathematics.

Evidence based faith is the only kind the Christian metaphysic recognizes and for good reason: such comports with reality. And reality matters. There is the Known, there is the Unknown, and there is our trust in, reliance upon, faith in, the known as we work through reality’s array of often perplexing unknowns/problems. Like Corrie ten Boom and Mathematics.

That’s not complicated.

Therefore certainty/uncertainty cannot help us decide – or more precisely – certainty/uncertainty do not necessarily and rationally compel reason (…in her role as truth-finder…) into A vs. B. vs. C., as it were. But that’s old news. Everybody already knows that with respect to the nature of the knowledge of reality (…on the one hand…) and the fundamental nature of reality (…on the other hand…).

All that is left then is that painful “Y” in the road between the forced reductio ad absurdum (…on the one hand…) and reason’s lucidity (…on the other hand…). Uncertainty never has disqualified a premise, but what is clear is that when this or that premise forces a reduction to absurdity, the premise itself is (then) rationally rejected. Reason’s relentless demands for lucidity press ever forward, outward, upward.

“Reason Itself” in the sense of mirroring the “classical theism” phrase of, “Being Itself” inevitably forces our hand in several ways. “That” proverbial “compelling” arrives in and by and through the respective premises constituting this or that explanatory terminus with respect to Reason, Being, Non-Being, & Ontological Cul-de-sacs (…which is discussed at https://metachristianity.com/reason-being-non-being-ontological-cul-de-sacs/ …). It is there where, once again, we arrive, at some ontological seam somewhere, at Reason’s obligation with respect to Truth for it is at that metaphysical seam where Reason ends while Reality constituted as Non-Reason continues — ad infinitum.  The Edge of Reason there exposes what just is the End of Reason and that is unavoidable in one’s metaphysic unless reality’s explanatory terminus (…under review here…) is in fact Reason Itself  vis-a-vis Being Itself — and so on up and down the proverbial “ontic line” as we traverse that fateful “Y” in the road and press into the [A] Reductio Ad Deum or else into the [B] Reductio Ad Absurdum.  A brief excerpt from the linked discussion on Reason, Being, Non-Being, & Ontological Cul-De-Sacs:

….Often, not always, but often enough to prompt this brief paragraph, it is the case that many of our Non-Theist (A-Theist) friends are, when it comes to being, quick to trade away permanence in their paradigm when it comes to the moral, whereas very few are so bold when facing the argument from reason and/or the rationalist proof. And for good reason (no pun intended). The inevitable shipwreck suffered by trading away permanence in the paradigm of metaphysical naturalism when it comes to reason is just too costly. Why? Because at that juncture it becomes evident that while they have been forced to leave “Being Itself” on the table, they have, by their own hand, stripped reason away from it (…away from being – away from “Being Itself”…) such that we find that reason “is” what it always has been in metaphysical naturalism, which is no-thing, as in non-being. Non-Theism is intrinsically anti-reason with respect to “being”. That is to say that Non-Theism just is Non-Reason.

Ontological Cul-De-Sacs & Bobbles & Bubbles:

As just discussed we find that, at some ontological seam somewhere, the end of reason itself is finally forced and that lands the entire Non-Theistic attempt NOT in the convertibility of the necessary transcendentals with respect to its own being but, rather, in the illusory shadows of non-being…..

The fundamental nature of reason, logic, knowledge, and perception will always force our hands, whatever paradigm we may be working within. Regarding this or that “metaphysical wellspring of all ontological possibility”, no rational person intentionally embraces absurdity (…the proverbial reductio ad absurdum and so on…). The reach of the physical sciences (…on the one hand…) and of reason herself (…on the other hand…) are universally and fundamentally distinct, and distinction here does not mean wholly disconnected from one another, but simply means that they – and their respective reaches – are in a relevant sense different (….scientism being fallacious (etc.)….).

For example, knowledge just isn’t “physics-full-stop” (….methodological naturalism etc…) and the moment the Non-Theist attempts to claim that such *is* the definition of Knowledge is the moment reality’s universal and fundamental transcendentals come roaring in to dismantle his “.…cluster of tautological statements giving an appearance of a meaningful structure or system when stacked and leaned up against each other at various angles …. the resultant spaces providing the necessary illusion for pattern projecting subjects to go on to…..” (DNW) The Non-Theist and physicist Sean Carroll makes the attempt in his “The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself” and, bit by bit, the absurdity of “useful but not true” (…in various “layers” of “reality”…) subsumes all of his syntax.

Therein we find that one chooses, embraces, prefers – loves – absurdity over coherence, one chooses, embraces, prefers, loves, some contour of the ludicrous more than this or that contour of the lucid, one chooses the irrational over the rational. In short, there amid that unavoidable interface between self and truth the volitional man vis-à-vis the will of man invades the doxastic experience and displaces reason, hijacking the role of truth-finder and the rational man suffers yet another dive into he knows not what.

And there it is. QED.

