Milton’s Justification of God Essay

1164 Words Oct 30th, 2008 5 Pages
Milton’s Justification of God In the epic poem Paradise Lost, the author John Milton tells his story of Man’s fall from paradise and God’s punishment on mankind. Milton, in his opening statement, says that he will “justify the ways of God to men” (Milton 1.26). Milton achieves this purpose by addressing the issues of the paradox of man’s free will and God’s introduction of evil to mankind, and giving a logical explanation as to why each was rightfully intended as part of God’s plan. The argument against God states that if God is the creator of everything and that everything starts in him, and he knows everything that is and will be, then we cannot justify his ways because that implies that he created man knowing man would fall. This …show more content…
This statement shows that god put all of his creations through tests of loyalty, not just man. God gave his angels free will also and punished the ones who went against him (Satan and his followers). God also shows sympathy towards man with the statement “man falls deceived by the other first: man therefore shall find grace” (Milton 3.130), “The other first” being Satan. This statement shows that God understands that all fault does not lie with man, and God will therefore be merciful. Through these examples Milton shows that God intended for man to go through the trial of proving himself not by resisting eating the fruit of life but by redeeming mankind through Christ, God’s son: “on me let thine anger fall; account me man/and for him lastly die” (Milton 3.237). God agrees to sacrifice his own son for the sake of humankind, for the eventual happiness of man. God’s reason for the punishment also seems to be questionable. God told Adam and Eve not to eat from the Tree of Life, a metaphor for the attainment of knowledge: “God hath pronounced it death to taste that Tree” (Milton 4.427). Why would god ban the attainment of knowledge? There seems to be no reason for the prohibition of knowledge other than an arrogant stance taken by God to keep man lower than him. One could argue that God deserves to keep man lower than him, that God is God and man is man and it is

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