Round 7:The Guild of Scholar's Hall vs. The Guild of Ost-in-Edhil

Discussion in 'Debates' started by Gil-Galad, Sep 5, 2003.

  1. Gothmog

    Gothmog Lord of Balrogs Staff Member

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    Was Ilúvatar sufficiently involved in Arda? Well let us look at something.

    As Maedhros has already pointed out Ilúvatar delegated the ruling of Arda to the Valar. This shows that he was not as involved as he could have been but this is not what the debate is about. The question is " Was Ilúvatar sufficiently involved in Arda, or was there more that could have been done on his part?" Or to put it another way "Was he as involved as he Should have been?" I am not going to look at the far past when Arda was being first formed. Nor even at the grave errors that Ilúvatar allowed the Valar to make in their dealings with Melkor and their miss-guided efforts of attempting to drag the Elves from Middle-earth before their time.

    For now I am going to look at Men. Did Ilúvatar delegate the care of Men to the Valar? Not at all. If we look at the "Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth" we find that the Valar did not send any word to Men or have anything to do with them before they entered Beleriand and became involved in the wars of that land between Morgoth and The Elves.

    From Morgoth's Ring: The Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth.
    This is followed by a comment which seems to be all too true.
    So then. The Valar had nothing to do with Men in the beginning. So who else could? Well even the wise Finrod thinks this to be the One, that is Ilúvatar.

    Let us now look at "The 'Tale of Adanel'" which gives some insight as to the first years of Men in Arda.
    This "Voice" can only be Ilúvatar talking to his second born children who were not in the care of the Valar but under his direct surveillance. So he was involved in Arda directly at this time but was his involvement sufficient? I think not.

    In a later paragraph we have
    This is where Melkor or one of his servants come to seduce Men away from Eru.

    And further on
    A claim to be greater than Ilúvatar!

    Next
    Much was done by this power to show how great it was. Then demands were made.

    And what was Eru's Actions about this?
    He had allowed Melkor to terrorise his children and did nothing to help them. He simply cursed them for believing what they had been shown.

    Had Ilúvatar been sufficiently involved there is no doubt that he could have prepared Men better to deal with the lies of Melkor. All they had was a Voice that said little and a power that seemed to be able to do anything. Ilúvatar it would seem did not even give Men the opportunity to learn of their mistake and repent. No he just watched them take the wrong path and then turned his back on them and cursed them.

    This cannot be put down to the Valar making mistakes in trying to follow Ilúvatar's will. It was Ilúvatar not doing enough for the Children he had kept to himself away from the care of the Valar.
     
  2. baragund

    baragund Brother in Arms

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    I think there is general agreement that the Children of Iluvatar had their share of suffering and evil befall them. However, as we debate whether or not Iluvatar was sufficiently involved in Arda, we need to look at whether this suffering at the hands of Melkor was actually intentional, a necessary evil imposed by Iluvatar on the Children in order for them to mature and realize their full potential.

    If Iluvatar wanted to spare his Children all evil, pain and suffering, why did he create Melkor in the first place? Wouldn't it have been so much easier if Melkor never existed and the Children could just dwell in bliss in Arda Unmarred? Well yes, but it would be a mindless existence, with no challenge and nothing to push the Children to improve their lot and, hence, become stronger and wiser for it. Melkor, and the evil that he embodied, gave that 'trial by fire' that was needed to inspire the great accomplishments of the legendarium.

    The history of ME is scattered with instances in which the Valar or Iluvatar himself intervene on behalf of the Children. (The reference I gave earlier from the end of the Ainulindale is the earliest and most extensive.) As I reviewed these major events, I noticed a pattern that I think is frequently overlooked. The pattern is that Evil (or Melkor's Shadow, the Darkness, etc.) is never truly vanquished. Instead, the interventions restore a degree of equilibrium that was in danger of being irreparably thrown out of whack by overpowering evil.