That move by (too many) Non-Theists is hard evidence that one’s doxastic experience is fueled not “just” by evidence/reason, but also by other vectors subsumed within the intentional-being, within the being’s will, within taste and agenda. That the sky is blue may be a belief compelled such that one cannot deny it except by embracing the absurd, and yet the rationally compelled belief is *not* (…as is demonstrable…) constituted of “just” evidence/reason. If the price is sacred enough the Non-Theist will be telling us there is no such thing as blue, nor sky, nor sight, or I, nor self, nor even the utterance of “the sky is blue” nor even this very sentence one is reading for it – all of it – is you see but the absurd and the opaque, the “useful but not true”. You’re not reading this sentence. There is no sentence. There is no room for *you* to be *doing* anything there in nature’s four fundamental forces/waves which all layers ultimately reduce to, as all layers but one are ultimately and cosmically illusory. In fact, even the perception of our senses by which we organize nature’s four fundamental forces – and so on – are also subsumed by the illusory such that there is not even *one* layer which is “real”. It is *not* “…we know not what…” for there is no “we” nor “know” nor “what” nor “it”. Full Stop (…assuming – that is – that the price is sacred enough…).

Still far from home, the light breaks through:

Non-Theists are compelled into the hard stop of Mind and they therein do most of the Christian’s work for him in these discussions. That is to say that atheistic philosophers get there all by themselves as we’re just forced into it by logic regardless of our presuppositions. The hard stop of Mind is peculiar. One must squint really hard to deny it – to eliminate it – but even then…….. The choice between ultimate or cosmic or final absurdity (…one the one hand…) or God / the Divine Mind (…on the other hand…) is, if we are patient – and we are – where these conversations always end up.

I think solipsism is always an interesting topic because if we start “mid-stream” in our epistemology by rejecting solipsism (as I think most of us probably do), it is then interesting to try to infer what “upstream” structure of our thoughts must have led to this rejection. There is some hope that by swimming upstream in this manner we will discover certain “first principles” that lie unrecognized at the wellspring of our beliefs.(j.hilclimber)

It is simply a matter of [1] following reason, logic, and observational reality as far as they will take you and, from there, [2] pulling in that which makes the most sense of all the information and also being careful to embrace [3] that which avoids the many pains of this or that reductio ad absurdum. Atheists of all strips do the Christian’s work for him here, saving the Christian all sorts of time, as they (…Non-Theists of all strips…) typically follow reason and logic and end up within various cousins of solipsism, both hard and soft, which of course is again what the Christian’s metaphysic predicts as that proverbial “Y” in the road between the Divine Mind – a Reductio Ad Deum (…on the one hand…) and Absurdity – a Reductio Ad Absurdum (…on the other hand…) approaches ever more rapidly.

Truth-Finding:

Having arrived in the Divine Mind by starting outside of such and allowing reason and logic to compel us truth-ward, we then discover that the rational terminus of reason’s impossibly extravagant appetite in fact never leaves the elemental substratum of Reason Itself and is therein – in a full and ontic sense – a kind of total rationalism:

“……the concept of being is one of power: the power of actuality, the capacity to affect or to be affected. To be is to act. This definition already implies that, in its fullness, being must also be consciousness, because the highest power to act — and hence the most unconditioned and unconstrained reality of being — is rational mind. Absolute being, therefore, must be absolute mind. Or, in simpler terms, the greater the degree of something’s actuality, the greater the degree of its consciousness, and so infinite actuality is necessarily infinite consciousness. That, at least, is one way of trying to describe another essential logical intuition that recurs in various forms throughout the great theistic metaphysical systems. It is the conviction that in God lies at once the deepest truth of mind and the most universal truth of existence, and that for this reason the world can truly be known by us. Whatever else one might call this vision of things, it is most certainly, in a very real sense, a kind of “total rationalism.” (D.B.H.)

Racing towards the “Y” in the road, we find that, as to Consciousness in God, that is to say, as for the constitutions of “Irreducible and Infinite Consciousness” in what is necessarily nothing less than *GOD* / “Being Itself”, such is, to be sure, another part to this narrative as we are forced thricely into an infinite locus of consciousness each of which by necessity cannot be less than Being in totum.

Consciousness in *GOD* is not and cannot be on ontological par with any contingent consciousness for given what the term *GOD* necessarily entails, the Divine Mind necessarily entails three irreducible and Infinite Loci of that which (…by logical necessity…) cannot be “less than” that which is “Infinite Consciousness”.

And here – in the Divine Mind, in God – in Infinite Consciousness – we must move methodically within the contours of Divine Simplicity. Moving forward then let us recall the opening paragraph’s disclaimer – the opening paragraph’s forewarning – with respect to what is going to be intentionally repetitive syntax. Again, the repetitive frame is used so that at *each* step through our progression we are forced to recall – and include – each claim along the way vis-à-vis one’s proverbial [A] Reductio Ad Deum as opposed to one’s proverbial [B] Reductio Ad Absurdum.

