[Milton-L] Abdiel (JD Fleming)

Michael Gillum mgillum at unca.edu
Wed Jul 2 11:51:52 EDT 2008

Prof. Fleming--

In Adam's interior monologue in 9, he is first horrified that Eve is now
"Defaced, deflow'red, and to death devote" by breaking God's commandment,
and next he resolves to die with her. But in the subsequent speech to her,
he speculates that the serpent's foretasting took the curse off and that the
humans on tasting will ascend to angelic or divine status. He suggests God
will retract his  decree rather than destroy his creation.

It seems to me this sequence indicates a process of corruption that precedes
the eating of the fruit and that breaks the "absolute continuity of perfect
speech-action" and separates "intension from expression" (Your very useful
ideas about the unfallen condition).He never audibly expresses his basic
understanding of the situation, that Eve is lost through her transgression.
He softens it into a "bold" and "adventurous" action incurring "peril." Then
he engages in a chain of specious reasoning that I think we can regard as
rationalizing his own decision but also palliating Eve's sin rather than
addressing it as what he knows it to be.

My interpretation of this pattern is that Adam's reason has already been
darkened and his unity of being has been fractured in consequence of sin,
which is resolving to disobey (not just thinking "eat fruit").

What do you think?


On 7/2/08 10:40 AM, "jfleming at sfu.ca" <jfleming at sfu.ca> wrote:

> In any case, and as I have tried to argue, the ethical and psychological
> ideality (in M's  terms) of A and E before eating the fruit mean that it is
> impossible for them to sin in thought but not in deed. They live in the
> absolute continuity of perfect speech-action. Thus, in a sense, the joke is
> on them. Only after the fall (after eating the fruit) does it become
> possible to separate (to secrete) intension from expression. Indeed, that
> separation is, again, a marker of the fall (perhaps _the_ marker), in and of
> itself. Therefore, there is simply no such thing as an unfallen
> "thought-sin"; not because unfallen thoughts cannot become sinful, but
> because they cannot, as such, remain merely thoughts. 

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