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Minas Tirith Forums » Silmarillion » Female Power (Page 2)
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Luke
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I agree with you Eluchil, often a shallow reader of Tolkien will mis-interpret Eru's anger at Melkor's music as two things: confusion and disbelief on Eru's part that His plan has been messed with, and contempt that Melkor remained in conflict with Him. These thoughts of confusion were not going on inside Eru's head (or wherever he thinks from) because Melkor's choice to exercise his free will to become a slave to that will was part of Eru's plan.

Don't you think that Eru knew He was making creatures with free will when he made them? The answer is YES, because He made their free wills different from each other. One main kind of will was Melkor's, who only had the will to choose his own will. His free-will or "choice" was limited.
Conversely, the other main kind of will is someone's free will that can choose either to listen to itself, or another will...namly Eru's. Eru knew that some Ainur would remain in this special kind of will of His, otherwise he wouldn't have let Melkor continue with his random music...He would have just unmade him. But, He didn't, because He was confident in the special wills He had put into the obedient Ainur...which would be in conflict with Melkor.

The deeper reader will see these connections between Eru's over-all will and the created being's willfull (from free will) response to it. There are two kinds of programs...the negative responders and the possitive, both designed by Eru.

[ 11-04-2007, 09:51 PM: Message edited by: Luke ]

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Tuor
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quote:
. Eru knew that some Ainur would remain in this special kind of will of His, otherwise he wouldn't have let Melkor continue with his random music...He would have just unmade him.
Not according to Tolkien.

Perhaps this is true for your own, fan fic, version of Tolkien's Middle-earth, but it is not true for JRR Tolkien's version of Middle-earth. Try reading letter 153 where you can read where Tolkien wrote that Eru guarantees free will and can't unmake sinful actions.

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Eluchil
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There are so many contradictions in this last post [E: the post of Luke] that I'm hesitating to post ... []

Anyway :
quote:
confusion and disbelief on Eru's part that His plan has been messed with, and contempt that Melkor remained in conflict with Him
Neither of them. Ilúvatar is upset by Melkor's choice, the mightiest of the Ainur. Ilúvatar's plan cannot be messed (remember, He is the Allmighty), btw.

[ 11-04-2007, 09:53 PM: Message edited by: Eluchil ]

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Tuor
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quote:
. There are two kinds of programs...the negative responders and the possitive, both designed by Eru.

If Tolkien was a Calvinist, then you'd probably be right. But since Tolkien was a Catholic and therefore rejected the idea of predestined free will, you are simply incorrect.
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Luke
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quote:
Try reading letter 153 where you can read where Tolkien wrote that Eru guarantees free will and can't unmake sinful actions.
So in letter 153 Tolkien is saying that Eru didn't know if, say, Manwe would rebel against him?

As for unmaking sinful actions, we both know that He doesn't do that. But He does give out bad consequences for those who do them. These are two different things. Eru may not have unmade Melkor if ALL of the Ainur followed him, yet the consequences might have been even more severe the more Ainur he deceived...that's all I was saying.

[] And Eluchil, you took my words out of context. Maybe you read too fast, which seems to be the case with alot of you. What I actually said was

quote:
often a shallow reader of Tolkien will mis-interpret Eru's anger at Melkor's music as two things: confusion and disbelief on Eru's part that His plan has been messed with, and contempt that Melkor remained in conflict with Him. These thoughts of confusion were not going on inside Eru's head
I call the reader shallow who thinks something was wrong with Eru's plan. I agree with you for heaven sake! Again, read slower before you pass judgement. []

[ 11-04-2007, 10:07 PM: Message edited by: Luke ]

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Eluchil
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I cannot resist []
quote:
The answer is YES, because He made their free wills different from each other.
Can you define free will (within the Legendarium, of course) ?
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Eluchil
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This last one is in my personal best-of [] :
quote:
Eru may not have unmade Melkor if ALL of the Ainur followed him, yet the consequences might have been even more severe the more Ainur he deceived...that's all I was saying.
You are talking about Ilúvatar, are you not ?

