Every Analogy for the Trinity is a Heresy

The Trinity makes perfect sense. Unless you try to explain it, in which case you’re going to hell:

(Thanks to @LMFinney for the link!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Octoberfurst

    The whole idea of the Trinity never made sense to me even when I was a Christian. I could never wrap my brain around the concept of a single God who is also 3 seperate entities. (The reason I couldn’t is because the whole idea is absurd.) In scripture Jesus would say that he and the Father are one and the same but yet he would also say that the Father knew things he didn’t—like when the world would end. But if they are one being then how could Jesus NOT know what the Father was thinking? I never got a decent answer regarding the Trinity from any minister. They always said it was a “mystery.” Wow, great answer.

    This was one of the things that made me realize that Christianity–like all other religions—is made up. Along the way back towards the beginning Christians came up with this weird idea and made it dogma. Now they are stuck with it even though it makes no sense.

    • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

      “Mystery” is Catholic/Christian for “we know it doesn’t make sense, shut up about it”.

      • http://snigsfoot.blogspot.com/ Rob Crompton

        Exactly. Or, mystery is constructing a reductio ad absurdum and then using it as proof instead of disproof.

      • Hat Stealer

        What, would you rather them explain it and ruin the mystery?

  • El Bastardo

    As an Irishman I tried to tolerate the pain of the awful accents, but the use of the name “Patrick” in every sentence just made it unbearable.

    Made it about a minute in, couldn’t stand any more.

    • Lance Finney

      Understandable, but too bad. About a minute in is when it starts getting funny.

  • Rain

    An infinite God should be an infinite number of “person thingies”. Not just three. Or at least five. Five is way more infinite than three. Maybe somebody just made up a bunch of dumb stuff. That probably explains it. Ergo atheism is true. Okay everybody can go home now. You’re welcome.

    • Mairianna

      “person thingies” — that’s very Eddie Izzard of you, Rain.

  • TCC

    I can’t watch the video now, but I’ve been saying this for ages to anyone who pulls out the standard analogies (it’s like water existing as a liquid, water vapor, and ice; it’s like different dimensions of the same being; etc.): If you think you can explain the Trinity with an analogy, you’re either wrong or a heretic. It’s actually sort of nice, in a sense, since it leaves you with essentially two choices: 1) Accept it without question based on revelation or 2) deny it as an utterly incomprehensible and illogical doctrine. It tends to sort things out pretty quickly.

  • Baby_Raptor

    The sect I grew up in did not believe in the Trinity; they decried it as bad doctrine with no scriptural support. Their view was that God and Jesus are there, and are somehow both the same person and different people, but the Holy Spirit was a one-time thing given to the Apostles for the “great work” of establishing the religion. Regular believers don’t get the Spirit, so…I guess where most Christians would say that the Spirit helped them translate scripture, or nudged them to help someone or whatever, my little sect of fundiegelicals believed God was doing it himself?

    It never made much sense to me. I never, even when I followed the religion, understood why God needed to stay up in the sky and only communicate through totally fallible means.

  • ~SoACTing

    As a “Bible believing, charismatic, non-denominational Christian” (according to my mom) with a very heavy dose of evangelicalism tossed in, I started studying Mormonism about four years ago (which eventually made me question Christianity, and consequently, now I’m an atheist). It was the first time ever, after 20 years of life I even had the slightest clue that there were other sects/denominations that DIDN’T believe in the trinity. I was absolutely dumb struck!! I couldn’t fathom the idea that people could be so blindly deluded as to NOT believe in it! Everyone believed in the trinity — how could they not? It was painfully obvious the trinity was correct!

    One night I was joking with a co-worker and telling him how silly and heretical I found this non-trinitarian view. I knew at the time he was a Jehovah’s Witness. What I didn’t know was that they were non-trinitarian as well!!

    Boy oh boy, how naive I was!! It’s almost embarrassing now that I think about it!

    ~ SoACTing

  • Stev84

    The trinity thing was one of the first big conflicts in the early church. There were groups and people who believed that god and Jesus were separate entities. And also people who believed that Jesus was just a human. Much drama ensued and unfortunately the trinity/Jesus=god people won.

  • Machintelligence

    If you could understand it it wouldn’t be a mystery. Religion needs mysteries — if it can be understood, it can be proved wrong.

    Now they are stuck with it even though it makes no sense.

    This is not a bug, it’s a feature.

  • Art_Vandelay
  • baal

    When I was small and attended the RCC:
    God – our father who makes art in heaven (canvas is cheaper there).
    Jesus – his only begotten son ( the rest were not begotten), is god here on earth. For what 30 years or so. He liked it enough to stay but not so long as to wear out his welcome.
    Holy Spirit (used to be ghost but that’s too spooky) – I couldn’t recite for this one on my own so I was told that the Spirit proceeds from the Father to the Son and that’s that. Perfectly explained, we moved on.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    As a figurative or metaphorical thing, the “trinity” makes sense — you know, like three different aspects or “faces” of God.

    As a literal thing — “We have three gods but they’re all the same god” — it’s a brain-breaker.

    Either way, I reject the Christian God(s).

  • Robster

    See, we get three for the price of one. The baby jesus in his nappy in an old shed, or nailed to a stick, the old grey haired bloke in the sky doing nothing and the holy Spook. They have a hard enough time explaining the jesus/god fantasy let alone the Spook. Surely one androgenous deity would do the trick.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

      Or they could just admit that they’re really polytheists.

      Or they could claim it’s a form of monolatry, where there is one supreme being who takes many forms. (It worked for the Egyptians!)


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