[Milton-L] Re: Steve Fallon and "ordained"

Jason Kerr aelfric at gmail.com
Thu Jul 20 20:15:23 EDT 2006

I suppose my thoughts on tyranny align me, via Stella Revard's postscript,
with Steve Fallon (with whom I must say I am pleased to be aligned). The
decision of Satan and his minions to attempt proving their equality by might
necessitates the Father's "ordination" of Hell. While the Father alone
ordains in this case, the freedom of his creatures to ordain their fates
leads to the basis for his action. In other words, in a universe where none
but God ordains, what he ordains is arbitrary, not in the sense of random,
but in the sense that his choice, the action of his arbitrium, becomes the
sole basis for what happens. The use of "ordain" in Book 3 pointed out by
Steve introduces contingency to this universe, which I must agree colors
other uses of "ordain" in PL.

Steve: I trust my directness correctly reflects your admitted indirection?

Jason A. Kerr
Boston College

Message: 4
> Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2006 17:34:55 -0500
> From: srevard at siue.edu
> Subject: Re: [Milton-L] re Fallon & man falls deceived
> To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>,
>         Stephen Fallon <fallon.1 at nd.edu>
> Message-ID: <1153434895.44c0050fac4c7 at webmail.siue.edu>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
> 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.
> Stella Revard
> 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.
"Den som vover mister Fodfæste et Øieblick;
den som ikke vover mister Livet."
                                    -Søren Kierkegaard
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