Friday, April 3, 2009

Scotus on Why the Son Does Not Generate, etc.

Time to bring the discussion back to the top. I've been meaning to post this for the last two days, but my blogging time is limited. Anonymous Commenter mentions the "momentous pauses on the blog when an entry doesn't come about until days or even weeks later," for which I apologize. The explanation is simple: both Lee and myself are working on our dissertations, and real work has to come first. In fact mine is nearly done and I hope to have a finished draft in to my director by the end of the weekend, which means I've been doing a lot of boring footnote work rather than the spirited polemics we all love best. Speaking of which, apologies to any and all for the acrimonious tone which always seems to creep into these discussions. I'll try to stick to the arguments. Meanwhile we appreciate our (tiny handful of) loyal readers!

Mr Jones comments in the Cross thread:

The rest of what you say is fine. Here is the problem: . . . What your saying is that the Son inherits the principle property of causing a divine person because "what he has is only the Father's, i.e. the substance of the Father"? So if the Son inherits the principle property of causing a person, so should the Spirit since He inherits the same substance. By your gloss Principle and to be Father are not co-extensive, since the Son shares it. So it is not an exclusive personal feature. On my view, principle is the exclusive personal feature of the Father.


I agree that some clarification is needed here. At the same time Mr Jones' objection seems ambiguous at best. I would not admit that there is any "principle property of causing a divine person"--first because this again seems to be equivocating on "principle" as it's being used here; second because, as EP have themselves rightly pointed out in past discussions, "causing a divine person" is not a personal property in divinis. It is a fact that both the Son and the Spirit are "caused", but there is no real generic property of which generation and spiration are species.

The real problem, namely why the Son does not inherit generation and the Spirit spiration, since they both inherit the divine substance which is the principle of all action, needs more elaboration. For my purposes I will use Scotus' Reportatio I-A, which has the merit of being published alongside an English translation by Allan Wolter and Oleg Bychkov, sparing me the trouble of making my own translations. I make some slight emendations, however, in the snippets which follow.

I turn then to Dist. 7 Q.1, "Is the principle of producing in the divine a relation or the essence, or is [it] something absolute or relative?" This is a long question, but the money quote is this:

the divine essence is the formal principle of producing some person--moreover, sufficiently without any determination--but it cannot proceed to function unless the personal property concurs. And if the formal principle of producing something is understood in this way . . . I concede that the relation concurs with the essence to produce the Son, not to determine the essence which is determined of itself, but in order that the latter may come to be in proximate potency for acting, in which i can only be insofar as it is an individual subject and person.


I.e., the essence is the entire sufficient cause for what is generated being God. But in order for generation to take place the personal property of the Father--generation--has to "concur" with the essence. It is not the essence taken all by itself that generates, but the essence concurring with Fatherhood, i.e. the essence precisely as existing in the Father qua Father. Therefore when Mr Jones says "On my view, principle is the exclusive personal feature of the Father," I say we must distinguish between the principium quod and the principium quo.

The Son, then, does not generate, and for the same reason the Spirit does not spirate. Here is Scotus in Dist.7 Q.2 on why it is impossible for the Son to generate:

If the Son had the potency to generate, either he would generate by the same generation as the Father does, or by another. Not by the same; for if he did, the Son would generate himself, just as the Father generates him. Not by another generation, because there is no more than one production of a given sort in God because each is of itself just this, as was proved above in distinction 2, and also each production is suited precisely to its productive principle; therefore in no way does the Son have the potency of generating.


There can only be one generation and one spiration in God. If they were two generations, there would have to be something to distinguish them. But what would this be? There is no "principle of individuation" in God besides Himself. The Son cannot generate because, if he did, his generation would be identical with the generation of the Father, and thus what the Son would generate would be the Son, and thus the Son would generate Himself, which is contradictory and absurd. It is not contradictory and absurd for the Son to spirate, because the Son is not the Spirit. The Son receives his ability to spirate from the Father along with everything else pertaining to His Sonship. But the spiration of the Father and the Son is one spiration, not two, for there can only be one spiration in God. It is contradictory, however, for the Spirit to spirate, because what is spirated in God is the Spirit, and thus the Spirit would spirate Himself.

Also relevant is this bit later in Dist. 7 Q.2:

It must be said that this is not a precise expression: 'the essence is the principle of generation.' Indeed it is a truncated version unless it is specified 'the essence is the principle of generation for this one, namely the Father'; therefore it does not follow that there will be a potency to generate in the Son, indeed that is a fallacy of accident. For the essence is in the Son under such an aspect, under which the minor extreme, the potency to generate, is repugnant to him, as has been shown.