“To speak of God, however, as infinite consciousness, which is identical to infinite being, is to say that in Him the ecstasy of mind is also the perfect satiety of achieved knowledge, of perfect wisdom. God is both the knower and the known, infinite intelligence and infinite intelligibility. This is to say that, in Him, rational appetite is perfectly fulfilled, and consciousness perfectly possesses the end it desires.” (D.B. Hart)

Consciousness in *GOD* forces distinction void of division: It is uncanny that while, say, “Power” or “Goodness” or “Truth” all speak to some contour within Divine Simplicity such do not expressly and immediately force distinct centers of consciousness, whereas, while still within that same landscape, we do eventually come upon the affairs of *GOD* vis-à-vis Infinite Consciousness and, once we arrive “there”, we discover that the Divine Mind necessarily entails three irreducible and Infinite Loci of that which (…by logical necessity…) cannot be less than Infinite Consciousness which – it so happens – cannot be less than “Being In Totum“. One may be tempted to fully insist/claim that “not all” such distinctions void of division expressly and immediately force the Divine Mind, or Infinite Consciousness. Very well but such trepidation can only remain rational for so long, through this or that syntax of, say, Power or Presence or Speech as without fail all such vectors converge in the Epicenter of the Intentional Self vis-à-vis the Totality of nothing less than Being in totum vis-a-vis the I-AM as it turns out that – again on force of logic – three distinct Progressions vis-a-vis Communique vis-à-vis Totality in fact do force our hand as we come upon the affairs of *GOD* vis-à-vis Infinite Consciousness and all over again once we arrive “there” we discover that the Divine Mind necessarily entails three irreducible and Infinite Loci of that which (…by logical necessity…) cannot be less than Infinite Consciousness which – it so happens – cannot be less than “Being In Totum”. It is both peculiar and unavoidable.

Consciousness in *GOD* finds distinction void of division: The trio of the Infinite Knower (…which in Infinite and Irreducible Consciousness cannot be less than Being in totum) and of the Infinitely Known (…which in Infinite and Irreducible Consciousness cannot be less than Being in totum) and of all Communique/Procession vis-à-vis Logos therein (…which is both *of* infinite consciousness and also *is* infinite consciousness, which cannot be less than Being in totum) carries – compels even – logic and reason into a thoroughly Trinitarian metaphysic.

Logic forces our hand: If there were no Communique / Processions of/via the Divine Mind / Infinite Consciousness then there could only be the stark/static Non-Trinitarian Monotheism. However, the moment we realize the Living Infinite Consciousness vis-à-vis Being Itself we arrive at Logos — and that necessarily arrives in/as/of/by Communique / Processions — and that necessarily changes everything. Putting the lens on Divine-Simplicity forces our hand by sheer Logic — IF we retain Divine Simplicity and LogosTHEN we ipso facto affirm the Triune God.

Reductio Ad Absurdum: Ultimately all paradigms, including all forms of Non-Theism(s), must follow through on their respective metaphysical / explanatory termini vis-à-vis Reason & Reciprocity — or vis-à-vis Logic & Love — such that each must traverse their respective Maps ever outward and upward — and outward and upward still again — and still again — until one’s epistemic gives way to one’s ontology and one’s ontology gives way to one’s metaphysic and – in the case of all forms of Non-Theism – one’s metaphysic vis-à-vis Reason & Love in/as Being gives way to Non-Being – as per illusion. The concept of this or that fundamental nature vis-à-vis being somehow emerging from non-being gives-way to what it always housed and collapses into a metaphysical absurdity — namely the syntax of non-being vis-à-vis the syntax of the illusory-fundamental-nature-of vis-à-vis the syntax of illusion.

Redutio Ad Deum:  Contra that unfortunate reductio ad absurdum within Non-Theism, the explanatory distinction which the Christian Metaphysic enjoys is that the Christian spies within Reason & Reciprocity — within Logic & Love — that which when followed through and through to the irreducible contours of being itself vis-à-vis reality’s concrete furniture in fact reveals that Reason Itself has no Edge/Bottom — no terminus other than Being  — even as Reciprocity Itself  has no Edge/Bottom — no terminus other than Being — even as Reason & Reciprocity or Logic & Love arrive in a Metaphysical Singularity which has no Edge/Bottom —  no terminus other than Being Itself.  It is there vis-à-vis the robust lucidity of the Redutio Ad Deum that the Christian rationally rejects Non-Theism’s unavoidable Reductio Ad Absurdum

It is reason itself which reveals and unmasks the many absurdities within Non-Theism’s / Metaphysical Naturalism’s many varieties of syntax landing within the fundamentally illusive [Self] or “I”.  Mind itself and Thought itself there sums to I can think/choose/reason, but I cannot think what to think, choose what to choose, reason what to reason.” There the Currency of [reasoning] ultimately emerges as never having emerged at all — as non-emergent — as non-being. Non-Theists such as Harris, Carroll, Rosenberg, Churchland, and of course many other widely published Non-Theists agree with the Christian Metaphysic with respect to what we find “…given metaphysical naturalism…” (and so on). Whereas, on the Christian Metaphysic, reason’s ontology comes upon reality’s concrete furniture vis-à-vis Reason-Itself as Being-Itself (and so on). The Christian Metaphysic and Non-Theism there converge and agree that one cannot rationally land within the illusory shadows of non-being vis-à-vis those Currencies just described which ultimately emerge as never having emerged at all — as non-emergent — as non-being, even as they converge and agree that once one has arrived within Irreducible Mind one has arrived in Theism. It is there that all Non-Theistic premises pay the price of valuing the topography of No-God above the topography of Reason Itself as they are forced to avoid claims of Realism vis-à-vis Reality’s Concrete Furniture vis-à-vis Irreducible Mind just as they are forced to avoid the subtle equivocations within claims that “THAT” can be or is in fact contingent and mutable and thereby in principle available within Metaphysical Naturalism — for the simple reason that all such combinations and permutations can only be made on pain of contradiction, circularity, and, all over again, reductio ad absurdum.  

