A Brief Explanation of the Trinity - However, doesn’t 1 + 1 + 1 = 3? So isn’t belief in the Trinity irrational?
The previous section just asserted that all natural analogies fail, and so do mathematical ones. However, since these questions reflect Muslim polemics against this doctrine (a Muslim emailer wrote this to me), we should get into the mathematical arena and answer them.
First, multiplication works better with integers:
1 x 1 x 1 = 1.
Second, the exponent comes out the same:
13 = 1
Third, how about an infinite number of sets of things? This works better:
Infinity + infinity + infinity = infinity.
Let us say that we add an infinite number of red books to an infinite number of white books, and still add an infinite number of blue books to the red and white books. Despite adding these three sets of infinite numbers of books together, we have not augmented or increased infinity by even one book. Such is the mystery of infinity; we cannot figure it out.
However, these three mathematical analogies of the Trinity ultimately fail because, among other reasons, the three infinite sets of books have different properties, because they do not exist in perfect unity in one essence, and because we do not "add up" or even "multiply" the three persons of the Trinity.
But the infinity analogy does reveal the utter mystery of things that we have never experienced with our five senses. And we have never experienced an actual infinite number of things. Even time is finite, since the so-called Big Bang, which states scientifically that the universe has a beginning.
Thus, infinity is a mystery, and so is the Trinity. Belief in the Trinity is not irrational, but transrational—above our puny minds to figure out, ultimately.