[Milton-L] obedience to your creator

JD Fleming jfleming at sfu.ca
Thu Apr 10 15:37:52 EDT 2014


"Fictional" is an exceedingly weak and unhelpful category, in my view. That this would be another discussion is perhaps suggested when we note that almost everybody in Milgram is pretending. And that the Bible, textual tabernacle of the "Christian God," is nothing other than an eclectic work of literature. 


As for internal/external: It is of course true that God and his laws are "outside" Abdiel. But so, surely, is the rightness/wrongness that people like the Milgram dissenters conceive themselves to be looking toward. They aren't just saying, like obdurate children, "I don't like it." Rather, they are appealing--ontology be damned--to a standard that they perceive, at least for the moment, to be transcendent. This, presumably, is part of what allows such people to be so fantastically brave, and yet also serene, in their defiance. JDF 

----- Original Message -----

From: "Michael E Bryson" <michael.bryson at csun.edu> 
To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu> 
Sent: Thursday, 10 April, 2014 12:16:55 
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] obedience to your creator 

No. Abdiel appeals to external authority. The Milgram dissenters appeal to internal authority. That really is quite different. And as Carrol Cox pointed out--the Milgram dissenters were not fictional characters, unlike Abdiel and the Father (who despite the evident investments of many, is *not* the Christian God, nor must he be read as such). 

Michael Bryson 


________________________________________ 
From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu [milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] On Behalf Of JD Fleming [jfleming at sfu.ca] 
Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2014 12:13 PM 
To: John Milton Discussion List 
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] obedience to your creator 

Milgram dissenters: "Despite appearances, expectations, and evident authority, this is just plain spitting WRONG." 
Abdiel: ditto. 

It is a matter, as Gadamer says, of seeing what is questionable. The skill on which everything in PL depends. 
jdf 

________________________________ 
From: "Michael E Bryson" <michael.bryson at csun.edu> 
To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu> 
Sent: Thursday, 10 April, 2014 11:49:20 
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] obedience to your creator 

Milgram Experiment Dissenters: "You can't make me do that! It is morally wrong to inflict that kind of pain on a human being. I'm leaving." 

Abdiel: "You can't make me do that! The King will get mad, and will punish us by inflicting pain. I'm leaving." 


Michael Bryson 
________________________________________ 
From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu [milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] On Behalf Of Carrol Cox [cbcox at ilstu.edu] 
Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2014 11:34 AM 
To: 'John Milton Discussion List' 
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] obedience to your creator 

JD Fleming: 

But a few spoke out: stood up and said: I don't care who you are or what you say or what this is--you guys can't do that. 

Abdiel is one of the few. JDF 

----------- 

Abdiel is a fictional character, like Elizabeth Bennett or The Lone Ranger. And (in the context of the fiction) it doesn't take much courage on his part to "stand up," since as he himself notes, those not "standing up" are going to end up in a very unpleasant place: that is the point of his making Power his ultimate argument. 

It has not always been clear in this thread whether the interest is in correctly construing a fiction or in asserting some ontological truth. 

Carrol 







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-- 
James Dougal Fleming 
Associate Professor 
Department of English 
Simon Fraser University 
778-782-4713 

Burnaby -- British Columbia -- Canada. 

And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. Rev.22:3. 



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-- 

J ames Dougal Fleming 
Associate Professor 
Department of English 
Simon Fraser University 
778-782-4713 


Burnaby -- British Columbia -- Canada. 



And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. Rev.22:3. 


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