Segues Knowledge Piggybacks Off Of Knowledge:

Fortunately Reason & Logic & Love begin & end all Communique/Syntax and therein contingent minds build and navigate & add & so we widen & discover actual facts. We become what we behold as the Self-Revealing God breaks through.

As opposed to Non-Theism’s Irreducible/Concrete Furniture which Testifies that Self is illusion & thereby Reason with it ((“because Physics-Full-Stop”)) & which Testifies that nothing is irreducibly || concretely || objectively wrong/evil ((“because Physics-Full-Stop”)). A fallacy emerges with respect to that and the supposed “acquisition” of “knowledge” as per the following form:

(A) “It Turns Out That “3X” Actually Piggybacked Off Of “X”. Therefore 3X Is Fallacious. Because [Knowledge].

(B) “Calculus piggybacks off of subtraction & addition. Therefore calculus is fallacious. Because [Knowledge].

The [reductio ad absurdum] there is that [everything] [Piggybacks] off of [something]. Therefore, IF one means to tow that line THEN one’s Reason had better Piggyback all the way home — to Reason Itself vis-à-vis Being Itself.

A Brief Digression: 

While this will be explored further a few paragraphs downstream from here, it seemed fitting to briefly comment here on the reach which is (by necessity) required when reaching for the “ultimately self-explanatory” — therefore this brief digression: The Self-Explanatory forces the Absolute’s Reference Frame as all such vectors force Totality of Reference Frame and again we are immersed within the topography of Infinite Consciousness but by somewhat different set of three distinct progressions, namely that which is by necessity nothing less than [A] Self-Reference – and that which is by necessity [B] distinction void of division, and [C] by necessity such distinctions (…plural…) can never be “less than” that which is “Being Itself” as all over again logic forces Infinite Consciousness.  All of that retains coherence all over again as we converge upon the fundamental nature of Time and Fact and Conscious Observer and Perception and Reference Frame. We know that whether we speak of Presentism or whether we speak of Eternalism it is the case either way that Time is neither the Absolute nor the absolute reference frame nor the Absolute’s Own Reference Frame. The Absolute’s frame of reference cannot even in principle *be* Self-Explanatory unless and until the Absolute is in fact Self-Referencing. We also know by both reason and logic that at the end of all explanatory termini we are forced into either A. final absurdity or else B. the Self-Explanatory in and of and by the Absolute’s Reference Frame, which must by necessity be Self-Reference and the reason why is found in both the necessity of Totality and in the necessity of Identity as each reveals (….forces else reductio ad absurdum) all over again that the Absolute’s frame of reference cannot even in principle *be* Self-Explanatory unless and until the Absolute is in fact Self-Referencing — which is a metaphysical absurdity but for the Triune God who meets us in Genesis.

End brief digression.

As we pointed out earlier, even Non-Theists will do much of the Christian’s work here as they along with the Christian follow logic and reason into the various cousins of solipsism. From there logic simply, even nonchalantly, forces our hand into either a reductio ad absurdum or else into a reductio ad deum. Diving into “Being Itself” must entail the act of following upstream premises far enough downstream to address the actual question on the table with respect to the trio of [1] “Being Itself” and [2] Brute Fact and [3] the Self-Explanatory.

As we move farther downstream – or upstream depending on one’s approach – the necessary transcendentals are not convertible in any attempt at an “ontic-cul-de-sac”. Why? Because there are no such realities as ontological cul-de-sacs.

Nothing less than Being Itself presents reason with an irreducible substratum within the contours of Infinite Consciousness and it is both uncanny and yet expected that we find in this same Trinitarian metaphysic nothing less than a self-giving diffusiveness of the Ontic-Self in totum which carries reason (…in her proper role as truth-finder…) to the end of reality – into love’s indestructible and timeless reciprocity. All definitions stream from *that* metaphysical wellspring of all ontological possibility such that the Imago Dei itself and Reason itself and the Beautiful itself and the Rational itself are – all – in fact ontologically seamless with what is nothing less than the Moral landscape.

The complete metaphysic compels reason into the inimitable semantics of necessity, into the syntax of gospel, into a timeless and self-giving diffusiveness of the Ontic-Self in totum:

“[The] very action of kenosis is not a new act for God, because God’s eternal being is, in some sense, kenosis – the self-outpouring of the Father in the Son, in the joy of the Spirit. Thus Christ’s incarnation, far from dissembling his eternal nature, exhibits not only his particular propriumas the Son and the splendor of the Father’s likeness, but thereby also the nature of the whole trinitarian taxis. On the cross we see this joyous self-donation sub contrario, certainly, but not in alieno. For God to pour himself out, then, as the man Jesus, is not a venture outside the trinitarian life of indestructible love, but in fact quite the reverse: it is the act by which creation is seized up into the sheer invincible pertinacity of that love, which reaches down to gather us into its triune motion.” (D. B. Hart)

And again:

