NoME - Arda marred and Valar fallibility

Bruce N H

Active Member
Hi all,

I was just re-listening to Nature of Middle Earth class 4 in preparation for class 5 this evening and something struck me. I'll just outline this:

Known facts (or at least conclusions we've drawn):
-Arda is marred in fundamental ways due to Melkor's involvement in the Music.
-The elves did not fall in a single act like the Garden of Eden story, but rather their natures carry some fallability* because of their ties to Arda Marred.
-The Ainur entered into Arda and are affected by it. They inhabit Arda as the soul inhabits the body.
-Ainur (at least those in Arda) can fall or come near to falling - see Aule, Osse, Sauron, Saruman. Per our discussion in class 4 and comparison to medieval angelology, perhaps post-Music Ainur who never entered Arda are in a perpetually un-fallable state.
-The Valar can have failures of faith in Eru and failures to live up to Eru's plan for them (see our discussion in class 4).

Speculation:
-Perhaps the Ainur we meet have the ability to have incomplete faith in Eru, don't live up to Eru's plan, and can even fall completely BECAUSE in entering and becoming tied to Arda they become affected by Arda Marred (and therefore ultimately by Melkor).

Thoughts?

Oh, random tangent question. If that is true, what about Tulkas. He came in later, with a specific mission to fight Melkor. Does that mean he isn't tied to Arda in the same way? If so, does he bear the taint of Arda Marred at all?

Bruce / Bricktales

*Okay, I didn't remember the word so Googled. It's peccability. Or if we wanted to get all fancy and Latin, posse peccare. I remember long ago reading a whole discussion about the nature of pre-Fall Adam, about Christ, and about others post-second-coming that kept throwing around "posse peccare", "non posse peccare", and "posse non peccare".
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
Hi all,

I was just re-listening to Nature of Middle Earth class 4 in preparation for class 5 this evening and something struck me. I'll just outline this:

Known facts (or at least conclusions we've drawn):
-Arda is marred in fundamental ways due to Melkor's involvement in the Music.
-The elves did not fall in a single act like the Garden of Eden story, but rather their natures carry some fallability* because of their ties to Arda Marred.
-The Ainur entered into Arda and are affected by it. They inhabit Arda as the soul inhabits the body.
-Ainur (at least those in Arda) can fall or come near to falling - see Aule, Osse, Sauron, Saruman. Per our discussion in class 4 and comparison to medieval angelology, perhaps post-Music Ainur who never entered Arda are in a perpetually un-fallable state.
-The Valar can have failures of faith in Eru and failures to live up to Eru's plan for them (see our discussion in class 4).

Speculation:
-Perhaps the Ainur we meet have the ability to have incomplete faith in Eru, don't live up to Eru's plan, and can even fall completely BECAUSE in entering and becoming tied to Arda they become affected by Arda Marred (and therefore ultimately by Melkor).

Thoughts?
Exactly my thoughts. But I would not make an exception for Tulkas.
But what is the win here? What possible gain warrants such risk being worthwhile? I think it is the possibility for personal growth. In the Timeless Halls all stays as it is. Personal growth carries a risk of failure, but Eru seems to think it worth the possible cost.
 

WillChan

New Member
Great thought. I find the certain actions of the Valars reinforce the lies of Morgoth. For example, when the Valar granted the Edain extended life after the War of Wrath as a reward for their resistance to Morgoth, this seems to be to be reinforcing Morgoth's lies about the Gift of Man by implying that death is something to be avoided. The Valar further reinforce the lie when they decrease the life span of the later kings of Numenor as punishment for their rebellious actions.
 

Flammifer

Well-Known Member
Bruce / Bricktales

*Okay, I didn't remember the word so Googled. It's peccability. Or if we wanted to get all fancy and Latin, posse peccare. I remember long ago reading a whole discussion about the nature of pre-Fall Adam, about Christ, and about others post-second-coming that kept throwing around "posse peccare", "non posse peccare", and "posse non peccare".
[/QUOTE]

Your use of 'peccare' reminds me of the famous telegram by Sir Charles Napier.

Napier was a general in British India in the 1840s. He was fighting against incursions into East India Company territory from the Kingdom of Sind. His orders were to not capture any territory from Sind, as his superiors were worried about overextension of British control in India. However, encountering little resistance, Napier advanced and conquered the country. He then sent a messenger back to the nearest telegraph station to send a one word telegram to London.

"Peccavi"

A perfect pun in Latin, meaning both 'I have Sind' (conquered the country), and 'I have sinned' (by exceeding my orders).

Of course, the pun relied on the correct assumption that everyone in the British ruling classes knew enough Latin to get it instantly.
 
If by entering time the Valar can sin/fail then logically Melkor conversely must be able to repent. Right? Also the Valar muste have asumed this when chaining Melkor only for some time.

I guess here is a big difference to catholic theology (Satan cannot repent). Except if I err and Melkor cannot repent (and the Valar dont know). But why? What makes his choice and use of free will different than the Valar's? Maybe because he chose to oppose Eru already outside of time he will forever stick to that decision even if entering time. But then you could say that the Valar chose to follow Eru outside of time as well. Hmm can you help me?
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
If by entering time the Valar can sin/fail then logically Melkor conversely must be able to repent. Right? Also the Valar muste have asumed this when chaining Melkor only for some time.

I guess here is a big difference to catholic theology (Satan cannot repent). Except if I err and Melkor cannot repent (and the Valar dont know). But why? What makes his choice and use of free will different than the Valar's? Maybe because he chose to oppose Eru already outside of time he will forever stick to that decision even if entering time. But then you could say that the Valar chose to follow Eru outside of time as well. Hmm can you help me?
It seems the ability to repent is a little easier for humans than for other beings. It seems a payoff of starting off fallen. Other beings start off good as default and have to [only] take care not to fall, not to choose evil. Humans start off fallen and their task is to actively choose good. As such they might be a little better in "choosing good" - in repentance that is - which others do not have so much experience with and might find quite difficult when faced with the necessity to acomplish it. Who do we see sucessfully repent among the Ainur? Aulë and Ossë?

Satan is beyond time still, he has not entered time. As such he never even pretends to have even tried to repent.

Sauron "almost repents" also. So all that would imply that Melkor could theoretically repent, but is simply not interested in.
 
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