[ 11-04-2007, 10:05 PM: Message edited by: Eluchil ]

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Luke
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Eluchil, you took my words out of context. Maybe you read too fast, which seems to be the case with alot of you. What I actually said was


my full and complete quote:

(Luke's quote) often a shallow reader of Tolkien will mis-interpret Eru's anger at Melkor's music as two things: confusion and disbelief on Eru's part that His plan has been messed with, and contempt that Melkor remained in conflict with Him. These thoughts of confusion were not going on inside Eru's head (end quote)


I call the reader shallow who thinks something was wrong with Eru's plan. I agree with you for heaven sake! Again, read slower before you pass judgement.

You posted:

(My incomplete quote) confusion and disbelief on Eru's part that His plan has been messed with, and contempt that Melkor remained in conflict with Him (end quote)

After posting this incomplete quote of mine, you commented on it, saying:

(quote) Neither of them. Ilúvatar is upset by Melkor's choice, the mightiest of the Ainur. Ilúvatar's plan cannot be messed (remember, He is the Allmighty), btw. (end quote)

You have no place to disagree with me on this "point" you wanted to make, because we agree on Eru's plan not being able to be messed with. []

You just messed with my words and quoted me as saying that I believed that Eru's plan was able to be altered.

[ 11-04-2007, 10:18 PM: Message edited by: Luke ]

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Eluchil
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Where did you see I was contadicting that ? [] kettle and pot ?

E: but I have a lot to disagree on - see my other posts, and Tuor's posts. And now, [] []

[ 11-04-2007, 10:23 PM: Message edited by: Eluchil ]

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Luke
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Okay, let's try and get this straight. Were you saying that Eru's plan was NOT able to be messed with? If you were than we agree. If you doubt this, look at this:

(Luke's quote)often a shallow reader of Tolkien will mis-interpret Eru's anger at Melkor's music as two things: confusion and disbelief on Eru's part that His plan has been messed with, and contempt that Melkor remained in conflict with Him. These thoughts of confusion were not going on inside Eru's head (end quote)

Look at the last sentence, it means that I agree with you...end of story. []

However, you quoted me as saying otherwise. []

[ 11-04-2007, 10:24 PM: Message edited by: Luke ]

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Tuor
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quote:
So in letter 153 Tolkien is saying that Eru didn't know if, say, Manwe would rebel against him?

No, I refered to letter 153 as a place where Tolkien expressly wrote that free will guarantees that the sub creator has the right to rebel and that Eru will not unmake the decision.

If you want to know where Tolkien writes about foreknowledge of a sub creator's actions, then I'll point you to letter 212
  • A divine ’punishment’ is also a divine ’gift’, if accepted, since its object is ultimate blessing, and the supreme inventiveness of the Creator will make ’punishments’ (that is changes of design) produce a good not otherwise to be attained
This was in regard to death. Tolkien uses the words supreme inventiveness. How could Eru be inventive if he knew all along what the sub creator was going to do, as well as what the best response would be? That wouldn't be inventive at all. Tolkien's sub created world deals with true Free Will. Each sub created being, although using an ability that originated from Eru himself, is given the opportunity to make his or her own decisions. Individuals are not pre-programmed robots simply carrying out Eru's hidden instructions. Individuals are individuals who make their own decisions.
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Luke
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quote:
How could Eru be inventive if he knew all along what the sub creator was going to do, as well as what the best response would be?
Maybe he created everything at once? Everything in the past and the future, holding events in suspension until each created thing at it's different stage of developement was in place, so that a sub-creator wouldn't know what he was going to do many years down the line. That would explain the need for prophesy. It would also explain why Eru rested and watched the music unfold instead of taking part in it himself. You're thinking that Eru would be bored because he wouldn't have anything left to do...but what does he do in most of the Silmarillion and LOTR? He doesn't do alot, so he probably watches, he watches his creation unfold. This "watching" isn't boring or even uninventive...it's just the end and completion of invention itself. We see this same thing in whatever the subcreators or Valar created...they intervene, and everything they create can be changed or altered by them (Ulmo can change ocean currents), but they do alot of "watching" because they're basically done. Manwe has an entire mountain dedicated to the act of watching. And, like the subcreators can alter their creations slightly, Eru sometimes alters and edits parts of his...which is everything the subcreators created.

