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I was just browsing through the thread regarding Elves against Morgoth, and I see a lot of suppositions and possibilities regarding whether the Elves could have prevailed against the Enemy. I used to wonder about that too, but after reading and rereading the stories over the years, I realized that they couldn't, no matter what happened. They were supposed to fail, or he was supposed to be almost completely victorious, regardless of whether Men remained faithful or Thingol or Orodreth sent their armies to help.
Morgoth, or Melkor as he was first called in the Beginning, was the mightiest of the Valar who came to Ea. In Nirnaeth Arnoediad, he would have won regardless of how many Elves and Men and Dwarves came against him. Even if he loosed his last forces against them and they still would have seemed to have the upper hand, he could have unleashed volcanic eruptions and earthquakes against them, just as he did in the Dagor Bragolach, which killed a lot of the Elves. But even more powerful than Morgoth, or Manwe, or any other being in Ea, was Doom. Not Mandos (or Namo, as he was really called) but Doom, or Destiny, or Fate, however you want to call it. Mandos was only the Vala who could most clearly perceive it. He knew that, no matter what anyone did to avoid or change their destiny, or the outcome of certain events, things would happen as they are supposed to happen: not according to the plans of Elves or Men or Valar, but to the greater glory of The One, Eru. But even the worst that Morgoth did or could do would end up resulting in something that was good.
The Elves could not hope to win against Morgoth without the aid of the other Valar, but they were doomed to try. Otherwise, as it says in the Silmarillion, their history would not have been as glorious as it turned out to be. Beren was able to cut the Silmaril from Morgoth's crown with the knife Angrist, but the Fate of the other two jewels was set: the knife broke when he tried to take them as well. He was able to pass through the Girdle of Melian and enter the Kingdom of Doriath because he was supposed to: his doom was more powerful that Melian's power to stop him. And then once he did, once Luthien saw him, Doom fell on her and she loved him. Nothing could have stopped that happening, no matter what Thingol or Melian did. Melian at least knew it was useless to try and stop it, but Thingol had to try, and it resulted in the doom of Doriath.
But some events are outside the rules of Doom, and lie still in the thought of Eru: one example is the Choice of Luthien. Melian never realized that the result of Luthien's love for a Mortal would result in such a profound loss, although Thingol is said to be reluctant to deny his daughter the lights of heaven. But as is said in the Silmarillion, Melian looked in Luthien's eyes and saw the doom that was written there, and turned away: she never anticipated the loss of her daughter that would last to the end of the world. Another example of this is the Choice of Earendil and Elwing and of their children Elros and Elrond, and then the choice of Arwen.
This is open to discussion, of course, and I look forward to the responses this thread inspires.
Fate in Ea is created by the Music of the Ainur, which tells of the history of the Universe. The Music is played on the themes which Eru set to be. Yet some things, like the Children of Iluvatar, the Ainur had no part in their music and they come directly from Eru. This is why the Powers know much of was Is, Was, and will be but do not know those things which Eru has kept to himself (otherwise there would be no purpose in watching the history of the world if you knew everything that was to come).
Another thing which the Powers could not fully foresee was Evil. This was created by the discord of Melkor and, as such, it contorted many parts of the Music so that not all can be fully understood in the future of the fate of Arda.
But even the evil of Morgoth is but a tributary to the 'Greater design', and was caused to be by Eru Iluvatar. For his 'followers', his 'creations', to fully understand all that is, they must first experience it through their own lives. Thus, once all is over they awake to a new enlightenment, and greater glory.
This is why, in the Second Music of the Ainur, each will fully understand the part of eachother, unlike the First, and all will rise to a new dawn.
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But even the evil of Morgoth is but a tributary to the 'Greater design', and was caused to be by Eru Iluvatar.

The evil of Melkor was not caused by Ilúvatar. It has its origin only in Melkor. Melkor was created to be good, not evil.

I shall also refer to this thread: The concept of Eru's creation
That is a matter of opinion Vir. In my current opinion I believe the history of Ea was already made in the mind of Iluvatar, and as such so was all the evils of Melkor, which, in the end will turn out "Good to have been".
The evil of Melkor was a nessersary component in the creation of an enlightened Universe.
If fate in Ea was not already laid out befoe its creation then how can Mandos, or Elrond, or even Aragorn, have foresight?
This is no matter of opinion. It's Tolkien's opinion that applies to his Creation myth, not ours that counts.

