Raven's Flickr
« Virtual Sushi | Main | Crash Test Cell Phone Dummies »

Milton and me.

So I’m really digging Paradise Lost. I read this unwieldy bugger for the first time when I was about 16  or 17.  I liked it then, too, but I was also just coming out of my “too religious for words” phase then, so I read it with the same reverent awe in which Milton wrote it.  Milton is very good at explaining the free will/predestination paradox without making God look bad. 

See, if there was a God (which I don’t believe, but what the hell, I’ll play Devil’s advocate for the purpose of this argument) and if that God is omnicient, then He would know that Adam and Eve would fall, if given the choice.  So, presuming that He already knew they would fall, He had to engineer the fall itself, first by giving them free will, second by placing temptation within their grasp.  And if this God created everything, then He created the Angels.  And He created these Angels to be perfect, and to obey His will.  He gave the choice of free will to men, but not to the Angels. 

So where did The Adversary get the idea to rebel, if not from God?  God knew Satan would rebel, had to rebel, to become an anti-God, so He planted the seed of rebellion and independence in Satan’s mind.  So even when Satan was tempting Eve into eating the fruit of knowledge, he was doing God’s will.  And therefore, everything, even evil, comes from God.  It must, or creation is a paradox.  For if there was no choice, free will would be superfluous.  However, how can an omnicient God allow anything to happen except what He plans?  So really, even though we are making our own choices, God already knew what choice we would make, so we are predestined, just not forced into one decision or another.

Of course, being an athiest clears all that up, since God is a figment of your imagination. 

That doesn’t mean Milton was wrong, just that he was working under an assumed set of axioms which are flawed to begin with.  I like my version of the story better:

As early one morn, while in her garden
Eve the Mother of All Things walked,
she espied a Serpent, lowly and cunning
where through the trees it twined.

From its fork’ed tongue,
a sound at once ensued, 
this creature invok’ed platitudes,
her lonely heart to woo

“Oh great Eve, beautiful flowr’d woman
to whom none else compares,
where is thy mate, thy equal in the world
who shares thy garden fair?”

“Mate I have none, requiring none
for in myself I am whole,
and no other shares my garden,
save thee and the creatures of my creation.”

The Serpent fell upon her, from the tree above,
and to her womb implanted
a seed of doubt and scorn, and pride
and ignorance, to which she soon gave birth.

Thus was Adam born
from the union of the Earth,
Eve, the fruitful lady,
and the Serpent, Lord of Dust

Okay.  So I’m not Milton.  But then again, who is?

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.
Member Account Required
You must have a member account on this website in order to post comments. Log in to your account to enable posting.