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Innocence or Freewill? A critique of Milton’s Theodicy Using Paradise Lost)

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As young students, we are often oblivious to what is going on throughout the world. We are more focused on getting ready for upcoming Prom, participating in sports all weekend, hanging time with our friends, and spending a lot of time on social networks. Because we are so caught up in our average teenage lives, most aren’t able to identify the current wars being fought in different countries, civil conflicts, and other issues. At the same time, many of the positive actions that people make go without praise too. This just shows that we are ignorant to both good and bad happenings in the world, and the reasons behind it all. In Paradise Lost, by John Milton, he attempts to present the reasoning behind all the actions on Earth, positive and negative. To fully understand though, you must learn Milton’s theodicy, or the defense of God's goodness and omnipotence in view of the existence of evil. (“Theodicy” Merriam-Webster)
Part One
Milton’s theodicy is his attempt to justify God’s ways to man. Not only does he reference the traditional teachings from the bible, but he elaborates on certain points to better create a story to learn from. Paradise Lost starts out with talking about the disobedience of mankind, causing everything to be corrupt from then on. But before God’s creation of man, the archangel, Lucifer, was the first to disobey. He felt that he should have just as much power as God himself, so he got a group of angels together to try to take over the throne in Heaven. They are unsuccessful and sent to live in Hell, the opposite of Heaven. Lucifer is now called Satan and is the ruler of the fallen world. Satan then wants revenge on God so he and the other fallen angles decide that the best way to get back at God is to corrupt h...


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...a’, which suggests predestination rather than free will. (Morbey) Although they were in the wrong and sinned, humans would not be the creatures we are today.



Works Cited

Christensen, Robert. "Milton's Paradise Lost- A Justification of God." Hub Pages. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2014. .
Covington, Matt. "Paradise Lost: A Theodicy." Speleo Physics. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2014. .
Morbey, Josepha Anne. "Milton's Theodicy in Paradise Lost." Web NCF. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2014. .
The New American Standard Bible. N.p.: The Lockman Foundation, 1995. Print.
"Theodicy." Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster. Web. 23 Feb. 2014. .



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