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Minas Tirith Forums » Library Council of Minas Tirith » The End of Arda or the Apocalypse of Tolkien (Page 3)
Author Topic: The End of Arda or the Apocalypse of Tolkien
Amárië
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quote:
Omniscience and free will does not work together.
[] Agreed.

quote:
Frodo's point of view, as well as all the residents of M-E (unless they may share some of the thoughts of Ilúvatar - late TA Gandalf, perhaps?), is that he is making a free decision of his own devising.
I don't think Frodo's view is relevant here. He may think he's making a free choice, but that doesn't mean his choice wasn't pre-determined or pre-scripted.

quote:
To Ilúvatar, it is as if it has already happened. Everything is as if it has already happened. He isn't forcing Frodo to make a certain decision, he merely knows what the decision will be (as well as all decisions of all people) and has worked his Plan in accordance with those decisions. He is infinitely adaptable and yet has no need to adapt for he has seen all and knows all outcomes and his Plan has already taken those things into account.
Sorry, I have problems accepting that Ilúvatar has worked his plan into accordance with Frodo's wishes. It seems much more likely to me that Ilúvatar (who is all-knowing and all-powerful) has worked Frodo's wishes into accordance with his plan, most likely through manipulating the situation so that Frodo thinks he has no other choice (limiting his 'freedom' of choice), and therefore making him think he is actually making a choice and exercising free-will when he certainly is not.

And Galin, I'm not sure the time aspect comes into this. I understand that understanding where Eru sits "outside" of time is a difficult concept to grasp, but I don't think it really impacts on free-will. If God has "always" known everything that comes future or past, then it is more likely that our free-will has been restricted than if he didn't...

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The Witch-King of Angmar
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quote:
Sorry, I have problems accepting that Ilúvatar has worked his plan into accordance with Frodo's wishes.
It's the other way around, i.e. theres a paradox in Tolkien's lit between destiny and decision, wherein the characters must "choose according to what is meant to be."

The Council of Elrond made this fairly clear, in that they were all "summoned" to the Council by destiny, and so the Council represented everyone who was "meant" to be there-- no more, no less.
By this, the Council made its decision according to the signs of their appointed fate; Frodo even made to approach the Black Gate according to this.

[ 03-14-2008, 07:52 PM: Message edited by: The Witch-King of Angmar ]

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Tuor
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quote:
Sorry, I have problems accepting that Ilúvatar has worked his plan into accordance with Frodo's wishes. It seems much more likely to me that Ilúvatar (who is all-knowing and all-powerful) has worked Frodo's wishes into accordance with his plan, most likely through manipulating the situation so that Frodo thinks he has no other choice (limiting his 'freedom' of choice), and therefore making him think he is actually making a choice and exercising free-will when he certainly is not.

So you think that Iluvatar would take away a sub-creator's right to free will? Tolkien would most certainly have disagreed with you. The Free Will of each sub-creator is the basis of the reality of Tolkien's secondary world.


Edit:

quote:
The Council of Elrond made this fairly clear, in that they were all "summoned" to the Council by destiny
Exactly what summoned the group to the Council is debated, but I'd say it was Eru who brought the people together.

[ 03-14-2008, 08:36 PM: Message edited by: Tuor ]

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Amárië
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quote:
So you think that Iluvatar would take away a sub-creator's right to free will? Tolkien would most certainly have disagreed with you. The Free Will of each sub-creator is the basis of the reality of Tolkien's secondary world.
I'm not arguing what Tolkien thought. I know that he thinks his characters had free-will. What I'm arguing is the fact that, in my opinion, his belief is logically inconsistent.

You can't have an omniscient, all-powerful being who isn't in control of every aspect of the lives of his creations, otherwise he wouldn't be omniscient.

quote:
Exactly what summoned the group to the Council is debated, but I'd say it was Eru who brought the people together.
Therefore, it was not free-will, yet again...

[ 03-14-2008, 10:34 PM: Message edited by: Amárië ]

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Eluchil
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quote:
You can't have an omniscient, all-powerful being who isn't in control of every aspect of the lives of his creations, otherwise he wouldn't be omniscient.
To know what people will do doesn't mean to decide (for them) what they will do.
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Tuor
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I'm not going to argue that your point of view is wrong. I will argue that you are making some serious assumptions when you make statements like this:
quote:
Therefore, it was not free-will, yet again...

One is not required to answer a summons. Just as Elves had the option of rejecting Mandos' call, it is possible for subcreators with free will to reject Eru's commands. If you'd like to see such a sub-creator, then look at Melkor.
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Amárië
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I'm doing a very bad job of getting my point across. Probably because I haven't really slept in a week. Stupid coursework... []

quote:
To know what people will do doesn't mean to decide (for them) what they will do.
This is true.

But I guess what I'm trying to say is that a) when a being is omniscient and b) they have an overarching metanarrative already planned for their creation then it is just logical that that omniscience and power is going to be used to move the "created" in the direction of the Plan.