    Consider the following from Myths Transformed: Morgoth’s Ring:

    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Manwë was the spirit of greatest wisdom and prudence in Arda. He is represented as having had the greatest knowledge of the Music, as a whole, possessed by any one finite mind; and he alone of all persons or minds in that time is represented as having the power of direct recourse to and communication with Eru. He must have grasped with great clarity what even we may perceive dimly: that it was the essential mode of the process of 'history' in Arda that evil should constantly arise, and that out of it new good should constantly come…
    … The last intervention with physical force by the Valar, ending in the breaking of Thangorodrim, may then be viewed as not in fact reluctant or even unduly delayed, but timed with precision. The intervention came before the annihilation of the Eldar and the Edain. Morgoth though locally triumphant had neglected most of Middle-earth during the war; and by it he had in fact been weakened: in power and prestige (he had lost and failed to recover one of the Silmarils), and above all in mind.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As the ages wore on, and the Children grew in wisdom, the degree of intervention declined, to the point of coaching where the Children are taught to help themselves.

    The last major act of direct intervention, done by Iluvatar himself, was the remaking of the world resulting in the destruction of Numenor as described in the Akallabeth. Given that evil will "constantly arise", Iluvatar had no choice but to remove the Undying Lands, which was nothing more to the societies of Men than an attractive nuisance.

    After this cataclysmic event, the interventions were much more subtle. This would be the dispatching of the Istari. The Children had developed in wisdom to a point where direct intervention would no longer be productive. Again, the idea is helping the Children help themselves. As described in the following passage from "The Istari" from UT:

    Note, in particular, the passage that describes the earlier interventions of the Valar "to guard and seclude the Eldar by their own might and glory fully revealed" as "errors of old". This seems to support a more hands off approach by the Valar and to let the Children sort through things for themselves.
     

  3. Maedhros

    Maedhros The Tall

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    You can’t really.

    This is funny. In his letters, Tolkien states that Ilúvatar is god. A definition of god is:
    And Tolkien states:
    Of course the professor was awarded a First Class Honours degree in English Language and Literature, and worked in the project of the New English Dictionary in 1919.
    If JRRT uses the word God, then he means it. If my friends of OiE state that Ilúvatar made a mistake, then it means that they think that JRRT does not know how to use correctly the word God. Hmmmm. I wonder who to believe, JRRT or OiE. I’ll go with JRRT in this one.

    This is a common and understandable mistake. The Valar are not perfect. They could never be. Only Eru is.

    Hehe. Sauron had fallen like Morgoth. Sauron too believed that he could rule ME, but did that happen? Nooperz.

    This is of course not true. JRRT wrote that the Valar didn’t act as fast as they should have, not that they were not sufficiently involved.
    Earlier: Near the beginning of a given series, period of time, or course of events.
    Involve: To engage as a participant; embroil.
    Different words different meanings.

    Hehe. He is there, just not obvious to the untrained eye. As it will be explained later.

    You might follow what he was talking, but obviously not the correct meaning of his words.

    This is a no no. The Athrabeth is a dialogue between Finrod and Andreth. What Andreth told Finrod is a tradition that Men had. This dialogue took place circa 409 F.A. Men awoke aprox. In the year 1 of the F.A. This has been a tradition in the generations with them. It cannot be taken as a fact.

    This cannot be taken as a fact. Some of the things that Andreth said, like that Men thought at the beginning that their hröa was the same as elves was an error. This is a legend of mannish origin which cannot be taken very seriously.

    What I find interesting is the fact that my friends of OiE use the part about the voice as belonging to Ilúvatar as a fact. Of all that Andreth said, this is true to them, but what about this part:
    Is this true? Of course not. Morgoth could not change the fate of Men, only Ilúvatar could. If that part of their beliefs is wrong, why couldn’t that other part about the voice be wrong too? Do OiE picks the part of the tale that agrees with them as true and the other not?
     
  4. Maedhros

    Maedhros The Tall

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    Arda Unmarred and Arda Healed
    First lets take a look at The Published Silmarillion
    Yes, even Melkor is an instrument of Ilúvatar in the greatness of Arda.

    This is a little example of it.

    The way that things turned out had a purpose. It was the plan of Ilúvatar:
    From Morgoth’s Ring: Myths Transformed
    The More Melkor was thought of working for himself, he was in reality working for the greatness of Arda.

