[Milton-L] Re: Eve seeking temptation

Horace Jeffery Hodges jefferyhodges at yahoo.com
Tue Sep 8 15:31:31 EDT 2009

Jim Rovira wrote:
"This reasoning assumes that God is indeed God, of course, which is an assumption that I think Milton held."
But it's an assumption that Satan questions, and brings Eve to question, so Milton must be raising the issue, too. Satan and his fallen companions are shown openly questioning whether or not the God who has defeated them is truly God -- or merely a superior angel who happened to come into being before the rest of them and thereby had an advantage.
What answer does Milton provide to this question?
Jeffery Hodges

--- On Tue, 9/8/09, James Rovira <jamesrovira at gmail.com> wrote:

From: James Rovira <jamesrovira at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Re: Eve seeking temptation
To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Date: Tuesday, September 8, 2009, 12:39 PM

Thanks very much for your useful contribution to this discussion,
David. What I'd like to add is that we can employ reason to conclude
that God's commands must be obeyed because they are from God, but that
once we use reason to consider the possibility of disobedience, we
have already lost, as we are employing reason to consider a
possibility that reason dictates should not be considered.  We will
always come to a wrong conclusion when we ask questions that are wrong
to begin with.

This reasoning assumes that God is indeed God, of course, which is an
assumption that I think Milton held.

Jim R

> In response to Arlene's suggestion that there's no reason not to believe the
> serpent, I'd say that the reason to believe or not believe must involve
> reason--which seems to be a problem in this instance, as in Eve's ears the
> snake's words seem "impregned/With reason" (737-8)--but that the clincher
> involves how one assesses God's claims.  If God is to be treated as another
> actor or agent, one as capable of deception or self-interest as any other,
> then to borrow Satan's argument here, God is not God.  If God makes a claim
> or a statement, anyone contradicting it must be a liar.

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