PW’s third attempt at justifying his claim that Trinitarianism entails polytheism was:
The contradictions and absurdities of trinitarian belief might be itemised as follows:
i) God is one
ii) God is three co-equal persons
a) Is the Father completely God without any deficiency in his deity? Christians in my experience always claim the Father is completely God, not lacking anything that pertains to complete deity or Godhead.
b) Is the Son of God completely God without any deficiency in his deity? Christians in my experience always claim the Son of God is completely God not lacking anything that pertains to complete deity or Godhead.
c) Is the holy spirit completely God without any deficiency in his deity? Christians in my experience always claim the holy spirit is completely God not lacking anything that pertains to complete deity or Godhead.
If we look again at point i) above we can see the problem. a b & c suggest three co-equal persons each one a separate god: Father, Son of God, and holy spirit. Each is completely God and each lacks no attribute of deity. There are three different and separate centres of consciousness, three separate wills, three separate persons. etc. And yet the contradictory and irreconcilable belief is held simultaneously: that God is “one”. (Emphasis original)
Although it is unsound, PW at least went through the trouble of trying to make this look like an actual argument. Unfortunately, the critical link in his syllogism necessary to infer his desired conclusion is completely missing.
PW has told us that Christians believe each distinct person of the Trinity is completely God. From this he jumps to the conclusion that each person is a separate God. For all the appearance of an argument, the premise needed to demonstrate why the first premise leads to PW’s conclusion is completely missing. Essentially, once we strip away all the fluff, the following is all PW has given us:
Premise 1: Each one of the distinct persons of the Trinity is completely God and lacks no attribute of deity;
Premise 2: _________________;
Conclusion: Christians believe in three gods or divine beings.
However, suppose the missing premise is one of the following:
“Each person of the Trinity is God by virtue of completely sharing/possessing the same being, essence, and nature as the other two persons.”
“The Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is all one, the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal.”
“All the fullness of the divine essence belongs to each person, such that they are not generically but substantially one.”
“The divine essence possessed completely by the Father is numerically identical to the divine essence possessed completely by the Son and completely by the Spirit.”
Would PW’s conclusion follow from any of these? Certainly not. That’s why PW left out the necessary premise. Anything he supplied would either not accurately reflect Christian belief, and thus would be a straw man, or it would be one or another of the premises I gave above, from which his conclusion would not follow. Accordingly, he suppressed the requisite premise and offered his elliptical argument hoping no one would notice.
Of course he may not have been trying to be deceptive here. The possibility exists that PW is no better as a logician than he is as a theologian or as an exegete of Holy Scripture. The problem with this option is that PW made reference to the Athanasian Creed in the original post where he first lied about what Christians believe, and this very creed explicitly states what PW suppressed:
Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith; which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.
And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity;
Neither confounding the persons, nor dividing the substance
For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son and another of the Holy Spirit.
But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is all one, the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal.
So not only did PW lie when representing what Christians believe about God; he also could not justify his excuse for doing so by demonstrating that our belief actually entails polytheism.
Although it would not be as fun, I think PW was better off when he didn’t even try to respond. As the saying goes, it is better to let other people think you lie like Muhammad than to open your mouth and prove it.