See the other thread.
I have seen the other thread. I'll go one better - I created it... and my view still stands. So does yours clearly. Lets leave it at that.
With respect to the question of how God can know history but yet free will can still exist, I would suggest reading Lewis' thoughts in Mere Christianity. I can't seem to find my copy, so relying upon: Mere Christianity Leaders' Notes over at Opendiscipleship.org:

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Chapter 3: "Time and Beyond Time" This chapter discusses Time as it relates to Prayer. We live through time. In this reality, we flow in one direction with time. All that is behind us is lost to us, except in our memory. All that is before us is unknown to us. What Lewis is attempting to address here is, "How can God listen to everyone in the world praying at the same time?"

1) God created time
2) God exists beyond time ("outside and above")
3) God is not restricted to time
4) We live in this tiny window of Now, the past behind us, the future before us
5) God can see all of the "Now's" all of all time
6) Example of the author writing the book with the character in the book living in a separate, independent timeline.
7) "But God has no history. He is too completely real to have one."
8) In human language we use terms like "foreknowledge," and "foresaw," and "predestined." These terms are all locked into human reason and human language. We really don't have language to adequately deal with God's presence outside of time.
9) Because of God's presence beyond time, He is able to tell the prophets what is in their future because it is not future to God, but present reality. This allows a view of foreknowledge and predestination that does not violate, in any way, free will and human responsibility. Humans retain personal responsibility in light of "predestination" without the two conflicting.'


Tom Shippey outlines certain corollaries of the Christian belief expounded by St. Augustine, and then by Catholic and Protestant alike:

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'Corollaries of this belief are that evil cannot itself create, that it was not in itself created (but sprang from a voluntary exercise of free will by Satan, Adam and Eve, to separate themselves from God), that it will in the long run be annulled or eliminated, as the Fall of Man was redressed by the Incarnation and death of Christ.'


If one disagrees with the doctrine, that's one thing, but in letter 153, for example, I think Tolkien is clear enough that Morgoth fell due to his free will with respect to subcreation. In letter 131 JRRT compares Sauron's desire to the fall of Morgoth, and: 'his (Morgoth's) was a subcreative Fall,...'

Letter 212 is especially notable -- I think already quoted in large part by Virumor along with other relevant citations posted in the other thread. The context is Tolkien's mythology: 'In this myth the rebellion of created free-will precedes the creation of the World (Ea); and Ea has in it, subcreatively introduced, evil, rebellions,...'.

Eru is the creator. Evil is subcreatively introduced. And this fundamental idea is not in discord with the fact that 'good', or even potentially 'more good' can be produced because evil actions and motives are allowed to exist. Tolkien explained that Morgoth was nihilistic, and that possibly he became so far advanced in lying that he lied even to himself. And...

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'Melkor's final impotence and despair lay in this: the whereas the Valar (and in their degree Elves and Men) could still love 'Arda Marred', that is Arda with the Melkor-ingredient, and could still heal this or hurt that, or produce from its very marring, from its state as it was, things beautiful and lovely, Melkor could do nothing with Arda, which was not from his own mind and was interwoven with the work and thoughts of others: even left alone he could only have gone raging on till all was leveled again into formless chaos. And yet even so he would have been defeated, because it still would have 'existed' independent of his own mind, and a world in potential'. JRRT Morgoth's Ring


In short I agree with Gandalf-olorin and Virumor here and in the other thread. I didn't comment there, as the argument had, to my mind, already been well made before I even arrived.

Not that that usually stops me however Wink Smilie

... but I couldn't then (and still can't) locate my copy of Lewis' book.

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"... Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having. A world of automata -- of creatures that worked like machines -- would hardly be worth creating. The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water. And for that they must be free."

"Of course God knew what would happen if they used their freedom the wrong way: apparently he thought it worth the risk. Perhaps we feel inclined to disagree with Him. But there is a difficulty about disagreeing with God. He is the source from which all your reasoning power comes: you could not be right and He wrong and more than a stream can rise higher than its own source. When you are arguing against Him you are arguing against the very power that makes you able to argue at all: it is like cutting off the branch you are sitting on. If God thinks this state of war in the universe a price worth paying for free will -- that is, for making a live world in which creatures can do real good or harm and something of real importance can happen, instead of a toy world which only moves when He pulls the strings -- then we may take it it is worth paying."

