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Ethics and the Third Person -- the choice of the Good, and other choices

[Note: the contents page for this series can be found here. The previous entry, starting Chapter 40, can be found here.]

[This entry concludes Chapter 40, "An Introduction to the Concept of Sin".]


I have inferred that it is possible for God to enact one kind of death, and indeed that He does enact this: the submission of the Son to the Father (while maintaining the distinctive existence of the Person of the Son) in order to complete the circuit of the Unity and thus actively maintain self-existence.

I have further deduced from this that it is technically possible for God to partly kill Himself in other ways, so that true creation of not-God entities and systems may be instituted; after all, here I am, a not-God entity.

It is therefore not in principle impossible for God to subject Himself to several sorts of death.

I conclude, in extension of this principle, that it must be possible that God could take actions that would result in the breaking of the Unity and His consequent self…

Ethics and the Third Person -- contradiction and ethical failure

[Note: the contents page for this series can be found here. The previous entry, concluding Chapter 39, can be found here.]

[This entry starts Chapter 40, "An Introduction to the Concept of Sin".]


One especially important part of a discussion about ethics involves the question of 'evil'. If ethics are only a human invention, or if ethics are only a perceptual illusion based on irrational response to our environment (micro or macro), or if ethics are only some combination of those two general explanations, then any discussion of 'evil' is rendered somewhat moot. 'Evil' would mean only what you and I have been automatically conditioned to treat as 'evil', and/or only what you and I happen to reject (whether for self-practical purposes or aesthetically).

Learning ‘what is evil’ would mean learning what we have been automatically conditioned to treat as evil, and/or learning what other people have opportunistically chosen to treat as evil. We could st…

Ethics and the Third Person -- the minimum standard of communication

[Note: the contents page for this series can be found here. The previous entry, starting Chapter 39, can be found here.]

[This entry concludes Chapter 39, "The Role of the Third Person of God".]



[Repeating where the prior entry left off:] Moving along then: what kind of communication can we expect from the Holy Spirit to anyone at all, in any time and place?

It might be suspected that this would mean all people at any time and place would hear God talking directly to them in an unambiguously clear and constant manner. However, this obviously does not happen. Why this does not happen is certainly worth consideration eventually, because it would seem to be one of the most effective means of communication--perhaps not useful for every contingency, but useful enough to be a common occurrence.

So we know from experience there are evidently some limitations to His communication with us, even at the most fundamental level of communication (through the Holy Spirit). Setting aside (only …

Ethics and the Third Person -- some requirements for personal interaction

[Note: the contents page for this series can be found here. The previous entry, concluding Chapter 38, can be found here.]

[This entry starts Chapter 39, "The Role of the Third Person of God".]


In the previous chapter, I examined a potentially damaging problem stemming from the requirements of some earlier inferences I had made. This problem, although subtle, was severe enough that it might have unraveled quite a bit of my previous argument. However, upon close examination of the problem, I discovered that after removing certain inconsistencies from the option list, I was rewarded, not with a conclusion that much of my previous argument would need to be trash-canned (or at best redrafted), but that there must exist a 3rd Person to the self-existent Unity of God.

I had, in short, deduced the existence of what Christians call "The Holy Spirit" or “The Holy Ghost”.

So, what does this "3rd Person of God" do in relation to us?

The answer to that question depends on…

Ethics and the Third Person -- an introduction to the Holy Spirit

[Note: the contents page for this series can be found here. The previous entry, starting Chapter 38, can be found here.]

[This entry concludes Chapter 38, "Inferring the Third Person of God".]


A Third Person of God can thus be inferred as solving a special conceptual problem, that is sometimes (and I would say quite rightly) advanced against mere monotheism, on the grounds that God can be necessarily expected to interact personally with created persons (such as ourselves) and that God has characteristics which allow for the existence of a proceeding distinct Person of God Who exists (analogically) ‘within’ the overarching Self-begetting and Self-begotten independent reality of God (without being either the Self-begetting or Self-begotten Persons).

But I hinted back in Section Three, when inferring the interpersonal unity of God (as God Self-begetting and God Self-begotten), that I could have gone on immediately at that point to inferring the existence of a Third Person of God. …

Ethics and the Third Person -- procession and the overarching system

[Note: the contents page for this series can be found here. The previous entry, Chapter 37, can be found here.]

[This entry begins Chapter 38, "Inferring the Third Person of God".]


If we cannot perceive something of the principles of God's interPersonal love (the love between Father and Son that grounds all reality), then we will be working at dangerous inefficiency against reality. I think it would be inconsistent with God's love and justice for Him to prevent us from perceiving this (although we might ourselves choose to turn away from it--a topic I will be discussing later). It is not a mere fact about God that we need here, but a real relationship to Him, as person (you and I, individually and corporately) to Person (God--Who Himself is a substantial interPersonal unity).

Unfortunately, an argument I made some time ago may be returning here to nix me. I insisted, back when I was discussing your and my relationship to God and Nature, that you and I needed a common ov…

Ethics and the Third Person -- Returning to the God of Justice

[Note: the contents page for this series can be found here. The previous entry, concluding Chapter 36, can be found here.]

[This entry constitutes Chapter 37.]

Even though I still ended with a deadlock on a proposal of merely secular interpersonal ethics, I will reiterate here that I believe it is important to recognize, respect and appreciate the special strength of that theory. Despite its weaknesses, I consider this to be the best secular ethical theory on the market today; and I expect this, in one or another variation, to be the best that secular ethicists can ever really do.

‘And we don’t need God for it!’ the sceptic will emphasize.

Not on the face of it, no; but then again, as I noted in my previous chapter, there are aspects of the theory which, when followed out, might point toward our accepting the existence of God after all!

Which, in essence, is what I had done already, in the chapters before I began this section on ethics. So far, I have presented this section of chapters in …

Ethics and the Third Person -- the final problem and piece of the puzzle

[Note: the contents page for this series can be found here. The previous entry, starting Chapter 36, can be found here.]

[This entry concludes Chapter 36, "Discovered Rational Secular Ethics?"]

[I ended the previous portion by writing, "It should be noted... that this [special secular humanistic ethical] proposition... emphasizes personal responsibilities and choices, while at least ideally minimizing (or even avoiding?) the problems involved with self-centered pragmatism. It also emphasizes rational discovery by rational entities, just like the second theory, while avoiding (completely?) the problem of non-rationality of the source of ethics under the second theory. And it coheres with our intuitions regarding interpersonal relationships being the basis of ethics, in a way that monotheistic ethical grounding simply fails to do. [...] I think any accounting that doesn’t recognize and appreciate the serious strengths of this notion, will be fundamentally crippled when it c…