[ 11-04-2007, 10:51 PM: Message edited by: Luke ]

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Tuor
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quote:
Maybe he created everything at once?
If he did, then he wouldn't be inventive when the sub creator attempted to change the design.

Try reading how Tolkien described his Middle-earth if you want to understand Tolkien's Middle-earth.

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Luke
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quote:
If he did, then he wouldn't be inventive when the sub creator attempted to change the design.

If you're refering to Aule's creation of the dwarves, we see that he created Aule's will to function a certain way...correct?

So it was Eru's will to create Aule's will to act in whatever way it would. This is not "controlling" his will, but giving one to him. Will's have to be created as well as physical objects you know, otherwise people would be statues and do nothing. []

[ 11-04-2007, 10:53 PM: Message edited by: Luke ]

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Tuor
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No, I mean what Tolkien wrote:
  • and the supreme inventiveness of the Creator will make ’punishments’ (that is changes of design) produce a good not otherwise to be attained
Sub-creators actually changed Eru's original designs. Eru's supreme inventiveness takes those changes and blends them into the story.

The Dwarves are an example of this. Aule attempted to create his own children, something which Aule could not do, but Eru takes them up and gives them life. Eru makes Dwarves his children by adoption.

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Hamfast Gamgee
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Well, I suppose that at the beginning, Eru did manage to intervene and change actions to his advantage. But I can't help but think this happened less and less as the tale wore on. Take Turin for example. Someone, for all his faults was given worse than he deserved, I believe. Now was Turin's fate predetermined by Eru's music? If it was, was there any way out for him? Was he damned by whatever route he took, or could he by his actions make some sort of difference to fate?
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Tuor
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Gamgee,

According to Tolkien, the greater power at work that brought about the destruction of the ring was Eru himself. Eru, although not physically present within Arda, still works to bring about his design.

According to the Published Silmarillion, Men are not predestined by the Music.

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Luke
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quote:
Now was Turin's fate predetermined by Eru's music? If it was, was there any way out for him? Was he damned by whatever route he took, or could he by his actions make some sort of difference to fate?
Who knows how many different elements and themes there were within the music? Turin's free will could have acted upon a certain theme in the music of Arda that would bring out the element of Eru's mercy or provision. This theme could work itself out physically in the form of a friend.

Although, if an intelligent Being could incorporate any element of the music into the span of their lifetime, fate would be nothing more than a grab-bag. Obviously, no created being could choose to fullfill a MAJOR theme of the music in his or her own lifetime (such as if the dwarves, led by Thorin, could just decide to overthrow the necromancer...that was fated for the white council to do). This doesn't mean that beings can't choose MINOR themes of the music to encorporate into their own lives. Surely the music was what created things like friends, so its reasonable to assume that an individual with free will could either accept or reject that part of the music. By choosing an element of the music as small as Samwise Gamgee for his friend, Frodo fullfilled a larger part of the music by destroying the ring of power.

So, in a way, the fate of individuals isn't fixed when it comes to the minor things they can or cannot accomplish...such as acquiring or rejecting a friend. A friend, who is a minor theme in the music...but, as we've seen, can turn into a larger theme.

[ 11-05-2007, 06:44 AM: Message edited by: Luke ]

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Mithrennaith
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Tuor wrote:
quote:
If Tolkien was a Calvinist, then you'd probably be right. But since Tolkien was a Catholic and therefore rejected the idea of predestined free will, you are simply incorrect.
Well, Calvinism does not have a monopoly on predeterminism. In fact Calvin got the idea from St. Augustine (of Hippo).