    Note the words of JRRT regarding the actions of the Valar:
    From Vinyar Tengwar: Ósanwe-kenta
    Manwë was not perfect, he never was, but he acted under the guidance of Eru. The logical question then is: Why did the Valar not intervened in ME to save Men with the return of Melkor? The answer is very simple. If they had gone there to do that, the ensuing battle between the Valar and Melkor would have destroy them. Consider the War of Wrath. Almost of all Beleriand was destroyed, and in that time, the power of Melkor was dispersed, now imagine if they had fought and Melkor had retained more of his inherent power, how much of Arda would have been destroyed and would the race of Men have survived such battle? Not really. The way that history unfolded was that the Ñoldor in ME instructed some elements of Mankind for the time when the Elves would fade.

    From Morgoth’s Ring: Myths Transformed
    This is a belief that the Elves had about the ultimate fate of Men:
    From Morgoth’s Ring: Athrabeth Finrod Ah Andreth
    Which agrees with what it is said in The Published Silmarillion
    God’s plan was made. He only intervened when it was necessary. To remove Melkor from the World and to remove Númenórë.
    There are also almost unnoticed interventions of Ilúvatar, but I will mention that in another post.
    Isn't it ironic that it was Men who were supposedly abandon to Melkor, where in the end the agents of the creation of a better Arda. The supposed instruments of Melkor turn out to be the instruments of Ilúvatar in the creation of something greater that no one had imagined.
     

  5. Gothmog

    Gothmog Lord of Balrogs Staff Member

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    baragund

    It is not whether this suffering was necessary in the way you say. We must look at whether Ilúvatar did enough to prepare his children for the trials and torments that would lead to them realising their full potential. This I believe he did not do.

    First of all you are assuming that Ilúvatar Created Melkor for the purpose of being evil! This is something that has not been proven. The reason that he created Melkor in the first place was the same as for the rest of the Ainur. He did so for reasons not disclosed in the legendarium although it is inferred that they were created for the Great Music in which the Ainur helped in the creation of Arda.

    I agree that the "Trial By Fire" was good for the children. However, the Elves had at least some schooling to help them. The Noldor due to living in Aman and learning from the Valar and the Moriquendi because the Noldor brought that teaching back to Middle-earth. In the case of Men this is not so. They had a short time where "The Voice" spoke to them and it told them to learn for themselves. For the most part this was good advice to allow Men to learn about the World itself. However, this fell far short of what was needed when it came to learning about the "Master of Lies" Melkor.

    I doubt that the pattern you refer to is frequently overlooked. It has been stated quite clearly that this is so. However, the interventions of the Valar have no place in this debate. Please show Ilúvatar's intervention in the passage you cited. The question under scrutiny is

    "Was Ilúvatar sufficiently involved in Arda, or was there more that could have been done on his part?"


    You speak of the later ages where the degree of intervention declined. In Ilúvatar's case where does it decline from? Where was this coaching or even the most Basic teaching when it would do the most good. When Men were in their collective infancy!!!
    It was nowhere to be found.


    As for the Last Major Act of Direct Intervention, done by Ilúvatar himself. This seems to be the ONLY act of direct intervention done by Ilúvatar himself, since he did not do much to prepare Men when they were in his SOLE charge!

    The Interventions following the changing of Arda and the removal of Aman from the circles of the World were by the Valar with the Consent of Ilúvatar. Not much done by Ilúvatar himself. (other than an up-grade on Gandalf of course)

    As for the quote. Note, in particular the question of this debate concerns the actions or lack thereof of Ilúvatar not the Valar.

    Let us look back a little further.
    From the Silmarillion: Chapter 1: Of the Beginning of Days.

    How could it otherwise. Ilúvatar did not allow them the choice of working in harmony. By withholding teaching and then turning his back upon Men they had no other path to follow. Having been deceived by that most powerful of darks creatures, Melkor, Ilúvatar did not even allow for a path back to himself.

