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Modified Trinitarian Arguments

Here are my two modified arguments along with a definition of the important terms and a restatement of the points I am taking for granted in the discussion.

Terms

Trustworthy = more likely to be true than false.

Evidence = Something that provides a reason to accept the veracity of it’s object. 

Doctrine of the Trinity = the proposition that God is one substance consisting in three persons.

Proto-Trinitarian proposition = one of several propositions in the Bible which, when taken together, entail the doctrine of the Trinity.

Remote proposition = a proposition about a matter that its original proponents were not capable of verifying.

Assumed Propositions: Three Standard Propositons of Orthodoxy

(1) The Bible’s historical propositions are trustworthy.

(2) The Bible contains proto-Trinitarian propositions. 

(3) A person is an orthodox Christian if and only if that person accepts the doctrine of the Trinity.

First Argument: There are no good reasons to accept the doctrine of the Trinity

(4) The Bible contains remote propositions.

(5) There is no evidence that any of the Bible’s remote propositions are trustworthy.

(6) The Bible’s proto-Trinitarian propositions are remote propositions.

FIRST BIG CONCLUSION:

(7) Therefore there is no evidence that the Bible’s Trinitarian propositions are trustworthy.

Second Argument: There are good reasons to reject the doctrine of the Trinity

(8) If the Bible contains more remote propositions which are demonstrably false than demonstrably true, then this counts as evidence that its remote propositions are not trustworthy.

(9) Some of the Bible’s remote propositions are demonstrably false, i.e. its cosmological propositions.

(10) The Bible contains no remote propositions which are demonstrably true.

CONCLUSION:

(11) Therefore there is evidence that the Bible’s remote propositions are not trustworthy.

SECOND BIG CONCLUSION:

(12) Referring back to (6), we conclude that there is evidence that the Bible’s Trinitarian propositions are not trustworthy.

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Categories: Scripture, Theology
  1. January 26, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    I don’t think you’ve adequately addressed objections based on your generalizations, and I question the validity of the category you’ve created for RPs, but I’m going to have to leave those aside for now (it’s just been a long day). This is not an argument in any sense, I just wanted to have it “preserved in the record” so to speak.

    My initial concern with your logic here is statement (5). You state there is no evidence for RPs, however with your newly stated definition of RPs, and your continuing sentiment that the biblical text is trustworthy, we must now deal with prophecy. It meets your criteria for RP (the writer would not have been able to verify it at the time) and being that various prophecy have been fulfilled (the falling of the Northern Kingdom, of Judah, return from exile, the coming of the Messiah, the fall of Jerusalem, etc.) statement (5) is false, and therefore the conclusion reached (7) is suspect, which also calls into question conclusions (11) and (12).

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