Preserving The Persons

To be minimally acceptable, an account of the Trinity must be coherent and orthodox. So an event-based account must at least show that it can deal with (1)—(4) and the "generation" argument. On an event-based account, on one reading, (1)—(4) is sound but irrelevant. If God as the Persons is relevantly like Jane as the Rockettes, then just as (1a)—(4a) did not shorten the chorus line, (1)—(4) do not collapse the Trinity. (1a)—(4a) did not shorten the chorus line because the real force of (4a) is

4a*. the substance who is the leftmost Rockette = the substance who is the rightmost Rockette.

(4a*) is compatible with the sort of distinction leftmost and rightmost have. To eliminate Rockettes, one would have to infer from (1a)—(3a) not (4a) or (4a*), but that the episode of Jane's life in which she is the leftmost Rockette and has not previously been any other Rockette is the last episode on her timeline in which she is any Rockette. It's obvious that (1a)—(3a) cannot by themselves yield this conclusion. The Trinitarian parallel is clear: (1)—(3) do not license the conclusion that the events (life) in which God is Father are the only events (life) in which He is any Person.

On the present view, the generation argument loses its sting. For it assigns (5) the sense

5a. God in the event(s) in which He is Father generates God in the event(s) in which He is Son.

(5a) asserts something relevantly like event causation within God's life: it causally links one segment ofGod's life to another. This does not entail that a second God exists or that one item causes itself to exist.47 (5a) so taken still yields (6), but also so interprets (6) as to make it harmless. And in fact, the event-causal relations involved here provide a natural hook on which to hang an account of the Persons' generation-relations.

Thus one could simply concede (and ignore) these arguments. But in fact, there is more than one way to read them. On the second reading, thinking about time-travel suggests that they are in an unusual way unsound and invalid.

47 Thus it is a case of immanent, not transeunt causality.

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