For divine generation both divinity and Fatherhood are required; in one sense divinity is the principle, since it is God which is generated, and in another Fatherhood is the principle, because it is the Father Who generates by His divinity; the Son does not have generating divinity but generated divinity. Similarly with the Spirit.

One final quote, from Dist. 12 Q.3:

This action of spiration can be considered in three ways: either in itself or towards another, or as it is in supposits acting. In the first two ways there is uniformity, just as if it were of one supposit. But in the third way, this action would not be uniformly from these supposits. For the Father has nothing that has been born, and whatever the Son has was received through generation. In this way, therefore, they would have the spiration action according to a certain order, and by reason of this a certain diversity could be asserted. And in this way one should understand the authorities; for I don't understand them in any other way.


There is only one spiration in God in itself. There is only one Spirit spirated. But there are two persons spirating, and the way they spirate is different, for the Father is the "principle" of spiration in this sense, that he spirates in virtue of his fontal plenitude, his being the source of everything in the Godhead, whereas the Son spirates in virtue of receiving everything He has from the Father. The Father spirates from Himself alone, then, whereas the Son spirates only through the Father and with the same spiration as the Father.

A very great deal more could be said, but perhaps this post is long enough. On final note. Mr Jones says "as far as explanation goes I don't find anything proffered by Bonaventure and Scotus that wasn't already covered by Alcuin and Ratramnus." I admit I don't know how to take this. Do Alcuin and Ratramnus really say what Scotus says in this post? If so I would be astonished. The increase in theologians' explanatory power from the beginning to the end of the thirteenth century alone is incredible, and also obvious to anyone to anyone who reads both early and late scholastics.

13 comments:

Joseph Schmitt said...

Michael,

It is a shame that most of your dialogues with Perry and Photios over the years have turned out the way they have. I personally learn a lot by reading these conversations, and I hate it that all of you end up losing your cool in the process. It is a shame that your dialogue with Perry on Scotus' formal distinction ended up being unanswered on Pontifications. I believe you all are doing fine work, and it would be good to see it continue if you all could quit letting your asses get the better of you.

Michael said...

Mr Schmitt,

I'll try to do better. Thanks for the encouragement.

Anonymous said...

This is good effort on your part here.

Good luck to both you & Lee on your dissertations.

Looking forward to more pieces such as the entry here.


P.S. About the seemingly notorious spat that somehow typically arises from what otherwise would prove a most intriguing dialogue, although I might agree with Mr. Schimitt concerning the extent of such good knowledge which could be learned from much of these arguments posed by even our own hosts here as well as their rather infamous detractors, I actually differ as to the principle culprits responsible for the usual demise of such dialogues; that is, given the discussions whether here, at EP or even SV, I've become more of the opinion that it is Photios who seems to run amok with the bad form that happens to unfortunately occur as opposed to it being Michael and/or Lee.

Though even Photios himself has a lot to offer, too; however, it is when he assumes such an intolerably anti-Catholic (not to mention, intransigently antagonistic) tone that somehow turns what could have reasonably been rather fine dialogue and transforms it into something less than degenerative doo-doo.

Lee Faber said...

I take it by the lack of response that the Easterners are now assuaged by the sweet Scotistic doctrine.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I'm a beginner in all this, but I've been reading these blogs (eg here, Michael L, EP, etc) and trying to learn.

I'm trying to understand the main question at hand. The Eastern Orthodox (or at least Photios) seem to say a 'property' can either be held by nature or person.

The issue I'm confused about is I thought only nature (not person) could hold a property because nature determines what the being can do. The "problem" which the EO seem to exploit is that if it is due to nature, then why would a given property not apply to all Persons.
The only "solution" I can envision is that either it would remain 'unused' by 2 of the 3 or only 'works' under certain conditions (which appears to be what Scotus says in your quotes).

Also, I cannot find a 'dogmatic' definition for the distinction between 'proceeds' and 'begotten', so I don't see how there can be a genuine filioque battle on the dogmatic level because without definition of some type you are arguing (almost empty) words rather than concepts.


Another thing I have to ask is, at what point can we set the limits on dogma when discussing the Trinity? It seems to me that a lot of the anathema attitudes are on a theological level which no Council has gone. At what point does our human logic break down and say this is as far as we can define the Trinity? For example, it appears we hold different understandings of 'identity' and the EO attack this as equivocation. But this attack implies there is a nice simple way of explaining the Trinity, which is a danger on the other extreme.

