Sunday, December 23, 2012

Blast from the Past 18 - On Paradise Lost and Why I think Milton is An Idiot

This series consists of notes that I wrote on facebook in the past. Enjoy reading my thoughts during my college years. Please comment but please be nice! Also please feel free to check out my other Blast from the Past Posts.

From March 2007

Ok, I was inspired by [My Friend's] comment on my last meaningless note to write about why I think John Milton is an idiot and why he how he should learn to pick up a bible before he writes an entire book about the creation story.
I will list all the fallacies, and things I don't like, that I can remember, that we read about, we skipped several chapters so will not be commenting on those.
He asks for help from a muse/holly spirit I think this is degrading to the Holy Spirit because Milton is effectively putting him on the same level as fake Greek muses. He invokes a “real” muse later on in the exact same way as he did the Holy Spirit.
He is arrogant; he pretty much says that his book is a lot better than the other Classical poets, such as Virgil and Homer, when actually it is just more boring and harder to understand. He also claims to know the ways of God, he actually says that he will try to explain the ways of God to man. The bible says that no one can know the ways of God because his ways are far above our ways (I can’t remember the reference).
He presents Satan as an epic hero, meaning that he is doing good by straining to fight against something that is bigger than and stronger than he is. My teacher compared Satan to an underdog fighting to win against the best team, and how cool that was, and how we should be rooting for Satan. But what he failed to mention is that an underdog fighting to win a game is not sinful, but Satan's attitudes against God were extremely sinful, and we should never think of them as cool, so Milton should not be trying to portray them as cool.
The relationship between Satan, Sin, and Death is just disturbing, and weird and wrong, and that is really all that needs to be said about that.
Milton says that God and Jesus were separate from the beginning of time, and he implies somewhat clearly that the are not all together one God, but somehow separate in Godhood, that they are separate but equal, and that the son was created after God the father, they did no coexist eternally.
My teacher said that Milton implies that Satan’s sins are less forgivable because he is the one who started/ thought up sin, while humans were lead to sin by Satan. I think that Satan’s sins are not forgivable because they were not repented, never once did Satan actually feel genuinely sorry for his sin.
Milton says that God created the earth and people to replace the fallen angels, and to prove to Satan that he is all powerful. I think that God created us because he was lonely, he wanted someone made in his own image to love him because they wanted to, not because they have to.
Milton says that Adam and Eve worked, like tended the garden or whatever, I do not think that they had to work until after the fall, the bible does not specifically say this but why else would it be mentioned in the curse of Adam if they were already doing it? [This one my opinion has changed on some]
Milton says that Eve was surprised that the serpent could speak, the bible does not say that the Eve was surprised by the talking snake. In fact I would be surprised if the snake couldn’t speak, I mean it was Eden, how much cooler can you get than talking animals? Why shouldn’t they speak? I think Milton says that animals could not speak because he believes that humans are set apart from animals by their ability to reason. So if animals could speak they must have the ability to reason, and Milton values human reason, like the other classical poets as above pretty much everything else but God. So he can’t give animals speech, but I do not think that human reason is quite as important, or cool considering what it has brought us over the years, as the classic poets seem to think, so I do not see any reason why God would withhold that from animals at creation.
Ok, this next point is the one that really gets me because it actually affects my life. Milton says that Adam and Eve worked apart that day, and that Eve suggested it, and that is why she was tempted. Now go look this up in your bible, Genesis 3:6 says that Adam was with Eve when she was tempted. He was not off in some other part of the garden innocently doing his own thing until Eve came and seduced him and he selflessly gave up his eternal life so that Eve would be alone (this is what Milton says). NO he was with her, he was right there, just because Eve took the fruit first does not mean that she was the only one convinced by the snake, if Adam wasn’t convinced by the snake then why didn’t he try to stop her? The bible doesn’t mention him at all in that passage except to say that he was there and that he ate the fruit, does this tell us something? He was just as much to blame as Eve was. That is why this part affects my life, I have heard countless times over the years that women are worse, more evil than men because they ate the fruit, they seduced Adam, they brought sin on us all, well guess what, he was there too, he brought sin on us too, and maybe it is worse because he was a passive observer, he didn’t even try to stop her.
Now I am not sure about this but my friend said that Milton implied that Adam and Eve did not have sex until after they ate the fruit, which to me implies that sex is a sin. Well Adam and Eve were married (or the equivalent since they were the only people on earth and were literally made for each other) and sex is not a sin between a husband and wife. And since sex is a gift from God to married people, I do not see why he would not have given it at creation, why would it come only after eating the fruit that brought them sin?
And the last thing I can think of is that Milton says that God sends the son to deal with Adam and Eve. I find two problems with this, one is that he is still implying that the father and son were two separate entities at creation, I think that it is the accepted opinion that Jesus did not formally separate from the father until he took on human form. And the second problem is that God (the father) did not come and deal with Adam and Eve himself, I mean this is the first sin ever committed by humans and God couldn’t bother enough to go down and deal with it himself, he had to send his son to deal with it? I don’t think so.
So there you have it, a detailed, chronicled list of what and why I do not agree with Paradise Lost, do with it what you will, feel free to comment if you have a question, disagree, or agree. I can’t believe that I just stayed up till 2 writing this, maybe I should have used it as my paper for class :)

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