    The Mountains of the Pelori in Aman were simply shadows of a barrier beside this total block imposed by Ilúvatar on Men. Indeed, the mistakes of the Valar are more understandable when considered against this. How could they do other than to be lesser examples of Ilúvatar himself.
    Let us have another look at the quote provided by the esteemed Maedhros.
    Well by the Malice of Melkor Men were deceived and seduced away from Ilúvatar, this resulted in Ilúvatar shortening the span of life for Men. So it was by the Malice of Melkor that the lives of Men were shortened even though Melkor could not do this directly himself. So I will accept the truth contained in the quote used and until there is evidence to disprove the earlier quotes I accept also the truth of them.
     
  6. Maedhros

    Maedhros The Tall

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    A closer look at the Athrabeth Finrod Ah Andreth

    The Athrabeth is a conversation between Finrod Felagund and Andreth, the Wise. Their conversation basically was about the notion that Men had regarding their coming into the World. In it a discussion began about the nature of both Elves and Men. Men believed that they were at first immortal as the Eldar were and that they were changed by the malice of Melkor. But as we know, that is not possible, Melkor had not the power to alter the fate of the Children of Ilúvatar.

    This is interesting but not true. In the Tale of Adanel, it is stated that the voice of the One, is the one that shortens the life of Men, but remember that the Tale is only a tradition that had approximately 400 years of existence and it can’t be taken as fact. But we might use Finrod’s word concerning the Marring of Arda and the effects on the hröa of the Children.
    From Morgoth’s Ring: Athrabeth Finrod Ah Andreth
    Interesting aspect about the Tale and opportunities
    My friends of OiE complain that Ilúvatar had not actually been involved in the coming of Men and that the Valar had abandoned them. That is of course not true.
    In the tradition of Men, this voice is Ilúvatar and notice that it was the first message that Men had when they reached ME. Ilúvatar had communicated with them.
    Notice that while they had a communication with Ilúvatar, they decided to do as they would. Free will.
    Then this is Melkor, and he tried to deceive Men:
    But ultimately, Men chose to disregard The Voice (Eru) in favor of Melkor. Even in this Tale, Ilúvatar was involved with Men, he taught them, but they chose Melkor instead. How would my friends of OiE would have it then? Should Eru force Men against their will then? I think not. It is noteworthy that some Men fled away from the influence of Melkor to the west and even aided the Valar in the War of Wrath.

    Estel
    Even though Men had no knowledge of the future, they had hope for the future, that healing could be found.
    Where does that hope comes from then?
    Is it not interesting that while Men had a far shorter life than Elves, it would be Men that would teach Hope to Elves.

    The supposed absence of the Valar concerning Men
    While reading the Athrabeth, one can gain important motifs regarding the wisdom of the Valar. If you take as true, (as my friends of OiE) the Tale of Adanel, then the Valar had no reason to interfere with them because Eru was already involved with Men since the very beginning.
    There is also an important aspect about the nature of the Valar and Men. The Valar are beings that are tied to Arda and bound to remain in it to the end. Men, as we know, have a faith entirely different from them.
    So you see, the supposed absence of the Valar is non existent. Simple.

    Is it not ironic that Men, the ones who according to OiE were abandoned by Eru, would be in the end, the instrument of the final defeat of Melkor and in the making of Arda Healed a thing greater than Arda Unmarred.
    The supposed victim becomes the savior in the end.

    I think that this passage from The Book of Lost Tales I: The Music of the Ainur, explains it beautifully:
     
  7. Ancalagon

    Ancalagon Quality, not Quantity!

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    I sometimes wonder if I would be just as well served to post entire chapters of Tolkiens work as a post, rather than actually deliver a post with a touch of my own thoughts on the matter. However, on this occassion I shall post my thoughts and possibly throw in an odd quote in support.

    My dear colleagues of Ost-in-Edhil have already put forth some wonderful posts in relation to this vexing question. "Why is such a vexing question," I hear you cry! Well, for one it would seem quite difficult to quantify such an arguement considering there is scant evidence that Ilúvatar chose to interfere in the affairs of Arda, other than a few references which have been pointed out.

    Yet, the facts speak for themselves, that Ilúvatar distanced himself from the mechanics of Arda, and allowed his own vice-regents and children to govern their own affairs. Self-determination, self-governance and of course the classic 'free-will.' Ilúvatar from the outset had no intention of intervening in the ordering of the affairs of Arda. His influence can be seen in all things in Arda, because all originates with him, yet this does not satisfy a suitable response to the question of whether he was sufficiently involved in Arda by his actions, nor specifically whether he could have done more.