CS Lewis Mere Christianity
Interesting post Galin. Yet it didn't answer (or I failed to see it) the core of my question...

Eru knows all the future, becuase as you say, its a present reality to him, who exists beyond Time. He knows that evil is going to be introduced by Melkor as a subcreative act. Therefore why would he then go and create Melkor, knowing that he will one day go and introduce Evil to His creation? In short...Eru introduced Evil by introducing Melkor, who he knew was going to become Evil, because he knows all.
That is all I am trying to say, and it can't really be rebutted, unless you don't think Eru knows all of the future, or didn't know Melkor was going to become evil, which is doubtful becuase we know Eru created Fate:

"The fate of this world One alone can change who made it..." etc - from The Silmarillion I believe
There seems to be a difference in your phrasing in any case, as you seem to say above that Eru caused the evil of Morgoth to be (the part Virumor quoted). Then you say Eru 'introduced' evil.

If you want to question why evil is 'allowed' then see the last section of my post above from Lewis (just for one 'answer' for example).
I suppose a similar analogy would be thus:

If a factory supplies poisoned meat to a shop, and then the shop sells it to you and you receive food poisoning, you would say its the shops fault for supplying the meat but the inital fault lies with where the meat came from.

Evil WAS introduced by Melkor, but Evil was already in the mind of Iluvatar before anything was made. The mind of Eru is where all things come from, both Ainur, matter and Void, therefore evil must have already been with Iluvatar. However we would not say that Iluvatar is Evil, nor should we really say he is 'good' as such. For if Eru is outside Time and is not subject to what arises in his Creation, then he is neither subject to Good nor Evil, he simply 'IS'.
To Iluvatar himself nothing is evil or good. But to those, like the Valar, who follow the path that he has laid, and who ARE subject to the forces in his Creation, they would say that going against Iluvatar's designs is evil, even though everything any being does is still furthering the Great plan of Iluvatar.
To us, to everything that is in 'existance, Good is following Gods designs, so we call God 'Good'. But to God himself, all powerful, all knowing, he is not subject to those forces which he Himself made.
I agree that Eru "merely" IS, if his Being can be summarized as "mere" anything, especially "mere" Existance. He is outside of time, or entropy: He is neither old nor young, Good nor Evil, but I honestly can't say that He's neither Light nor Dark. In The Ainulindale, it states that the Ainur dwelt with Iluvatar, but that Melkor went out to the Everlasting Darkness seeking the Flame Imperishable but found it not, for it is with Iluvatar. Therefore Iluvatar is separate from Darkness, and Melkor became impatient with its emptiness.
This brings up an interesting theory:
For everything that is one extreme, there is an opposite: you can't have light without dark, you can't have Good without Evil, there is no Being without Void. Therefore, I honestly believe that Eru is "Being" Itself: the Power of Creation, That Which Is, the One Extreme; the Other Extreme is "Void" Itself: the Lack of Being, That Which Is Naught, the Everlasting Darkness. It is the Equal and Opposite of Eru in that, rather than just destroying, It "merely" does NOT Create. Destruction implies the end of something Created, and there is no Life in the Void. Eru Created the Ainur and then Ea; the Void did nothing, had no Children, had no Thought. Morgoth could never make anything that had Life of its own, he could only corrupt things that Lived: Orcs as corrupted Elves, Trolls as a mockery of the Ents. Eru is Life, its beginning and its end. The Void is Not: not Death, since Death is the end of Life; rather it is the Lack of Life. They are Opposites: One Living since it is Life itself, and the other Not Living, for lack of a better term.
Finally someone in agreement!

I get where your going about the Void. Eru is 'Existance, while Void is non-being'. So in a way they are opposites yes. But there is a crunch.
To 'be' an opposite you actually have to 'be' something, if you get my meaning. The Void is not anything, but rather the lack of anything else, and as such it is not available for comparison if you catch my drift. You can only compare something if it IS something.

Never had such a discussion that requires so many capitals. Quite interesting debate though.
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For everything that is one extreme, there is an opposite: you can't have light without dark, you can't have Good without Evil, there is no Being without Void.