That is not to say, though, that Tolkien thought the same about it as Calvin, or thought what Luke seems to be saying.

[ 11-05-2007, 11:41 PM: Message edited by: Mithrennaith ]

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Tuor
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Yes, I know that the idea of predestination is dealt with within the Catholic Church, but as far as I know, the Calvinistic view of double predestination' predetermined by God' is not a concept taught to Tolkien by his church.

I think that Mandos' personal view of what free will means does not allow him to see anything but his own view. It is a common problem when different people use the same term to describe two totally different things.

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Luke
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The wall we run into when considering Melkor's actions is not one of rebellion being something totally unexpected, for the fact that it was possible for Eru to conceive of something opposite to his own will before that opposite thing happened. Its a very simple thing to do, and many of Tolkien's characters do it all the time. Eru did this first when he anounced to Melkor that everything sub-creators do will have its origin in him, which means that Eru knew that Melkor was going to be opposite to him for some time. Even if he didn't predestine this, he knew it, and could accurately predict the changes Melkor would make to His plan for the simple reason that He knew his own plan and could generate an opposite in His mind.

So the problem here isn't one of Catholic or even protestant free will...its about who wins. Eru had the greater mind that could conceive of what Melkor's simpler mind would do in response to Eru's creation. He knew it, so he already had a counter-plan lined up to fix the mess after Melkor caused it. Take the Valar's destruction of Utumno for example. Eru was so confident of its success that he let His representatives plan it...one reason why he doesn't dirrectly intervene alot of the time. He's always one or more steps ahead of Melkor and evil beings like him because they can't read Him like He reads them. [] I'm sure that Melkor didn't even consider what he would do if the Valar tore up his strongholds and scattered his forces all accross ME...you can't just do the opposite of that! But based on his history that's largely all that he could think of doing in response to good actions, like when he opposed the Order of the music by making Chaos. Eru created Chaos for him when he scattered his forces...its not like Melkor could just create Order out of that. Melkor tends to respond to Eru with an opposite, while Eru's response to that opposite is usually far more complicated than just another opposite.

Certain victory for all time is about as good as predestination...don't you think? []

[ 11-07-2007, 06:19 AM: Message edited by: Luke ]

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Tuor
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quote:
Eru did this first when he anounced to Melkor that everything sub-creators do will have its origin in him, which means that Eru knew that Melkor was going to be opposite to him for some time.
A perfect example of a person reading into the story their own point of view without bothering to read Tolkien's explanation.

Really there isn't anything wrong with this, as long as you realize that you are discussing your version of the Legedarium, not Tolkien's.

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Belthronding
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What about the question of powerful females in the Legendarium??

Why would Tolkien include so many, and hold them out over and above the primarily male heroes?

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Luke
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quote:
Really there isn't anything wrong with this, as long as you realize that you are discussing your version of the Legedarium, not Tolkien's.
Your right, there is nothing wrong with me pointing out an obvious fact. The rule of opposites may not have been written in the Sil with dirrect language, Eru didn't say to Melkor "I know that what I and my sub-creators create you will always try and counter with an opposite of your own...and you will fail." But, based upon any reader's logical observation of the events that took place in the narrative, anyone can see the law of opposites occuring. Not in every instance where Melkor or Sauron opposes Eru's or a Vala's plan, but in most. I think that if halfway through the Sil someone read that a deviant being was doing something completely opposite than a good being would do, their first reaction would be "Well duh!" []

[ 11-07-2007, 08:25 PM: Message edited by: Luke ]

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Eluchil
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Whatever []

Belth :
quote:
Why would Tolkien include so many, and hold them out over and above the primarily male heroes?
"so many" and "over and above" ? I'm honestly curious to see who you would put in that list.
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