[Milton-L] re Fallon & man falls deceived
srevard at siue.edu
srevard at siue.edu
Thu Jul 20 18:34:55 EDT 2006
To support what Steve says about Satan's angels. Abdiel directly
counters Satan's arguments, supports God, and finds his way
back to God's camp. Those who have followed Satan thus far
could have gone with Abdiel. But they don't. They choose
to stay with Satan, thus confirming themselves on his side.
P.S. I also agree with Steve about "ordain." Having described
the benefits of union with the Son as their head ("United as
one individual soul / for ever happy" God cautions against
breaking union, which will result, he points out, in the loss of "blessed
vision and the fall into utter darkness." It is one of Milton's
most remarkable paradoxes that the very decree that prompts
Satan to revolt might have been, had Satan understood it
rightly and not been blinded by his own pride and envy, the
very means to stay that revolt. By ignoring God's cautionary
advice Satan ordains his own fall.
Quoting Stephen Fallon <fallon.1 at nd.edu>:
> 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
> conscious disobedience.
> >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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