[Milton-L] Why sin in Milton's creation?

jr jrovira at drew.edu
Mon Jan 19 16:16:27 EST 2004


Alternate possibilities --

Remember it's SATAN that's saying that God bid him to do X, so being 
Satan, he's simply blaming God for his own disobedience.  Is it ever 
wise to take Milton's Satan completely at face value?

Hence, God is not responsible for the introduction of sin per se, but 
only for the introduction of the -potential- for sin (in other words, 
legitimate choice in relationship to the Divine). 

The real question, then, is, "Why did God go on and create free beings 
when He was aware that they were going to sin?" 

The answer you'll have to take up with God. 

Also note St. Augustine's solution to this problem:

It vanishes for him when we consider that "sin" or "evil" are not 
existent -things- in the world.  It is rather a perversion of a -good- 
thing.   It's like breaking a stained glass window, rather than creating 
an "evil" window.  Hence, everything that exists, including Satan, 
participates in at least the nominal "goodness" of existence, however 
perverse that existence may have become.  

So we could say the "personification" of Sin is the problem to begin 
with -- or the reification of it.  The problem of sin is literary and 
conceptual, on this level, rather than ontological, as the statement of 
the problem implies. 

It is a good question.  It may be the central question behind PL.  The 
important question to ask in relationship to that text is, How did 
Milton answer it?

Jim



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