[Milton-L] Free will in Eden

merlinjones merlin77_7 at yahoo.com
Wed Nov 10 17:33:08 EST 2004

I respect Mr. Alan H.'s response to the originator of
this particular thread. To back him up, I must say
that you can do a little math; Hesoid+Plato=Mr. Alan
H's having a very sturdy platform from which to make a
very good response to the originator of this thread. 

--- Alanhorn3 at cs.com wrote:

> I think your student is pointing to a contradiction
> in Milton's idea of 
> reason. On the one hand reason is a faculty of
> judgement which by its nature can go 
> either way (God says "reason also is choice" (III,
> 108)). On the other hand 
> reason is that which tells you what's right.
> Milton would like to suppress the contradiction
> between "discursive reason" 
> and "right reason" by suggesting that the true
> exercise of the first always 
> leads to the choice dictated by the second. So if
> you make the wrong choice 
> you're not really using reason, but letting reason
> be ruled by appetite (see IX, 
> 1127ff.). But if reason always tells you what's
> right, there's no choice, or 
> only a trivial one.
> Both senses of "reason" appear in IX, 351-356, with
> confusing results. God 
> made reason "right," but at the same time it's
> possible that "by some fair 
> appearing good suprised" reason can "dictate false."
> And this is before the fall. 
> I think the contradiction comes out of an attempt to
> reconcile conflicting 
> ideologies: people should be able to judge for
> themselves (humanism) but there 
> is also an absolute moral standard they must obey
> (traditional Christianity).
> Alan H
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Haz el bien, y no mires a quién.   
Death is a commingling of eternity with time; in the death of a good man, eternity is seen looking through time.

~ Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe ~

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