Eru states repeatedly that the plan cannot be changed in his despite - not even by Melkor.

Quotes:

quote:
And thou, Melkor, shalt see that no theme may be played that has not its uttermost source in me, nor can any alter the music in my despite. For he that attempteth this shall be but mine instrument in the devising of things more wonderful, which he himself hath not imagined. ~HoME X
quote:
Behold your Music! This is your minstrelsy; and each of you that had part in it shall find things which it may seem that he himself devised or added. And thou, Melkor, wilt discover all the secret thoughts of thy mind and wilt perceive that they are but a part of the whole and tributary to its glory. ~HoME X
I find the part that I've bolded and italicised in the second quote interesting - "which it may seem that he himself devised or added" - is that supposed to mean that they, in fact, didn't? I don't know, I just noticed that and was interested by it...

Ok, and just a random thought I had while reading through HoME X - if Eru is omniscient, and knows everything that is going to happen, then why did he create Melkor in the first place, and why on earth did he give him "the greatest gifts of power and knowledge", unless Melkor's hate, distruction and anger was intentional and planned by Eru? []

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Tuor
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quote:
if Eru is omniscient, and knows everything that is going to happen, then why did he create Melkor in the first place, and why on earth did he give him "the greatest gifts of power and knowledge", unless Melkor's hate, distruction and anger was intentional and planned by Eru?
Are you asking from a personal point of view or from Tolkien's?

I can answer Tolkien's point of view because it has to do with true Free Will. But you seem to have a problem with Free Will and I believe trying to argue with someone about what they believe is a complete waste of time and and rather frustrating.

Tolkien also went into explanations about what he meant by sub-creators attempting to change how Eru intends them to be. I think Tolkien's explanation is at the root of what you put in bold, but once again that is a discussion about Tolkien's point of view, not yours.

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Eluchil
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quote:
because it has to do with true Free Will.
More than agreed []

Also, see how Ilúvatar reacts towards Melkor's discords :
quote:
Then Ilúvatar arose, and the Ainur perceived that he smiled; and he lifted up his left hand, and a new theme began amid the storm, like and yet unlike to the former theme, and it gathered power and had new beauty.

[...]

Then again Ilúvatar arose, and the Ainur perceived that his countenance was stern; and he lifted up his right hand, and behold! a third theme grew amid the confusion, and it was unlike the others.

[...]

In the midst of this strife, whereat the halls of Ilúvatar shook and a tremor ran out into the silences yet unmoved, Ilúvatar arose a third time, and his face was terrible to behold. Then he raised up both his hands, and in one chord, deeper than the Abyss, higher than the Firmament, piercing as the light of the eye of Ilúvatar, the Music ceased.

Ainulindalë.

He knew what was going to happen, but He's still upset by Melkor's choice.

E: The older text of Ainulindalë B is even more explicit (probably too much, which could explained Tolkien's later emendations) :
quote:
Then Ilúvatar was grieved, but he smiled, and he lifted up his left hand, and a new theme began amid the storm, like and yet unlike the former theme, and it gathered power and had new sweetness.

[...]

Then Ilúvatar smiled no longer, but wept, and he raised his right hand; and behold, a third theme grew amid the confusion, and it was unlike the others, and more powerful than all.



[ 03-15-2008, 08:09 AM: Message edited by: Eluchil ]

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Artaresto
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quote:
He knew what was going to happen, but He's still upset by Melkor's choice.
Why? [] []
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Eluchil
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Why is He upset I guess ? Because, though He knew the result, there was still a free choice made by Melkor, the most gifted of His creatures.
Easy example : imagine you have a son, and you know for sure (because someone told you that, or for I don't know whatever reason) that he will do something you don't approve. Won't you be upset when your son will do it ?

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Amárië
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Getting away from the idea of free will for a moment ( [] - interesting, but I'm not sure we're ever going to agree on it), here's something I find interesting...

Eru knew what Melkor would do, but he created him extremely powerful anyway. Now Eru doesn't make mistakes, or do things that we would consider 'stupid', so that must mean that Arda Marred was part of his plan from the very beginning.

I know it's from a very early version of the story, but I like the way it's worded (I think it's stunningly beautiful prose, actually), and I don't think there's that much difference from earlier versions, so I'll quote from BoLT I, The Music of the Ainur:

quote:
Thou Melko shalt see that no theme can be played save it come in the end of Iluvatar's self, nor can any alter the music in Iluvatar's despite. He that attempts this finds himself in the end but aiding me in devising a thing of still greater grandeur and more complex wonder: -- for lo! through Melko have terror as fire, and sorrow like dark waters, wrath like thunder, and evil as far from my light as the depths of the uttermost of the dark places, come into the design that I laid before you. Through him has pain and misery been made in the clash of overwhelming musics; and with confusion of sound have cruelty, and ravening, and darkness, loathly mire and all putrescence of thought or thing, foul mists and violent flame, cold without mercy, been born, and death without hope. Yet is this through him and not by him; and he shall see, and ye all likewise, and even shall those beings, who must now dwell among his evil and endure through Melko misery and sorrow, terror and wickedness, declare in the end that it redoundeth only to my great glory, and doth but make the theme more worth the hearing, Life more worth the living, and the World so much the more wonderful and marvellous, that of all the deeds of Iluvatar it shall be called his mightiest and his loveliest.
Now several years ago (it must have 2003 or before), I had a discussion with several members of the board in our MT chat about this (I believe The Laurenendôrian and Herendil were involved?).

