[Milton-L] Abdiel (thought-sins)

Horace Jeffery Hodges jefferyhodges at yahoo.com
Tue Jul 1 14:47:34 EDT 2008

Jason A. Kerr wrote:
"Hmmm, wombats in paradise... I admit that one hadn't occurred to me before. Though I could get all uptight and historicist by pointing out that Cook didn't sail to Australia until a century after the publication of PL, and so Milton couldn't possibly have been aware of wombats, let alone suggest that Adam refrain from sexually molesting them. All the same, thanks for a good laugh in the middle of the day."
No wombats in Paradise? Good thing, too! If anything would get that first man thinking sexual thoughts, it's 'womb-ats' in paradise -- possibly the first houris.

Jeffery Hodges

On Tue, Jul 1, 2008 at 11:02 AM, Michael Gillum <mgillum at unca.edu> wrote:

Jim Rovira, could you explain a bit more what you mean by Milton
Christianizing unfallen Adam and Eve? I'm not following.

You write, "Don't you think a division between conscience, reason, and

positive moral law (in the form of the prohibition to eat from the tree) is
a bit artificial in the case of Adam and Eve?"

I am saying that conscience and reason for Milton are the same or similar in
providing access to natural law, and that positive law is different, the
prohibition being arbitrary and justified only by God's ontological
superiority. Nevertheless, reason or conscience dictates that Adam should
follow the positive law because he owes grateful obedience to his creator.

A&E have a law of reason that governs their actions and aligns them with
natural law. Thus Adam understands he should not torture or sexually molest
the wombats in Paradise. If he were to do so, it would be a sin. Eve says
the law of prohibition is an exception to the law of reason, which it is,
except insofar as reason dictates grateful obedience to God. Reason alone
leads newborn Adam to conclude that he owes everything to "some great Maker" whose power and wisdom are beyond his own. His obedience is therefore not "blind," but justified by reason.

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