[Milton-L] obedience

Michael Gillum mgillum at unca.edu
Wed Apr 9 10:42:14 EDT 2014


I understand "arbitrary" to mean reasonless, or seemingly reasonless. When
PL's God gives commands to Adam, or the Son, or the angels, he consistently
explains a purpose or reason for the command. For example, he tells Adam
that the tree is "a sign of your obedience." (Adam has already figured out
that obedience to his creator is rational and good.) God wants his
creatures to use their reason appropriately, as when, in the Book 8
discussion of mating, he puts Adam through his paces before granting Adam's
request. PL's God does demand obedience, but he wants his subjects to
understand that what he wills is intrinsically reasonable and good. Because
obedience to God is obedience to the Good, unfallen humans could evolve
into higher beings, "if ye be found obedient."

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