Basically what we discussed was the fact that having experienced evil and the horrors that came from it was what in the end would make Arda Re-made even more beautiful than Arda Unmarred could ever have been. Having evil and darkness juxtaposed with goodness and light would be more beautiful than just always having goodness and light with nothing to which to compare them.

Comments?

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Eluchil
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quote:
Having evil and darkness juxtaposed with goodness and light would be more beautiful than just always having goodness and light with nothing to which to compare them.
I'm not sure I understand this sentence correctly, but evil won't be part of Arda Remade, which is Arda Healed or Arda Envinyanta.
quote:
Since the Elves (and Men) were made for Arda, the satisfaction of their nature will require Arda (without the malice of the Marrer): therefore before the Ending the Marring will be wholly undone or healed (or absorbed into good, beauty, and joy).

Laws and Customs among the Eldar.

Otherwise, it's seems right to me.
quote:
For Arda Unmarred hath two aspects or senses. The first is the Unmarred that they discern in the Marred, if their eyes are not dimmed, and yearn for, as we yearn for the Will of Eru: this is the ground upon which Hope is built. The second is the Unmarred that shall be: that is, to speak according to Time in which they have their being, the Arda Healed, which shall be greater and more fair than the first, because of the Marring: this is the Hope that sustaineth.

Ibid.


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Amárië
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quote:
I'm not sure I understand this sentence correctly, but evil won't be part of Arda Remade, which is Arda Healed or Arda Envinyanta.
No, I was saying basically that because of Evil, Arda Healed would be more beautiful than a hypothetical Arda Unmarred...
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Tuor
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quote:
Having evil and darkness juxtaposed with goodness and light would be more beautiful than just always having goodness and light with nothing to which to compare them.

Evil itself is evil, it is only Eru's corrections to the changes that are good. I believe I've already posted the quote from Letters where Tolkien explains how this works.
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Amárië
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Tuor - I don't see that as being in any way in opposition to my point. []
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Tuor
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Sorry, when I was reading what you wrote, somehow the idea that evil in itself makes things better came to mind.

How about another stab...

Good is good whether or not a created being believes it is good or not. Therefore a created being's perception of good is totally irrelevant.

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Amárië
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quote:
Good is good whether or not a created being believes it is good or not.
[] I agree.

quote:
Therefore a created being's perception of good is totally irrelevant.
...but I don't see that this follows, especially when my point was that Arda Re-made will "seem" better than a hypothetical Arda Unmarred would have because of the presence of Evil to judge it against...
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Tuor
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quote:
but I don't see that this follows, especially when my point was that Arda Re-made will "seem" better than a hypothetical Arda Unmarred would have because of the presence of Evil to judge it against...
You are correct, this point of view is in opposition to the point of view that good is good whether or not a created being believes it is good or not.

The entire scenerio is based on the created being's perceptions. Since something being good or not has nothing to do with a created being's perception, the entire question is meaningless.

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The Dread Pirate Roberts
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quote:
Since something being good or not has nothing to do with a created being's perception, the entire question is meaningless.
Unless, of course, one is a created being. Then one's own perception is the only relevant and meaningful reality one will ever experience and is therefore of the utmost importance to oneself. Eru is the only one to not have this problem.

Will Arda Unmarred (Healed) be better (more good) than if Arda had never been marred? Good=Good. So a relative term like better wouldn't seem to apply. BUT to a created being, which all but Eru actually are, the perception may actually be that it IS better. Is that thought evil?

Maybe that's the wrong question. Maybe the question I should ask is, "is that thought even going to be possible during Arda Unmarred?"

[ 03-17-2008, 06:57 PM: Message edited by: The Dread Pirate Roberts ]

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Roll of Honor Varnafindë
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quote:
Will Arda Unmarred (Healed) be better (more good) than if Arda had never been marred?
And a related question, from the point of view of the created beings: Will they appreciate it more than they would have otherwise?
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Amárië
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Just a quote I found supporting my point. This is Manwë, in the debate of the Valar over the Statute of Finwë and Míriel.

quote:
The second is the Unmarred that shall be: that is, to speak according to Time in which they have their being, the Arda Healed, which shall be greater and more fair than the first, because of the marring: this is the Hope that sustaineth
~Laws and Customs among the Eldar (HoME X)

Just food for thought. []

[ 03-18-2008, 05:50 AM: Message edited by: Amárië ]

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Eluchil
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Lol ! I already posted that on this same page []
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Amárië
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[]

Well...it was before seven in the morning when I posted it...and I'd been up all night...is that a good excuse? []

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