I speak as a beginner when I say this, but from what I've read, the Eastern Orthodox often attack us for holding a 'difficult' position on any given point, but it seems the EO solution around that specific 'difficulty' simply trades it for another 'difficulty' of their own. For example, it seems to me the EO attack us for making God 'too simple,' but their 'solution' seems to take the problem of keeping God 'simple' in the opposite direction such that the concept of "simple" becomes watered down if not irrelevant.

energeticprocession said...

Lee,
I haven't had a chance to dive back into it. Been painting the inside my house for the last month on the weekends. If you have ever done that, it's murder. Just FYI on the silence...

Michael,
"It is a fact that both the Son and the Spirit are "caused", but there is no real generic property of which generation and spiration are species."

GOOD. I'm glad that you are making that point.

"the divine essence is the formal principle of producing some person--moreover, sufficiently without any determination--but it cannot proceed to function unless the personal property concurs. And if the formal principle of producing something is understood in this way . . . I concede that the relation concurs with the essence to produce the Son, not to determine the essence which is determined of itself, but in order that the latter may come to be in proximate potency for acting, in which i can only be insofar as it is an individual subject and person.

"I.e., the essence is the entire sufficient cause for what is generated being God. But in order for generation to take place the personal property of the Father--generation--has to "concur" with the essence. It is not the essence taken all by itself that generates, but the essence concurring with Fatherhood, i.e. the essence precisely as existing in the Father qua Father."

What do you mean here by concur? That the essence generates such that the principle of Fatherhood exists or that Father must personally employ a power of the essence for the Son to be generated or something else...

"I say we must distinguish between the principium quod and the principium quo."

Okay I don't see a huge problem with this. You want to make a distinction between the principle of who and the principle of what. The Father is the principle of the Son, the essence is the principle of what comes forth, such that homoousios is the case for what is produced.

"There can only be one generation and one spiration in God. If they were two generations, there would have to be something to distinguish them."

I don't see how that follows. If the Father produces a Son and then the Father and Son generate, one immediately and the other mediately, than that person is distinguished by two classes of causes. Generation and spiration only differ per this distinction. But it nevertheless remains, that the Son derives the power to produce based on his consubstantiality according to this view. The question still remains of why the Spirit does not also derive this same power of producing such that you would have three classes of causes deriving the forth.

Anonymous stated

"For example, it seems to me the EO attack us for making God 'too simple,' but their 'solution' seems to take the problem of keeping God 'simple' in the opposite direction such that the concept of "simple" becomes watered down if not irrelevant."

The reason here why we believe we are on safer ground is that we refuse to give the term simplicity positive philosophical content. We do this in two different ways: 1)We describe it apophatically, such that it is none of those things that we would understand as being in any way. Or 2) which is the approach I like even better (e.g. Eriugena) we describe it in terms of contradictions (see Periphyseon, IV.759a-b). The purpose of this is to affirm what we actually say positively that all these things are true of God and the contradiction serves as a transcendental pointer of our mind that God is beyond all those things and beyond any categorization. This is the doctrine of the Areopagite.

Photios

energeticprocession said...

"However, it is when he assumes such an intolerably anti-Catholic (not to mention, intransigently antagonistic) tone that somehow turns what could have reasonably been rather fine dialogue and transforms it into something less than degenerative doo-doo."

True, I am quite anti-Catholic. Mostly for reasons that are outside theology: business, economics, politics, and all those nasty things that happen "off the books." For example, I very rarely take aim at Traditionalist Catholics because I have much sympathy for the great courage they have in maintaining traditional doctrine in the face of a regime that has been subverted. Of course, that's where I was before I left my former brethren. Once I was aware of the subversion, I wanted to know how far back this stuff has been going on. This means the old enemy of Gnosticism (i.e. rather than a doctrine, it is a technigue of subverting an institution) is very much alive and well. They are selling an ill bill of goods.

Photios

Michael said...

"What do you mean here by concur?"

I'm not sure if I can explain it more clearly or more succinctly than the words you already quoted, "the essence concurring with Fatherhood, i.e. the essence precisely as existing in the Father qua Father." The essence is one and the same in each Person but it exists in them in different modes. The essence in the Father is the essence under the mode of Paternity. The Son does not have the essence under that mode, since his constituting property is not that of the Father, rather he has the essence under the mode of Filiation. The Son does not produce a Son because he is already the Son and there can only be one Son in God.

