Paradise Lost : Books V & V. Milton 's Scale Of Nature

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Carly Merryman ENGL 328 Stoll 3 October 2014 Paradise Lost: Books V & VI Milton’s scale of nature, while appearing linear, allows the creatures within in it to “ascend to God” by “steps,” (V.512). This creates a dynamic scale that would enable a particular being the ability to move up and down the scale based on its behaviors, and align itself closer to God. However, an animal or a human can only climb so far. No matter how virtuous an animal was it could never surpass a human because it is lacking the spiritual essence that God awarded to man. Similarly, a human, while living, could never attain the same closeness to God as an angel. So while this allows for some degree of mobility, each sect of the scale is confined within the parameters that God set forth. If the creation was “one first matter all” as Raphael says to Adam then that would mean that all matter came from God. Not only does this reconcile science and religious beliefs because as Newton’s First Law says, “Matter can neither be created nor destroyed,” but it also asserts that all matter begins as being inherently good. This explanation disqualifies ex nihlo because as science says there can be no absolute nothing. Milton’s attempts to resolve the religion versus science issues are made stronger by his references to Galileo and astronomy. But Milton’s version of the creation tackles the problem of absolute nothingness. If there were absolute nothingness before matter, then that nothingness would have had to

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