Satan's Trouble With Eve

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Free Will and "Freewill"

A Latin tag (summing up Tully's On the Laws, and thus likely to have appealed to the Humanist Milton) pertinent to contributions that several of you made to lecture today regarding Milton's treatment of free will in book III of Paradise Lost, goes:
legum servi sumus ut liberi esse possimus: "we serve the law in order to be free."
Additionally, the lyric from Rush that came to mind in our class discussion today is Freewill, written by Neal Peart. Perhaps ironically, it is a secular -- indeed, a dogmatically anti-religious, version of the defense of absolute free will given by God the Father in Book III of Paradise Lost. As always, comments welcome.


  • "If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice"

    That's my favourite line from the song.

    We are having a bit of a "free will" discussion on our blog. Feel free to join in.

    Question: In the context of Milton's fictional cosmos, do the characters have free will?

    Considering that God already knows what they are going to do, it sounds to me like their choice has already been made -- already been made for them. Maybe they just have the illusion of free will.

    What about God -- does He have free will? The gut-reaction is, "Of course he does", but if He already knows what is going to happen, He already knows what He is going to do. If He had the free will to change things, then He was wrong about His infinite vision. I'm going a little bit cross-eyed thinking about this.

    Omnipotence is a pretty tricky concept. Just ask God-Man

    By Blogger Steve, at 12:34 AM  

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