    Already my esteemed colleagues have made reference to Men; Children wandering aimlessly in the dark. Even the voice in the wilderness does little to guide them, irrespective of the fact that Melkor encircles Ilúvatar's own secondborn, as a wolf encircles his prey. Consider for a moment, your own child, new to this world and ignorant of the evil that lurks within it. Do you allow them to grow up without your guidance, your teaching, your care and support? Do you send them out unwittingly and unprepared into a world fraught with traps and pitfalls without first seeking to prepare them?
    Is this a suitable way to raise your own while the wolf waits at the door? For even when Melkor comes among them, Ilúvatar offers no advice, no guidance, no warning of their peril. They are eager to learn and he shows them nothing. They seek to understand the world around them yet know nothing of what dangers lie in wait. Maedhros has cunningly produced his statement of evidence that is supposed to support the theory that Ilúvatar's involvement in the coming of Man was more than mere lip service. Yet, all I see in the quotes posted are evidence that Men were left unguarded and unsupported. Melkor is ever accused by many of deciept and lies, yet ever in the web of Melkors words lie seeds of truth. Surely this is the secret of his success! Consider this quote from The Athrabeth.
    Who's Children are they that seek and yearn, thirst for knowledge to understand and grow? Who gave rise to the thoughts of Man? These thoughts arise before Melkor appears, these are the Children of Eru himself and yet he neglected them when they were most vulnerable. Is there not truth then in the words of Melkor?
    Surely he fathomed the minds of Men and saw the neglect, else why would he use such cunning words to tempt them in such a manner?
    Then again, did Melkor not also know that Ilúvatar gifted Man with 'free-will?' Was this not a tool with which he was able to manipulate and devise his most heinous acts upon such unsuspecting prey? Melkor exploited Ilúvatar's inaction in Arda to devastating effect for much longer than was ever necessary.
     
  8. Gothmog

    Gothmog Lord of Balrogs Staff Member

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    Yes it is true that this tale is only a tradition. It is also true that it is a tradition of mere Men and of course the Histories of the Elves would have greater weight. However, where are the "Histories of the Elves" that we can refer to?
    So if we cannot trust the traditions of Men we are left with the problem that nothing can then be trusted as all of it comes to us tainted by the stain of being of "Mannish Tradition". Therefore all is of equal relevance.
    Where is the complaint that Ilúvatar had not actually been involved in the coming of Men? Ilúvatar created Men, how could he not be involved in their coming???

    And as for the Valar not having anything to do with Men, this is not a complaint. It is a statement of fact. Nothing more, nothing less. The Valar did not Abandon Men. They had nothing to do with Men because Men were the province Solely of Ilúvatar himself.

    OiE maintain not " that Ilúvatar had not actually been involved in the coming of Men" but that He did less than he should have in respect of Men. Something totally different to the claim of my friend from the Scholars.
    Nor do I think that Ilúvatar should have forced Men against their will. But this was not needed. Let us look again at the tale of Adanel
    This shows that Ilúvatar allowed Melkor to prove to Men that he was indeed Master. Ilúvatar could have, and should have, prevented the blotting out of the Sun. Then Melkor would have at the least have had to work much harder and Men would not have had what seems to be proof that Melkor was indeed the greater.
    I wonder why there is this need from the Scholars to constantly include the Valar and their actions in this debate? The Valar did their work. How well or how badly is a different question. We are debating about Ilúvatar's involvement. Arvedui only referred to the Valar to show that Ilúvatar had delegated his authority to them.
    And so obvious I still wonder at it's constant inclusion by the scholars.
    And would not these "instruments" not have been more effective had it not been "Proven" to them that Melkor was greater than Ilúvatar? Melkor Blotted out the Sun and darkened Arda, how then could Men see other than Melkor as the greatest. Doubt as to the power of Melkor did not come to Man until they entered Beleriand and saw the Elves defying Melkor with limited success. Had Melkor been prevented from showing himself to be so powerful would not the "Instruments of the creation of Arda Healed" not have been even better when they joined with the Eldar?

