[Milton-L] Eve's curls (reply to William Moeck)--LONG POST

James Rovira jamesrovira at gmail.com
Mon Sep 7 17:42:16 EDT 2009

Much appreciation for Louis's response.  I will get to it later tonight.


> So Jim--if I'm dieting, and eat the chocolate cake, I've given into
> temptation, and therefore "sinned"?

That depends: did God give you a direct, explicit verbal command not
to eat the cake?  At some point Adam and Eve's experience has to be
parallel to ours (otherwise, why read the story?), but at some points
they will never be.

I like your reading from this point forward, and the following seems
to have been anticipated by the context of Eve's discussion with Adam
that we were quoting from earlier:

> He has planted the seeds, but it is Eve herself who MISUSES her right reason
> to carry the argument to its logical (but blasphemous) conclusion:

But I think the point of the temptation scene is that Eve is
-deceived- into thinking bad was good.  Being unfallen, she has to be
tricked into thinking breaking the command is a good act:

> Great are thy virtues, doubtless, best of fruits,
> Though kept from man, and worthy to be admired;

The point is, I think, that an unfallen creature can be motivated to
act wrongly only by a defect in reason and in thought, but not by a
defect in desire.  Reason is amoral, and reasoning incorrectly may not
be any worse than adding incorrectly (prelapsarian, unmotivated
reasoning incorrectly).

Jim R

More information about the Milton-L mailing list