[Milton-L] re Fallon & man falls deceived
fallon.1 at nd.edu
Thu Jul 20 18:09:42 EDT 2006
I don't have a particularly good answer. I admit to sharing your
uneasiness with the patness of the Father's distinction between the
primal sins of the devils and human beings.
But whether or not it amounts to the kind of categorical difference
claimed by the Father, there is a difference between Satan's
temptations of the devils and of Eve (a difference, by the way, that
resembles the difference the narrator finds between Eve, deceived by
Satan, and Adam, "not deceived" [9.998]).
When Satan tempts the soon-to-be devils, he does not attempt to
deceive them by suggesting, as he will to Eve, that God did not
really command her not to eat. In Book 9, Satan suggests that the
prohibition is an illusion, and that God will praise her "dauntless
virtue" if, seeing through the illusion, she eats the fruit (9.694).
To take the prohibition as anything other than a test of her wit and
courage is, Satan suggests, to ascribe envy to God, and he asks
rhetorically, "can envy dwell / In heav'nly breasts?" (9.729-30). In
Book 5, on the other hand, Satan makes no attempt to suggest to his
followers that God really wants them to refuse to bend the knee to
the Son. He makes a frontal attack on the Father and proposes
>But, Steve, weren't Satan's followers at least equally deceived?
>You are assuming that the Father's defense of giving fallen man
>preference over the fallen angels makes sense. It doesn't-- not
>even in its own terms.
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