I certainly do NOT mean "That the essence generates such that the principle of Fatherhood exists" because then the Father would be generated, and then the Father would be the Son, which is false and absurd. What I mean rather is that Father generates because he has both the divine essence and the personal property of Fatherhood, which neither the Son nor the Spirit have.

"or that Father must personally employ a power of the essence for the Son to be generated" This sounds more like what I mean. But generation is not "a power of the essence" but an activity performed by a person who has the essence.

"If the Father produces a Son and then the Father and Son generate, one immediately and the other mediately, than that person is distinguished by two classes of causes."

No no no! Here you miss the entire point of the Latin distinction between generation and spiration. They are not the same and they are not merely names distinguishing two "I-don't-know-what" processions in God. The Son is generated but does NOT generate. There is only one generation in God and it is the Father's generating the Son. The Son does NOT do for the Spirit what the Father does for the Son, even mediately, because the Spirit is not generated at all.

"Generation and spiration only differ per this distinction."

Again, no! Scotus affirms in the same work that I've been quoting from that even if ex hypothesi the Spirit were spirated from the Father alone without the Son he would still be distinct from the Son, precisely because generation and spiration are intrinsically different.

" But it nevertheless remains, that the Son derives the power to produce based on his consubstantiality according to this view."

No! You still don't understand. The Son derives the power to spirate from the fact that he is consubstantial with the Father AND from the fact that spiration is compatible with his personal property of filiation. Just as the essence must concur with Paternity to generate the Son, and so the Son, lacking paternity, cannot generated, so the essence must concur with active spiration in order to spirate the Spirit, and so the spirit, having only passive spiration, cannot spirate. Much less can the Spirit generate, not having Paternity. So what would the Spirit do to produce a fourth person if He can neither generate nor spirate? And therefore when you say

"The question still remains of why the Spirit does not also derive this same power of producing such that you would have three classes of causes deriving the forth"

I say that the question does NOT still remain until you tell me just what the Spirit could do to produce a fourth person.

energeticprocession said...

"No no no! Here you miss the entire point of the Latin distinction between generation and spiration. They are not the same and they are not merely names distinguishing two "I-don't-know-what" processions in God. The Son is generated but does NOT generate. There is only one generation in God and it is the Father's generating the Son. The Son does NOT do for the Spirit what the Father does for the Son, even mediately, because the Spirit is not generated at all."

Good. I'm glad to see that Scots think they are really different. That is certainly different from Ratramnus and Alcuin and Aquinas and even Augustine. Aquinas conflates generation and spiration as just being a generic kind of production in Summa Contra Gentiles. And the Carolingians and Augustine think that they only differ as one coming from another and one coming from two. So on that score, I don't think you can say Scotus' view represents the Latin tradition.

"Again, no! Scotus affirms in the same work that I've been quoting from that even if ex hypothesi the Spirit were spirated from the Father alone without the Son he would still be distinct from the Son, precisely because generation and spiration are intrinsically different."

We agree on something.

"No! You still don't understand. The Son derives the power to spirate from the fact that he is consubstantial with the Father AND from the fact that spiration is compatible with his personal property of filiation. Just as the essence must concur with Paternity to generate the Son, and so the Son, lacking paternity, cannot generated, so the essence must concur with active spiration in order to spirate the Spirit, and so the spirit, having only passive spiration, cannot spirate. Much less can the Spirit generate, not having Paternity. So what would the Spirit do to produce a fourth person if He can neither generate nor spirate? And therefore when you say

"The question still remains of why the Spirit does not also derive this same power of producing such that you would have three classes of causes deriving the forth"

"I say that the question does NOT still remain until you tell me just what the Spirit could do to produce a fourth person."

I see what you are saying and that make sense as far as it goes, but it still does not negate that the Spirit could produce a divine person that is compatible with his personal property and passive spiration. So the Spirit cannot spirate and the Son cannot generate, yet the Son can Spirate. What I still see here is that you are not dealing with the underlying *reason* for the filioque, which is that the Son *really* is deity because he produces (along with the Father) a divine person. Why can't the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit "flow forth" a fourth hypostasis called Kosmos where "flow forth" is really different from generation and spiration and yet is compatible with the Spirit's personal property? The Spirit doesn't spirate this person Kosmos, rather He flows forth from the Spirit (along with the Father and the Son) as from One principle. I have then protected the Spirit's status as deity by having Him produce a divine person, and now I have to deal with a new problem: Kosmos' status as deity. And the trouble begins...

