Trang Ho PHIL 225 Paper 3

Trang Ho PHIL 225 Paper 3 - 1 Trang Ho PHIL 225 Geoff...

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Trang Ho PHIL 225 Geoff Georgi Paper 3 Prompt: Adam’s reasons for eating the forbidden fruit were different from Eve’s, and this difference should have been reflected in different degrees of punishment for Adam and Eve. It is apparent in John Milton’s Paradise Lost that Adam and Eve have different reasons for eating the forbidden fruit. However, Eve’s punishments seem more severe than that of Adam. Although Eve is the first to partake in the transgression, she eats the forbidden fruit without fully understanding the consequences because the serpent deceives her. Adam, on the other hand, know that they will be doomed from eating the fruit, yet he decides to do it nevertheless. Is it worse to sin in ignorance or to sin with knowledge? In the text, the difference in their reasons for sinning is reflected in the different levels of punishments Adam and Eve received. However, the level of punishments should depend on the sinner’s knowledge and understanding of the sin itself. Although Adam and Eve have different reasons for sinning, one should not base on these reasons to decide the level of punishments for each character because they are simply irrelevant. The most important factor to judge the level of punishment for individuals is their knowledge and understanding of the sin. Although the reason behind Eve’s eating the forbidden fruit is that she believes the fruit will help her gain wisdom and power, she commits this sin without full understanding of its consequences due to her inadequate reasoning as well as Satan’s deceptive scheme. Satan in the form of a serpent approaches Eve and manipulates her into eating the fruit. He affirms that he has eaten the fruit and is now able to speak and 1
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think like men. Satan also deceives Eve into thinking that she will not die from eating the fruit; on the contrary, she will acquire the ultimate power and knowledge to be like God: Knowing both good and evil as they know. That ye should be as gods since I as man […] What are gods that man may not become As they, participating god-like food? (Milton 288) Satan tempts Eve of the most coveted reward known to men – to be God-like, framing it as a righteous and encouraged act. Eve completely believes in Satan’s words after only a few deceptive arguments by him, as described by Milton, “[Satan’s] words replete with guile/ Into her heart too easy entrance won” (Milton 289). This shows that Eve is not capable of sound reasoning, and thus is not fully aware of the true consequences of her wrongdoing. Adam decides to eat the fruit because he loves Eve, and more importantly, he feels
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This note was uploaded on 04/06/2011 for the course PHIL 225g taught by Professor Mc cann during the Fall '10 term at USC.

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Trang Ho PHIL 225 Paper 3 - 1 Trang Ho PHIL 225 Geoff...

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