Milton, John (1608–1674)

The author of Paradise Lost represents a landmark in the history of antinatalism: he has the first human couple instigate a metaphysical àRevolt: he has Adam complain that God has placed him in quite intolerable conditions of existence without his (Adam’s) wishing it. And he has Eve meditate on whether, in the face of all the ills that await them, it is not better simply to cease to procreate.

Milton thus reveals for the first human couple the possibility of allowing there to follow upon the first disobedience that took place in Eden a kind of “second Original Sin”: namely, the refusal to perpetuate an already accursed existence.  

Paradise Lost stands as a turning point from theodicy into anthropodicy. – Past, from this point on, are those comparatively paradisical conditions in which human beings could push off from themselves, onto some superhuman being, the guilt and responsibility of the  Conditio in/humana

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