[Milton-L] Antinomian Occupations

James Rovira jamesrovira at gmail.com
Mon Mar 5 00:18:30 EST 2007


Thanks for the response, Carter.  It seems to me that Milton
emphasizes both reason and choice in his thinking -- so the
internalization of moral codes is neither a chip that guarantees
action (making the person a passive subject), nor are the moral codes
merely passive options to consider among many.

Instead, the internalization of any moral code serves as the source of
motives for actions that don't force action: they provide motives we
tell ourselves should be privileged above other motives.  They don't
always tell us exactly how to act in all circumstances, but tell us
how we should think about our actions, what concerns and priorities we
should have, and above all, what kind of people we should be.

One example would be a European Christian sect that believed cruelty
to animals was acceptable because animals had no souls.  This was
considered mistaken, however, because the point is that we are not
supposed to be cruel.  The sect was thinking in terms of rules; those
who disagreed were thinking in terms of internalized character traits.

Jim R


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