I disagree with this notion of "duality". There can be light without dark. Light "is" something, whilst Dark is nothing. Light is energy, it is the will of the Creator. Dark is merely the absence of light.

Same applies to the notion of "Good", which is living according to the will of the Creator; "Evil" is nothing, since it is merely the refusal of the will of the Creator. It does not stand on its own, unlike Good.

Evil is nothing but a hopeless, nihilistic battle against superior forces.

Here endeth my impression of Master Yoda. That is, if one would be so kind to read "Creator" as "Force".

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Therefore, I honestly believe that Eru is "Being" Itself: the Power of Creation, That Which Is, the One Extreme; the Other Extreme is "Void" Itself: the Lack of Being, That Which Is Naught, the Everlasting Darkness. It is the Equal and Opposite of Eru in that, rather than just destroying, It "merely" does NOT Create. Destruction implies the end of something Created, and there is no Life in the Void. Eru Created the Ainur and then Ea; the Void did nothing, had no Children, had no Thought. Morgoth could never make anything that had Life of its own, he could only corrupt things that Lived: Orcs as corrupted Elves, Trolls as a mockery of the Ents. Eru is Life, its beginning and its end. The Void is Not: not Death, since Death is the end of Life; rather it is the Lack of Life. They are Opposites: One Living since it is Life itself, and the other Not Living, for lack of a better term.

Eru is God within Tolkien's Universe. God has no opposite.
You religous Vir? Its just you always seem to have such an intense hate, moreso than most people at least, for evil things. Most people think 'ahh its evil, so what?' Yet you seem to be labouring under the illusion that there is some divine Power that always "wipes it out". In our world, evil is very much the dominant power and is becoming increasingly so. Nobody likes it but its too big an issue to stop overnight.

And while the 'Dark is simply absent of light' works in Ea, it don't in our world. As we have discussed before the 'nothing' that you see covering the Universe is Dark Matter - it is something, and not just the lack of something else. It covers 90% of matter. So in this case Dark very much outweighs light.
I thought the point of this and similar discussions was to uncover what Tolkien thought and put into his works. In this thread, Galin and Vir have put forward the argument quite exhaustively that Tolkien designed Eru after God, the God of his Catholic faith. This is really the truth of the matter, as extensive research has shown. This being the case, Eru cannot have caused or willed in any manner the evil of Morgoth. Melkor had his freedom, and Eru allowed him to use it, just as Tolkien was brought up believing Lucifer was given his freedom by God to use for good or to abuse for evil. Evil is not a thing of itself. It is a negation of the good, and nothing of itself. Obviously though, as things progress in Tolkien's universe, as in the real world, Morgoth and all those who consistently identify themselves with evil will in some way give "form" to that which itself formless.

As to the contention that evil has the upper hand here--so what? When has that changed the conception of what is good and what is evil? And more to the point, did Tolkien change his understanding of what God is, and therefore of his Eru, in order to reflect that evil in the world seems triumphant? Rather the reverse. His story takes on a sad tone, because good people are constantly having to fight against evil and never to find rest for long during their earthly lives. But he always shows, even in his "prophecies" about the End, that good triumphs over evil. He always proves in the long run that people can suffer and die, but if they do it for the right reason their sacrifices are not in vain. This is again, and well proven to be, a manifestation of Tolkien's Catholic faith.

Those who want to understand Tolkien's subcreation must first understand Tolkien. There is only so far we can interpret a body of work without acknowledging what its author had in mind.

Gandalf
Well said Gandalf-O. Happy Elf Smilie
Even were Iluvatar a complete clone of our own perceived God then it makes no difference Gandalf.

If Iluvatar knows all, he knew about the evil of Melkor before he even created him. Therefore by creating Melkor he created evil. Its perfectly simple. I am not saying tht Eru wasn't based on our own God, but if he was all-knowing then he must have known of the evil of Melkor to come. Simple as.
I beg to differ here, but I stick to my point about extremes. There can be no good without evil, no dark without light. Just look at it as an excercise in comparison. Nothing can be dark without having light to compare it with. How can you have evil unless good is disrupted? Or have good unless evil is eased by it? It's all a matter of perception of opposites: hard versus soft, light versus dark, good versus evil, male versus female.
If everything was always absolutley good, then there would be no good, for there was no evil to compare it to and thus give it its definition.