“This is true in two related and consequent senses: on the one hand, love is not originally a reaction but is the ontological possibility of every ontic action, the one transcendent act, the primordial generosity that is convertible with being itself, the blissful and desiring apatheia that requires no pathos to evoke it, no evil to make it good; and this is so because, on the other hand, God’s infinitely accomplished life of love is that trinitarian movement of his being that is infinitely determinate – as determinacy toward the other – and so an indestructible actus purus endlessly more dynamic than any mere motion of change could ever be. In him there is neither variableness nor shadow of turning because he is wholly free, wholly God as Father, Son, and Spirit, wholly alive, and wholly love. Even the cross of Christ does not determine the nature of divine love, but rather manifests it, because there is a more original outpouring of God that – without needing to submit itself to the order of sacrifice that builds crosses – always already surpasses every abyss of godforsakenness and pain that sin can impose between the world and God: an outpouring that is in its proper nature indefectible happiness.” (D.B. Hart)

Avoiding Absurdity and Embracing Lucidity – Approaching Home:

There are independent philosophical reasons for landing within the “Divine Mind” and, having arrived “there”, there are still other independent philosophical reasons for landing within an irreducibly triune topography amid the Infinite Knower (…which by logical necessity cannot be less than Being in totum), the Infinitely Known (…which by necessity cannot be less than Being in totum), and irreducible Communique / Procession therein as such relates to Logos (…which is both *of* infinite consciousness and also *is* infinite consciousness, which by logical necessity cannot be less than Being in totum), as neither of the three (by logical necessity) can be “less than” the procession of Being in totum.

That is a fact which necessarily and logically flows from what the term *GOD* entails. [A] is not [B] which is not [C] which is not [A] and each by logical necessity cannot be “less than” The Absolute, or Being In Total. Just as unavoidable, contra various Non-Theistic straw-men, distinction is not division as logic carries us onward and outward:

Distinction is not division as logic compels us thricely into an infinite locus of infinite consciousness whereby we come to our topography:

Mapping Reality:

The map of “Being Itself” — which of course is not the territory — begins to take shape:

[A] is not [B]
[B] is not [C]
[C] is not [A]

Each is Being in totum, each is *GOD*.

Conclusion:

Both [A] Logic and [B] Love’s timeless reciprocity compel reason (…in her proper role as truth-finder….) into a thoroughly Trinitarian metaphysic.

That same Map of Infinite Consciousness — of Being Itself — once again:

For conceptual context there are inroads available from Alexander Pruss’ description of Mereological Perfection (… http://alexanderpruss.blogspot.com/2018/07/the-perfection-of-gods-alleged-parts.html …) with the following excerpt:

Mereological Perfection

  1. Every part of God is perfect.
  2. Only God is perfect.
  3. So, every part of God is God.
  4. So, God has no proper parts (parts that aren’t himself).
  5. So, divine (mereological) simplicity is true.

Following those same contours we arrive – yet again – within the Divine Mind where we are compelled thricely into an infinite locus of infinite consciousness vis-à-vis an irreducibly triune topography:

[A] is not [B]
[B] is not [C]
[C] is not [A]

Each is Being in totum, each is *GOD*.

Mind’s Reference Frame:

“…..if reason’s primordial orientation is indeed toward total intelligibility and perfect truth, then it is essentially a kind of ecstasy of the mind toward an end beyond the limits of nature. It is an impossibly extravagant appetite, a longing that can be sated only by a fullness that can never be reached in the world, but that ceaselessly opens up the world to consciousness. To speak of God, however, as infinite consciousness, which is identical to infinite being, is to say that in Him the ecstasy of mind is also the perfect satiety of achieved knowledge, of perfect wisdom. God is both the knower and the known, infinite intelligence and infinite intelligibility. This is to say that, in Him, rational appetite is perfectly fulfilled, and consciousness perfectly possesses the end it desires. And this, of course, is perfect bliss.” (David Bentley Hart – The Experience of God)

We want to be methodical so that at *each* step through our progression we are forced to recall – and include – each claim along the way vis-à-vis one’s proverbial [A] Reductio Ad Deum as opposed to one’s proverbial [B] Reductio Ad Absurdum. And, so, let us repeat a brief item from earlier: Having arrived in the Divine Mind by starting outside of such and allowing reason and logic to compel us truth-ward, we then discover that the rational terminus of reason’s impossibly extravagant appetite in fact never leaves the elemental substratum of Reason Itself and is therein – in a full and ontic sense – a kind of total rationalism:

“……the concept of being is one of power: the power of actuality, the capacity to affect or to be affected. To be is to act. This definition already implies that, in its fullness, being must also be consciousness, because the highest power to act — and hence the most unconditioned and unconstrained reality of being — is rational mind. Absolute being, therefore, must be absolute mind. Or, in simpler terms, the greater the degree of something’s actuality, the greater the degree of its consciousness, and so infinite actuality is necessarily infinite consciousness. That, at least, is one way of trying to describe another essential logical intuition that recurs in various forms throughout the great theistic metaphysical systems. It is the conviction that in God lies at once the deepest truth of mind and the most universal truth of existence, and that for this reason the world can truly be known by us. Whatever else one might call this vision of things, it is most certainly, in a very real sense, a kind of “total rationalism.” (D.B.H.)