    Had Ilúvatar been only a little more involved in Arda personally then I say that Men would have had even longer to exercise their freedom of choice within the confines and limits of Arda and been even better instruments for Arda Healed.
     
  9. baragund

    baragund Brother in Arms

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    For my last post in this really interesting discussion, I’d like to address the comments by The Lord of the Balrogs in his last post of Sept. 30 and Anc's post from earlier this evening. In the process, I'll expand on my mad ramblings of Sept. 29 and provide some closing remarks.

    Gothmog subtly rephrases the question at hand by asking if Iluvatar “…did enough to prepare his children for the trials and torments that would lead to them realizing their full potential.” This is a slight but important change in focus from the debate question, which is “Was Iluvatar sufficiently involved in Arda, or was there more that could have been done on his part?” This change in focus is important because of course Iluvatar could certainly have done more to prepare or protect his children just as parents in Real Life could always do more to prepare their children for life and shelter them from peril. However, just as parents can cross a line and become overprotective and provide such extensive guidance that the children cannot think and act on their own, so too would Iluvatar run the risk of his Children being over dependent on him and, hence, stunting their potential.

    This ‘hands off’ approach applies particularly well to Men. There is a reason why The Voice did not provide a whole lot of detailed guidance to the Fathers of Men, and why they were told they had to learn things on their own. It was because of their Free Will! Using again the analogy of Real Life children, they frequently refuse to listen to their parents and the best lessons are the ones they learn themselves… the hard way. My father would frequently start a serious conversation with me when I was a teenager with “I wish I could put my old head on your young shoulders”, and like many typical teenagers, my eyes would just glaze over and I would tune him out. Boy! If I took to heart at the time one quarter of the wisdom being imparted to me, I would be sooo much better off today! I think there was a lot of the same thing going on with the Fathers of Men. Iluvatar understood he just had to let Men learn the hard lessons on their own.

    Regarding Melkor, Gothmog makes a fascinating assertion that it is not a given that Iluvatar created Melkor for the purpose of being evil. This begs the question that if that was not Iluvatar’s intent, was Melkor some kind of monstrous mistake on the part of Iluvatar, who is supposed to be infallible? Talk about the baker messing up his first batch of cookies! I’m sorry to keep dragging out this quote from the Ainulindale but Iluvatar’s admonishment to Melkor that I referred to in my post of Sept. 25 addresses this issue quite well. Iluvatar basically tells Melkor that whatever he does, it is only a part of Iluvatar’s themes, and any of Melkor’s actions are simply Iluvatar’s “…instrument in the devising of things more wonderful, which he himself hath not imagined.” It seems to me that Iluvatar knew what he was doing when he created Melkor.

    Now let’s talk about the degree of direct action made by Iluvatar himself and the involvement of the Valar that we Scholars so stubbornly keep returning to. The number of times Iluvatar interceded himself is really beside the point. Iluvatar operated on an ‘advise and consent’ basis and he allowed the offspring of his thought, the Valar, to run Arda under his guidance. Another analogy that strikes me as well suited for this situation is Iluvatar being like the CEO of a large corporation and the Valar are his staff. Now I think most of you taking part in this conversation have experience in the world of work, jobs, bosses, the 9-5 thing. How many of you liked working for a boss who was a micro-manager, the type of control freak who wouldn’t let you blow your nose without his/her review and approval? Or doing all of the work himself, leaving you feeling worthless? I’ve had one and it ain’t fun! It’s stifling and miserable, and it leaves you not caring about the quality of your work because you know the boss will redo it anyway no matter how much effort you put into it. The best kind of CEO is the one who truly delegates authority, and allows his staff to make mistakes but learn from them. He steps in directly only when the issue is something simply beyond the capabilities of his staff. So it was when Iluvatar had to remake Arda and separate it from Aman because of the uppity Numenoreans. The ‘advise and consent’ approach (otherwise considered to be the councils Manwe would take with Iluvatar) is a proven management technique.

    In closing, I’d like to review the ‘Big Picture’ that is being offered by the two sides of this discussion. The Scholars are basically saying that the hands-off approach by Iluvatar was intentional and necessary in order for the Children to reach their full potential and properly implement the transformation from Arda Marred to Arda Healed, being a superior product compared to Arda Unmarred. It is a hard road the Children had to take but a necessary one so "...the themes of Iluvatar shall be played aright...".