Just like if you had never seen or tasted a bad cookie, and had only ever eaten the best ones the shop sold. To you, who has never tasted anything different they would simply be cookies, but if you tasted a bad one, then you would say that the ones your used to would be good.

You must experience the opposite becuase you can appreciate something.
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Even were Iluvatar a complete clone of our own perceived God then it makes no difference Gandalf. If Iluvatar knows all, he knew about the evil of Melkor before he even created him. Therefore by creating Melkor he created evil. Its perfectly simple. I am not saying tht Eru wasn't based on our own God, but if he was all-knowing then he must have known of the evil of Melkor to come. Simple as.


More generally speaking, if someone were to come to this thread and expound upon the logic behind the Riddle of Epicurus he or she might be introducing an interesting idea about God, yet the question of whether or not JRR Tolkien thought God 'caused' evil to be would still remain.

If someone were to come to this thread and expound upon Manichæism, or argue against dualistic thinking through Zen, he or she would not necessarily be illuminating Tolkien's position on this point -- interesting though each idea or argument would probably be, and no matter how logical each seemed when argued. I'm certainly not against reading lots of interesting posts about God or dualistic thinking, or whatever, but connecting a given idea to Tolkien is another matter.

You appear to be using the fact that Melkor was created by Eru to connect Eru to 'causing' evil to be, in answer to the quite ancient 'problem of evil.' Tolkien's answer, or the answer I think his faith provided, is not the only answer and not the answer that all accept -- even the concept of free will itself is not free from scrutiny. Yet in my opinion Tolkien's mythology is consonant with his faith on this point.

Eru made free will which introduces the potential in created beings to do that which is not good. Yes Eru also created Melkor, one of many created beings who could have potentially remained unfallen (like Lucifer) -- theoretically Melkor might never have done evil, but God allows it under his own mandate of free will.

I think this is an important theological distinction to Tolkien, despite that it might seem like mere semantics when it comes to choosing the words to describe the position.
Galin it is you that is missing the point.

Answer the following: Do you believe Eru was all-knowing? Or did Tolkien for that matter?
If you answer is YES then the rest is not hard to understand.

If Eru is all-knowing then he knew that Melkor would turn out Evil. So why then would he go and create Melkor if he didn't want evil in his creation?
The fact remians that evil was an already thought of force in the mind of Iluvatar before Melkor even came to be. But of course Evil and Good are forces that dwell only in Ea, the Universe, and Iluvatar, who is outside of the Universe is not subject to either good nor evil, nor even Time as you have stated.

The reason is that Iluvatar needed the evil of Melkor in order for His Creation to eventually come to its full enlightenment. If the peoples of his Creation had never experienced evil then how would they know what Good is?
Some might find it notable (I do anyway), that with respect to their entry on Ainulindale Hammond and Scull chose to quote Brian Rosebury on the matter, who notes: 'the basic Augustinian apparatus in which nothing is created evil, but evil arises from the free will of created beings, is in place.'

Anyway, at this point the questions have already been well answered to my mind, and the distinction explained, especially in posts from Virumor and Gandalf-olorin in both threads.
Getting quite amusing...

I am not denying that Eru may be entirely based on the Christian God, who is perceived as 'wholly good'. We call God wholly good, for he is the Creator, and those who follow in his chosen path are doing the 'right' thing.

What I am saying is that to God himself there is no good or evil, for he is not subject to the forces in HIS Creation (like Time). These were your own words not mine. We may call him 'absolute good' yes, but he would not say that about himself, neither would he say he is Evil for he is not subject to either.

And I do not think we should so completely count Eru as our own God. These are two seperate worlds after all. In our religion there is only one God, but in Tolkien's myth there is one 'absolute God', and there are lesser ones - 'Powers' if you will. That distiction alone is considerable.
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What I am saying is that to God himself there is no good or evil, for he is not subject to the forces in HIS Creation (like Time). These were your own words not mine.


Here the implication, intended or not, is that I said something 'extra'.

In any case I do not desire to go round again on the issue at this time Smile Smilie
You are right Galin. They were not your words but rather the words of something YOU quoted:

________________________________________________________

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Chapter 3: "Time and Beyond Time" This chapter discusses Time as it relates to Prayer. We live through time. In this reality, we flow in one direction with time. All that is behind us is lost to us, except in our memory. All that is before us is unknown to us. What Lewis is attempting to address here is, "How can God listen to everyone in the world praying at the same time?"