While none of this sums to any sort of claim upon any kind of thoroughgoing Idealism, the Divine Mind is inescapable. Within that context of Idealism juxtaposed to Christianity (…and nothing more is implied here…) one can perhaps consider landscapes as discussed in “Idealism and Christian Theology: Idealism and Christianity Volume 1” within its subsection titled, “Necessary processions of idea and action in God”. It seems logic and reason in fact “compel” us into the Divine Mind and that, once there, logic and reason again force our hand – into something irreducibly triune. On sheer force of will I suppose one can reason oneself *out* of a thoroughgoing Trinitarian metaphysic, but, of course, being compelled (…by that attempt…) to embrace an ever widening array of reductions to absurdity, the metaphysic of the Triune *GOD* is – hands down – reason’s bliss. The Christian rationally rejects absurdity, self-negation, contingency, and so on and thereby we find reason spying the proverbial “Y” in the road between a forced Reductio Ad Deum and a forced Reductio Ad Absurdum.

And, if one recalls, reason is, after all, where this whole journey started – out there – far from home – and now – finally – reason as truth-finder has found her delight – that of total rationalism – that of the uniquely triune metaphysical wellspring of all ontological possibility. Reason has found, that is, her Groom. And with that she has found nothing less than Home. One can even begin to see just how it is that we can say that reason has found the ultimate and the self-explanatory.

The Self-Explanatory and Ontic-Closure:

We come upon Mind, and Time, and Reference Frame, and the Absolute’s Reference Frame:

“This is arguably the besetting mistake of all naturalist thinking, as it happens, in practically every sphere. In this context, the assumption at work is that if one could only reduce one’s picture of the original physical conditions of reality to the barest imaginable elements — say, the “quantum foam” and a handful of laws like the law of gravity, which all looks rather nothing-ish (relatively speaking) — then one will have succeeded in getting as near to nothing as makes no difference. In fact, one will be starting no nearer to nonbeing than if one were to begin with an infinitely realized multiverse: the difference from non-being remains infinite in either case. All quantum states are states within an existing quantum system, and all the laws governing that system merely describe its regularities and constraints. Any quantum fluctuation therein that produces, say, a universe is a new state within that system, but not a sudden emergence of reality from nonbeing. Cosmology simply cannot become ontology. The only intellectually consistent course for the metaphysical naturalist is to say that physical reality “just is” and then to leave off there, accepting that this “just is” remains a truth entirely in excess of all physical properties and causes: the single ineradicable “super-natural” fact within which all natural facts are forever contained, but about which we ought not to let ourselves think too much.” (by D.B. Hart, The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss)

The nature of an ultimate self-explanatory principle presses in:

The Self-Explanatory forces the Absolute’s Reference Frame as all such vectors force Totality of Reference Frame and again we are immersed within the topography of Infinite Consciousness but by somewhat different set of three distinct progressions, namely that which is by necessity nothing less than [A] Self-Reference – and that which is by necessity [B] distinction void of division, and [C] by necessity such distinctions (…plural…) can never be “less than” that which is “Being Itself” as all over again logic forces Infinite Consciousness.  All of that retains coherence all over again as we converge upon the fundamental nature of Time and Fact and Conscious Observer and Perception and Reference Frame. We know that whether we speak of Presentism or whether we speak of Eternalism it is the case either way that Time is neither the Absolute nor the absolute reference frame nor the Absolute’s Own Reference Frame. The Absolute’s frame of reference cannot even in principle *be* Self-Explanatory unless and until the Absolute is in fact Self-Referencing. We also know by both reason and logic that at the end of all explanatory termini we are forced into either A. final absurdity or else B. the Self-Explanatory in and of and by the Absolute’s Reference Frame, which must by necessity be Self-Reference and the reason why is found in both the necessity of Totality and in the necessity of Identity as each reveals (….forces else reductio ad absurdum) all over again that the Absolute’s frame of reference cannot even in principle *be* Self-Explanatory unless and until the Absolute is in fact Self-Referencing — which is a metaphysical absurdity but for the Triune God who meets us in Genesis.

The I AM identity: There is no frame of reference for “Self” but for the fact of “Other”, as the Absolute’s Self-Reference presses in through the eons of the “I AM” traversing history:

….. we are forced to conclude that these are relational qualities and have no meaning in isolation. In other words, in God, qualities of personality can be actualized only if there is an actual, eternal relationship in him prior to, outside of, and without reference to creation. Only in that way would God be a personal being without being dependent on his creation. When Moses asked God for his name, the answer he got was least expected: I AM (Ex. 3:14). This amazing mystery of the name (identity) of God solves a problem that we may not always be aware of: God is his own frame of reference. We have already considered the fact that the infinite cannot be defined with reference to the finite. God, therefore, must be self-referencing. This would be an absurd proposition but for the fact that, in the being of God, there is a plurality of infinite persons and each can define himself with reference to the other. God can truly be said to be self-existent only because he is the all-personal, all-relational being… (L. T. Jeyachandran)

It is at this juncture where we begin to come upon the nature of the Self-Explanatory. However, when speaking of the “Absolute”, there can be no “rational reference frame” other than Self-Reference.

That finds two interesting footprints. First, there is “that” or else all “explanation” at all “levels” of “reality” suffer the pains of the absurd vis-à-vis the inexplicable on all fronts as the only other option of “brute fact” comes roaring in. Now, reason in her proper role as truth-finder seeks to embrace – not absurdity – for such is her extinction and forces her non-existence – and instead she chases after lucidity through and through.

