[Milton-L] Re: free will Inc.

Nairba Sirrah nairbasirrah at msn.com
Fri Dec 17 03:28:20 EST 2010

Hi Jeffery, thanks for the civilized discussion...yes, Millton afforms free will." But he also affirms providence, foreknowledge and "fixed fate."
The most wonderful aspect of Paradise Lost is how bright of a light Milton casts on all four concepts.
Milton "contracts"...to answer your question...all over the place; especially in exposition spoken by Michael...but I don't believe by mistake, but on purpose (hopefully, I mean). Milton's quest was to expose the possibilities and impossibilities existence and the traditional Christian narrative along with the associated folklore and well-known theological commentaries.
Your viewpoint of Milton's viewpoint is interesting. But seeing the future, with regard to a path taken by free will, argues multiple futures, dimensions, etc....which still takes away the virtue. My meaning being, Eve doing this, and Eve doing that, existing as co-existences in the realm of divine foreknowledge, makes the decision merely a channel to choose on a supernatural television.
God's foreknowledge is infallable; if He sees it, then there was never another possible option.
Human virtue and/or integrity and/or sublimity only exists in the context of a single plane of existence. Otherwise, pain and suffering is a joke, and a grotesque non-sequitor to admiration and purpose at the end of the thorough consideration of a complete thought.

Date: Thu, 16 Dec 2010 23:48:46 -0800
From: jefferyhodges at yahoo.com
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Re: great point Jeffery
To: milton-l at lists.richmond.edu

Milton's view, whether he is right or wrong, is that God inerrantly foresees what free agents will freely choose to do.

Or so I read Milton, and if I read him correctly, then he would disagree that his epic poem renders "human decision" powerless of its "inherant power to change the future" (depending on what you mean by that). Milton affirms free will.
Where do you find that he contradicts that?
Jeffery Hodges

From: Nairba Sirrah <nairbasirrah at msn.com>
To: milton-l at lists.richmond.edu
Sent: Thu, December 16, 2010 11:27:20 PM
Subject: RE: [Milton-L] Re: great point Jeffery

but that's precisely the direction in which I was hoping this discussion would not go : )
As fun as it is to switch words around and find a whole new sentence with a whole new meaning, like you brilliantly just did...I'm talking about the basic essence of what Milton did.
He not only changed the facts that govern Christianity, he completely deleted the central virtue: the worth of human decision, our inherant power to change the future.
The glory of Christianity is that painful sacrifice is a virtue, and that even a divine being would choose to endure that pain to prove it to all eternity. That we have a choice in life. But Milton's version takes away the choice.
At the end of the day, as far as the message of Paradise Lost is concerned, everything is forseen (and carried out) for no apparent reason, other than God's entertainment.
In the end, as hard of a fact as it is to face, Milton's "great poem"...the "greatest work in the English language" is a ridiculous farce, and an insult to devout Christians everywhere.

Date: Thu, 16 Dec 2010 23:08:40 -0800
From: jefferyhodges at yahoo.com
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Re: "tasteless" Milton (response)
To: milton-l at lists.richmond.edu

Nairba Sirrah wrote:

Milton basically changed all of God's reasons for doing everything, and made an epic mockery out of every divine and human decision.
Essentially saying "if god forsees the future, then there was no chance that Eve had a choice...so why forbid her from doing something fate dictated she wwas going to do anyway."

Jeffery Hodges responds:

There's a difference between saying "Necessarily, what God foresees, happens" and "What God foresees, necessarily happens." I think that Milton works with the former in his poem but not the latter.

Jeffery Hodges
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