1) God created time
2) God exists beyond time ("outside and above")
3) God is not restricted to time
4) We live in this tiny window of Now, the past behind us, the future before us
5) God can see all of the "Now's" all of all time
6) Example of the author writing the book with the character in the book living in a separate, independent timeline.
7) "But God has no history. He is too completely real to have one."
8) In human language we use terms like "foreknowledge," and "foresaw," and "predestined." These terms are all locked into human reason and human language. We really don't have language to adequately deal with God's presence outside of time.
9) Because of God's presence beyond time, He is able to tell the prophets what is in their future because it is not future to God, but present reality. This allows a view of foreknowledge and predestination that does not violate, in any way, free will and human responsibility. Humans retain personal responsibility in light of "predestination" without the two conflicting.'

____________________________________________________

God exists beyond Time. He exists beyond His creation. Therefore He also exists beyond Good and Evil because these forces are only present in that creation. See what I mean?
The issue was: the way you wrote that part of your post (the part I quoted) might imply that I said, or agreed with, the whole sentence (your whole sentence) preceding it.

I was just pointing that out, not denying anything I had quoted.
Ahh I see what you mean. No I just meant the latter part of the sentence. But regardless can you not see the truth in my argument now?
I gather a quote from St. Thomas of Aquino (with which Tolkien was undoubtedly familiar) might also better explain the (non)-issue people seem to have with predestiny:

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“The effect of divine providence is not only that things should happen somehow, but that they should happen either by necessity or by contingency. Therefore, whatsoever divine providence ordains to happen infallibly and of necessity happens infallibly and of necessity; and that happens from contingency, which the divine providence conceives to happen from contingency”
I think that is saying if something God wills done isn't done by someone's free will then someone else will get it done by their's.
It seems there is an unpublished note on Fate and Free Will. Apologies to Mr. Hostetter for removing a section of his post out of context.

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'(...) But in any event it is plain that Tolkien was not speaking only of ultimate destiny: he wrote that Men were given a "virtue to shape their lives amid the powers and chances of the world" (emphasis added), not merely to select for an ultimate destiny beyond the world.'

'Furthermore, Tolkien's own discussion in the unpublished note on "Fate and Free Will" certainly makes no claim or even implication that Free Will obtains only when there is an ultimate consequence to its exercise. Rather, there, "free will" is defined as obtaining when (and only when, but by implication always when) a determination of course (action or inaction) is made for a "fully-aware purpose", amid the physical conditions and processes of the world (ambar) and the network of chances within "fate" (umbar). As Tolkien says in Letters, Free Will is "derivative" (i.e., I take it, of God's will and of His creation of the world and of rational creatures which He endows with will) and therefore always operates "within provided circumstances". As these unpublished notes explain, these "circumstances" are both ambar 'the world' and umbar 'fate': and these are "provided", of course, ultimately by Eru himself. Obviously, exercises of Free Will so defined can have moral valuation, can even be "sinful", within the world and apart from questions of one's ultimate destiny, since they can either accord with or violate the moral standards of the world that ultimately also derive from Eru.'

'They can also have moral consequences within the world, not just for ultimate destiny, and not just for Men: consider, for example, when Tolkien conspicuously notes that had Feänor chosen to surrender the Silmarils, things might have gone better for him subsequently, even though in the event he could not actually have surrendered then, since Morgoth had by then already stolen them. Feänor was presented with a choice, amid ambar and umbar, and whichever decision he made had a consequence for him, even though neither choice would in the event have effected the restoration of the Trees. That sure sounds like a moral consequence to me, even if as an Elf it had no (known) effect on his ultimate destiny.'

Posted by Aelfwine, Carl Hostetter, Aug 27, at the One Ring.net


Again this post is out of context. For the full discussion please do a search over at The One Ring.net. Since Mr. Hostetter is currently on the linguistic Editorial Team I guess that this note arises related to a discussion on the words ambar and umbar, and that we might see it published in a future issue of Vinyar Tengwar.

I've no idea when the next VT is coming out (number 50) but maybe this note will be included there. To purchase issues of VT, see the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship on the web.