“You want to endorse a form of naturalism according to which real explanations are possible at levels of physical reality higher than the level of the fundamental laws of nature, yet where these explanations rest on a bottom level of physical laws that have no explanation at all but are “brute facts.” But this view is, I maintain, incoherent. For if you endorse a regularity view of laws, then you will have no genuine explanations at all anywhere in the system. All of reality, and not just the level of fundamental physical laws, will amount to a “brute fact” ……. You maintain in your most recent post that explanations legitimately can and indeed must ultimately trace to an unexplained “brute fact,” and that philosophers who think otherwise have failed to give a convincing account of what it would be for the deepest level of reality to be self-explanatory and thus other than such a “brute fact.” Unsurprisingly, I disagree on both counts. I would say that appeals to “brute facts” are incoherent, and that the nature of an ultimate self-explanatory principle can be made intelligible by reference to notions that are well understood and independently motivated.” (E. Feser)

Ontic closure in Self-Reference, that is to say in the Divine Mind – in the irreducibly triune – in Trinity:

“….God is his own frame of reference. We have already considered the fact that the infinite cannot be defined with reference to the finite. God, therefore, must be self-referencing. This would be an absurd proposition but for the fact that, in the being of God, there is a plurality of infinite persons and each can define himself with reference to the other. God can truly be said to be self-existent only because he is the all-personal, all-relational being…” (L. T. Jeyachandran)

The Logic of the Trinity:

A not uncommon question arises:

“….isn’t it that the Christian is saying that 1 + 1 + 1 = 3 and/or that 1 = 3 = 1 or something like that…..?”

That answer to that question of  “Isn’t Christian is saying that 1 + 1 + 1 = 3 and/or that 1 = 3 = 1 or something like that?” of course depends on what the units on each side of the equal sign/signs referent. Therefore, a better question is this:

What are the Units?  Numerical? Identity? A case of the ‘is’ of Predication? A case of the ‘is’ of Identity?

The following “Quote/Excerpt” is taken from The Logic of the Trinity by Einar Duenger Bohn as per Bohn, E.D. SOPHIA (2011) 50: 363. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11841-011-0265-1 To avoid confusion it will Begin/End with Begin Quote/Excerpt and End Quote/Excerpt here:

—Begin Quote/Excerpt →

It has the predicative form:

The Father is F, the Son is F, and the Holy Spirit is F.

And yet they are not three Fs, but one F where F is uncreated, incomprehensible, eternal, almighty, and God, respectively. Seeing the predicative pattern in the first four cases, there is no reason to read the last case, according to which each three persons are God, as being a case of numerical identity. Following the predicative pattern, there is instead all the reason to read the last case too as being a case of the ‘is’ of predication, rather than the ‘is’ of identity. This is also the most simple and reasonable way to avoid contradicting the last sentence: “yet they are not three Gods, but one God.

My solution to the Trinitarian Paradox is thus that we should understand Christian orthodoxy as asking us to believe in the following set of propositions (among many others):

  1. God = the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit
  2. The Father ≠ the Son
  3. The Father ≠ the Holy Spirit
  4. The Holy Spirit ≠ the Son

Which is a consistent set of propositions in conjunction with the classical laws of identity as long as proposition 14/15 is read collectively, not distributively.8 This set of propositions is a very simple and sufficiently good expression of the core demand in the Athanasian Creed, according to which we must worship Trinity in Unity and Unity in Trinity, but neither confound the persons nor divide the substance. It is also, as I have argued, compatible with the rest of the creed. This set of propositions is also consistent with monotheism, i.e., with proposition 13 according to which there is one and only one God. Of course, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are three, not one, but proposition 13 implies no denial of that fact. Orthodoxy recognizes that they are three and not confounded with each other through its acceptance of 4-6/16-18. It is when conceptualized as God that He is one, undivided in substance.

I anticipate at least six objections, but first note four general features of my solution.

First, the topics of plural identity and the nature of numerical properties are, as shown by the examples given above, general logical and metaphysical topics in their own right. My solution is therefore not motivated solely by the problem of the Trinity, and hence cannot legitimately be accused of being an objectionably ad hoc such solution.

Second, my solution is not a version of modalism, the heretic view according to which the three persons are mere “appearances” or “modes” of the one God. According to my solution, the three persons are real divine existences in their own right.

Third, it is not a version of subordinationism, the heretical view according to which there is some sort of ordering relation among the three persons with respect to their divinity. For all my solution says, it might be the case that the Son is begotten by the Father and that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, but nonetheless that each of the three persons is the same with respect to their divine features. For all my solution says, it might also be the case that there is no priority relation between God and the three persons; the one might be on a par with the three.

Fourth, it is neither a version of so-called Latin Trinitarianism (LT) nor so-called Social Trinitarianism (ST). Roughly, LT takes its starting point in the one and only God, and then tries to explain the three persons in Him, i.e., tries to explain how the one and only God is three persons. (Its main challenge is to avoid modalism, which my solution avoids.) ST on the other hand (again roughly) takes its starting point in the three persons, and then tries to explain the one and only God in them, i.e., tries to explain how they are one God. (Its main challenge is to avoid polytheism, which my solution avoids, but more on that below.) By identifying the one and only God with the three persons collectively in the way I suggested above, one neither takes its starting point in God nor in the three persons. By being identical, God and the three persons (collectively) are on a par in all senses of the term, and hence not sensibly explained in each other. It is important to note that my solution is to be understood literally: the one God is identical with the three persons (collectively), and the three persons (collectively) are identical with the one God. As shown above, this is not contradictory on the condition that numerical properties (or predications, if you prefer) are relational properties (predications).