    Our friends from Ost-in-Edhil give a kind of “would’ve, should’ve, could’ve” argument, describing the lack of direct involvement by Iluvatar, dismissing his advisory role to the Valar and how he could have reduced the degree of trials and torments of the Children in Arda Marred. But would this really have facilitated the transformation from Arda Marred to Arda Healed? I’m not sure. I think the final product would be more like Arda Unmarred.


    I'm beat. I'm going to bed now.
     
  10. Maedhros

    Maedhros The Tall

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    This is of course not true in the case of Men. I think that my friends of OiE share the same views as the common reader of the Silmarillion. It would seem at first that Men were treated unfairly, but that is not so. Consider this:
    Men are not bound to Arda as the Valar and Elves are. They have the power to shape their own destiny.
    From The Published Silmarillion
    Men had the power to shape their life, regardless of the powers of the World, something that neither the Valar nor the Elves had.
    This is not true of course. Just look at the quote provided by OiE:
    Don’t you see, Men had that innate ability to do that. The things that they wished to make awoke in their own minds. Eru knew that Men had to find the answers from their questions by themselves because he had given them that ability.
    From Morgoth’s Ring: Athrabeth Finrod An Andreth
    Why did Eru neglected them? Because he didn’t give them the easy way? Have you ever wonder what would have happened if he did? Men would be unable to discover things, to seek the new, he would have hinder his gift to them. He would have killed their creativity and desire to learn and experience. Consider that you had a child who has a homework. You can either give him the answers, or you can allow your child to grow by giving him the tools that he needs to make the homework for himself. If you give the answers to your child, then he will be forever dependent upon you, and he will never cease to be a child. Do you really think that is what Ilúvatar intended for Men, to be forever children? Of course not.

    Ilúvatar had given free will to all, not just Men. Men had free will. They knew that the voice of the One never threatened them or made them choose. They chose unwisely, but some of them left the service of Melkor and wandered away to the west.
    It is interesting the much longer than was ever necessary remark. How does our friends from OiE know that? Should the Valar had kept Melkor imprisoned in Mandos forever then? Would that have been better for Arda in the End? No.
    From Vinyar Tengwar: Ósanwe-kenta
    Are you sure that that would have made a difference. The excuse of OiE is that Men were ignorant and that is why they chose badly. Let me use another example in the legendarium. The Men of Númenórë. They had received instruction from the Valar, and lived in their island, they knew of Ilúvatar. They went to ME to battle Sauron and brought him back to their land. If the númenórëans had all of that knowledge, how is it possible that they were tricked by Sauron into worshipping Melkor. What is their excuse then? Ignorance? No. Men had free will and the ability to shape their fate, regardless of anything. In the case of Númenor, most of Men fell to the shadow but some of them, remained faithful, just like in the Tale of Adanel.
    Men are not fools. They wanted the easy way out. Had Ilúvatar ever threatened them? No. Could Men had chosen to abandon Melkor? Yes, and some of them did. That is exactly the thing that Ilúvatar was trying to teach them. They had the ability of learning by themselves, of growing, it would be slow, but it would be worth it. And that is exactly what happened in the end. Men with all of their troubles in the end became greater because of it. The difficulties did not destroyed them, only made them stronger. They stood up to the evil in the end of the F.A., and as Ilúvatar foretold, it is the seemingly instruments of Melkor, Men, who would in the End, make the world a much more greater place than it could ever be.

    Have you wondered why my friends of OiE fail to post about the 3 concepts of Arda, and that Arda Healed, (Arda with the influence of Melkor redressed) would be better because of Men at the end of the World?
    It makes me wonder.
     
  11. Aulë

    Aulë The Larrikin

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    I believe that this debate is now closed...
    *goes to update stats* :)
     
  12. Gil-Galad

    Gil-Galad in love

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    Yes,this debate is closed!
    I couldn't close it earlier cause I had lectures the whole day.But!
    I think it was a very interesting one and it will be extremely difficult to decide which team performed better.