Luckily, I was reading Book III of Paradise Lost at my parents house, and when I came across this passage, I yelled for my dad to come listen so I could read it to him.
It really got me thinking...where would this story have gone if we didn't have free will? What if they had gone along with Satan's plan and taken away the free agency of Man?
I know we were supposed to do some research for this blog post, and while I was looking (without much luck), I just decided to google "Reason is also choice", the line that first jumped out at me and made me jump out at my father to come and read.
This lovely article popped up and is actually titled "Reason is also choice:"
"But, says, Milton, "Reason also is Choice" (III.108); "Reason is but choosing." Milton's "also" is very exact. For in Paradise Lost "reason" is not only "Discursive, or Intuitive," as in men contrasted with the angels, as Raphael points out (V.488-90); practical or contemplative, as seen in Eve's character contrasted with Adam's; or exercised in the practice of Temperance or self-restraint (to resist the Tree's provokingly displayed Excess of fruit, IX.648). Reason is also and preeminently bound up with the act of free choice. The main function of "reason as chief" (V.102), as Adam calls it in his description of "mind" in Book V (lines 101ff.) when he is describing the disturbing effects of Fancy operating in Eve's dream, is to arbitrate over sensible images: to sift, choose, and discard."
To reason, to "sift, choose, and discard" what we will, is something I've never considered to be a part of free will. All sorts of aspects would be influenced, and even if we appeared to have free choice, everything would already be predetermined. We would have the illusions of free choice. What kind of life is that? What kind of glory or praise could we receive for merely doing good things because we have to, and not because we personally choose to be good and choose to follow God?