My solution thus also avoids more general objections to ST and LT as such. To partly support this further claim, consider some objections to both these forms of Trinitarianism put forth by Dale Tuggy. Tuggy (2003) objects that ST fails because it identifies God with a community of three divine persons, but since a community is neither a person nor divine, it turns out, according to ST, that God is neither a person nor divine. But that God is neither a person nor divine contradicts the scriptures. My solution identifies God with a portion of reality that can equally well be conceptualized as a plurality of three divine persons. There is no privileged way of conceptualizing it in terms of which we can explain the other way. Both ways are equally legitimate. But then God is not a mere “community” (or rather: plurality) as opposed to a divine person because the relevant portion of reality can equally well be conceptualized as a divine person, namely God. Recall, my solution is a claim of strict identity: God is the same portion of reality as the three persons.

As such it also avoids what Tuggy calls the Quaternity Problem, namely that according to ST there really are four divine persons, not three: the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, and God.

According to Tuggy (2003:169): “The problem is this: in the New Testament, we encounter three divine and wonderful personal beings. In those pages there is no additional person called ‘God’ or ‘the Godhead.’”

But according to my solution, the divine portion of reality can be conceptualized as three persons, and as one person, but not, ontologically speaking, as four persons because the three persons together are the “fourth” person. So, to the extent that we think of four divine persons, we must be thinking of the same divine portion of reality “twice over,” much like we can think of my body as both my arms, legs, head and torso and as a body. We can do so, but it is, ontologically speaking, thinking of the same thing “twice over,” and as such, for metaphysical purposes, an innocent act. So, yes, there is a sense in which there are four divine persons, but it is an ontologically innocent such sense compatible with the New Testament since the “fourth” person is the three persons collectively.

Tuggy (2003:171–173) objects to what he calls popular LT by the fact that it identifies God with each one of the three persons (while upholding that each one of the three persons are mutually distinct), which violates the classical transitivity of identity. Obviously, by only employing a collective reading of the identity sign, my solution does not stumble over this problem (cf. proposition 14). But Tuggy (2003:173) also objects to what he calls refined LT by the fact that it denies there being a so-called absolute identity-relation of the form “x is the same as y,” and instead only accepts a so-called relative identity-relation of the form “x is the same F as y,” where F is a count-noun.  According to Tuggy, it is selfevident that there is an absolute identity-relation of the form “x is the same as y.” My solution does not deny that there is an absolute identity-relation (cf. footnote 8). According to my solution it is numerical properties that are relational, not identity. My solution is simply not one employing relative identity.

So, from the foregoing, I conclude that my solution falls on neither side of the often-mentioned distinction between ST and LT, and as such avoids the more general objections raised against each side.

I nonetheless anticipate at least six objections.

First objection………….

End Quote/Excerpt.

Reason and logic, and, as it so happens, love’s timeless and self-giving diffusiveness of the Ontic-Self in totum, all compel us into a thoroughly Trinitarian metaphysic.

In the Christian metaphysic reason discovers love’s timeless self-giving as Trinitarian processions await reason at the ends of all vectors such that should reason chase after some other constitution amid the unavoidable “one-another“, should reason chase after some other form or procession, then she would be (…factually…) “contra-reason”, that is to say she would be (…factually…)*un*reasonable. The rational is (…therein…) perfectly or ontologically seamless with the moral. The observation that the rational and the moral are in fact perfectly seamless is another way of expressing both the coherence and the explanatory power of Christian metaphysics.

Paradigmatically speaking, such is a radically different explanatory terminus than we find in any Non-Theism. The Golden Thread of Reciprocity is affirmed by natural theology, is perceived by reason, is seen by Non-Theism, but Non-Theism must foist a metaphysical impossibility in order to claim her given that in that paradigm irreducible self-giving trades on irreducible indifference and the convertibility of the transcendentals is finally illusory. Whereas, in the pursuit of coherent definitions with respect to the fundamental nature of reality it is the Christian metaphysic whereby reason affirms that the “A” and the “Z” of reality in fact carries the rational mind into an ethic of irreducible and self-giving reciprocity – such that it is the case that “GOD” or “Ultimate Reality” is in fact love. An immutable and cruciform love housed within the ceaseless and Self-Giving diffusiveness of the Ontic-Self in totum vis-à-vis Infinite Consciousness logically forces an unavoidable reductio ad deum. Such contours carry reason towards reality’s irreducible substratum within love’s timeless reciprocity amid those uncanny Trinitarian processions housed in Being Itself – housed in the revealed …God who is glorified by sacrificing Himself for creation and not by sacrificing creation for Himself….. (Fischer)

The thoroughly Trinitarian metaphysic illuminates – explains – the root within the pains of our privation while simultaneously illuminating – explaining – not only the express epicenter of intelligibility but also our true good, our final felicity:

The perfection of love necessarily entails the perfection of reason, which itself necessarily entails the perfection of consciousness, which is the perfection of being. We are relational beings and that is true for a reason – as in the Imago Dei, as in Trinity, as in The Good, as in nothing less than God.

—End—

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