Photios

Michael said...

"Good. I'm glad to see that Scots think they are really different. That is certainly different from Ratramnus and Alcuin and Aquinas and even Augustine. Aquinas conflates generation and spiration as just being a generic kind of production in Summa Contra Gentiles."

I am not aware of any passage in the Contra Gentiles where Aquinas does this. If he doesn't explain them very well there, all I can say is that the Contra Gentiles is not the first place to look for a nuanced presentation of Trinitarian doctrine, even in Aquinas. The whole subject only gets 60 pages in my copy. The book is mostly a work of natural theology (never mind that you disapprove of the project, at least recognize what it is) and the last book is just to address basic objections likely to arise from the "natural" mind. Even the Summa Theologiae is a beginners' introduction and shouldn't be expected to contain a detailed answer to every problem.

Nevertheless I note that Thomas deals with the intrinsic difference between generation and spiration, and many other objections you've brought up in this discussion, in S.T. I.q.27, esp. articles 2-5. Do I think that Aquinas' arguments and explanations are the best that could possibly be presented? Definitely not. But the *doctrine*, never mind the metaphysics, is the same as what I hold. If one doesn't find the explanation for the doctrine adequate, look somewhere else.

"And the Carolingians and Augustine think that they only differ as one coming from another and one coming from two. So on that score, I don't think you can say Scotus' view represents the Latin tradition."

Scotus is fully in the Latin tradition, and you seemed to have entirely missed Augustine's procedure whereby he finds the vestigia Trinitatis in the structure of spiritual creatures. Like every other Latin theologian I know Scotus distinguishes generation and spiration by means of distinguishing between the modum intellectus and the modum voluntatis in the divine processions. To that extent he is fully in line with the Latin tradition. I also think that he developed a better logical and metaphysical apparatus to deal with this and many other questions than did his predecessors, which is why he is a great thinker. But he taught the same thing as them, he just did a better job.

And as Mr Faber can explain in greater detail than I, the subsequent Latin tradition has validated Scotus' approach, both in the many Scotistic schools that flourished for centuries, and in the commendation of many Popes and magisterial documents. Scotus' theology is a fully valid and legitimate approach to understanding Roman Catholic doctrine.

Now . . .

"What I still see here is that you are not dealing with the underlying *reason* for the filioque, which is that the Son *really* is deity because he produces (along with the Father) a divine person."

Once again you're missing the point entirely. The Son is *not* God just because he produces a divine person. If that's what was required to make someone God than the Holy Spirit would a) have to produce another divine person, or b) would not be God. But the Holy Spirit does not produce another divine person and he is God, ergo, etc.

Now that in historical terms the Filioque was first promulgated as a means of combating adoptionism and affirming the Son's consubstantiality with the Father is incidental to this point. The historical cause for a doctrine's first coming to prominence and the intrinsic intelligibility of the doctrine are two different things.

"Why can't the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit "flow forth" a fourth hypostasis called Kosmos where "flow forth" is really different from generation and spiration and yet is compatible with the Spirit's personal property? The Spirit doesn't spirate this person Kosmos, rather He flows forth from the Spirit (along with the Father and the Son) as from One principle."

In order for this to make any sense you have to show what intelligibility your term "flowing forth" has and how it is grounded in the properties of the divine nature. Just making up phrases, or borrowing them from Neoplatonism, and calling them a new form of divine production does not make it so. What is this "flowing forth," how does it differ from filiation and spiration, and what are your grounds for asserting its existence?

"I have then protected the Spirit's status as deity by having Him produce a divine person, and now I have to deal with a new problem: Kosmos' status as deity. And the trouble begins..."

The trouble begins *for you*. Again, no one ever said that producing a divine person was required in order to be God, and no Latin theologian that I've ever heard of ever either disputed the Spirit's divinity or asserted that he produced another person. Every one of them would have called your scenario, not only blasphemous and heretical, but unintelligible. This is a made-up problem that you're forcing on us, a problem none of us have ever had, but that you INSIST that we start having because of your interpretation of our position. But none of our theologians have ever said that it means what you say it means or that it has the consequences that you say it has. That makes me think that the problem is with you, not with us.

energeticprocession said...

"Scotus is fully in the Latin tradition, and you seemed to have entirely missed Augustine's procedure whereby he finds the vestigia Trinitatis in the structure of spiritual creatures."

Sure. I wasn't saying Scotus' distinction isn't within his own tradition, but that it's unique on it's own. Your saying that it just is the Tradition. Augustine argues that if the Spirit came forth from the Father alone, than there would not be one Son, but two Son. Ratramnus makes the same argument. Augustines' conception of the psychological analogies that one proceeds by intellection and the other by will is another problematic since both are wholly consubstantial of each Person. They are weak analogies since what it looks like it amounts to is the psychology of how one person (or essence) relates in different ways to Himself.

"In order for this to make any sense you have to show what intelligibility your term "flowing forth" has and how it is grounded in the properties of the divine nature. Just making up phrases, or borrowing them from Neoplatonism, and calling them a new form of divine production does not make it so. What is this "flowing forth," how does it differ from filiation and spiration, and what are your grounds for asserting its existence?"

Why not?

What is spiration for that matter? Have you had the chance to see it? That's just what you've done with generation and spiration though: making stuff up to fit a preconceived paradigm.

I believe its already been asserted by a few men 1700 years ago in a series of books called the Enneads and even earlier by Hermes Trimagistes in the Chaldean Oracles, that shows in a rational way that there can be multiple hypostases produced in this manner in a whole hiearchy of Being.

But I take it you don't want to deal with that problem and your presuppositions of why it is that two produce and yet a third doesn't produce a fourth hypostasis. All you can fall back on is Scripture that there aren't four hypostasis according to the text, but then you have to deal with *me* and Orthodoxy, and at that point you won't be on very good grounds because this doctrine isn't derived from Revelation, but rather is a speculation of Augustine's imagination.

"The trouble begins *for you*. Again, no one ever said that producing a divine person was required in order to be God, and no Latin theologian that I've ever heard of ever either disputed the Spirit's divinity or asserted that he produced another person. Every one of them would have called your scenario, not only blasphemous and heretical, but unintelligible."

Of course, that's why it is sufficient a reductio of your position as the great Saint uncovering its Neoplatonic *roots* stated:

"Furthermore, if the Son is begotten from the Father and the Spirit — according to this innovation — proceeds from the Father and the Son, then likewise another hypostasis should proceed from the Spirit, and so we should have not three but four hypostases! And if the fourth procession is possible, then another procession is possible from that, and so on to an infinite number of processions and hypostases, until at last this doctrine is transformed into a [pagan] Greek polytheism!"

Photios

Michael said...

"I wasn't saying Scotus' distinction isn't within his own tradition, but that it's unique on it's own. Your saying that it just is the Tradition."

I'm not saying it just is the tradition. I'm saying that Scotus asserts the same doctrine as all the Latin West, and that his explanations are better than others. You forget that Augustine is not dogma even for us and that Ratramnus is a comparative nobody. You also forget that Scotus is not Augustine, Augustine is not Plotinus, and Plotinus is not Hermes Trismegistus. You have to evaluate an argument on its own merits, not attack its (supposed) pedigree. What matters is what the Church asserts and if that can be explained in a coherent and intelligible way consistent with tradition. I say that it can.

Well, as far as I'm concerned the argument is done here. You don't actually answer the arguments or attempt to cope with Scotus. As far as you're concerned if you can associate the doctrine with neoplatonism and Hermes Trismegistus you don't have to. But Scotus is not the Chaldean Oracles and I've already clearly explained why for us there cannot be a fourth hypothesis. You're just ignoring my comments now.

"But I take it you don't want to deal with that problem and your presuppositions of why it is that two produce and yet a third doesn't produce a fourth hypostasis. All you can fall back on is Scripture that there aren't four hypostasis according to the text, but then you have to deal with *me* and Orthodoxy"

Something doesn't become a problem just because you call it a problem. I've answered the objection. While of course I will cite Scripture clearly there is more to it than that. So I don't understand this "you have to deal with *me*" when as I try to deal with you you don't follow the argument, you just repeat your point. To wit, your quotation from (presumably) Photius, simply asserting what I've been at great pains to show does not follow. You think that repeating yourself is "why it is sufficient a reductio of your position", or to talk about neoplatonism when I'm talking about Scotus.

So if you can't answer an argument, then the argument is done. If you can't follow an argument but just repeat your original point, then the argument is done. If you move off topic to talk about alchemy, hermetic science, and gnostic conspiracy theories, then the argument is really, really done.

energeticprocession said...
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