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In Catholic religious culture (to use a term that embraces what we do habitually as weak humans as well as what our doctrines instruct and our traditions support) is it a sin to inflict pain on another human being?

This is assuming that no lasting harm or damage comes from the pain.
It depends. A doctor inflicts pain on patients, a parent may inflict pain on a child, coaches may inflict pain on athletes, the state may inflict pain on evil-doers, one person may inflict pain on another to protect himself or another from an unlawful aggressor, etc. I think these are all fine. It seems these example all inflict pain not to harm, but to strengthen, heal, and better.

On the other hand, I would imagine inflicting pain on someone without good reason would be a sin (as well disproportionate pain to the reason it is being inflicted).
Mr. T predicts sin.
(04-18-2010, 03:30 PM)littlerose Wrote: [ -> ]In Catholic religious culture (to use a term that embraces what we do habitually as weak humans as well as what our doctrines instruct and our traditions support) is it a sin to inflict pain on another human being?

This is assuming that no lasting harm or damage comes from the pain.

Causing pain by itself is not a sin.
littlerose Wrote:is it a sin to inflict pain on another human being?

This is assuming that no lasting harm or damage comes from the pain.

A doctor in the Wild West pulling a bullet out of a man who just got shot in a bar fight is going to cause pain, but as a secondary effect of surgery. A women who brings up her husband's imperfections as they're going through a civil divorce will cause pain, but as a primary effect of her speech. One is not malicious, the other is. Can you narrow down what pain you're referring to?
(04-18-2010, 05:10 PM)Credo Wrote: [ -> ]A doctor in the Wild West pulling a bullet out of a man who just got shot in a bar fight is going to cause pain, but as a secondary effect of surgery.
That would also be a movie situation. Shootings were very rare and the violence was only glorified for the attention.

The real west was quite peaceful, even at its worst moments: http://west.stanford.edu/cgi-bin/pager.php?id=18

Quote: A women who brings up her husband's imperfections as they're going through a civil divorce will cause pain, but as a primary effect of her speech. One is not malicious, the other is. Can you narrow down what pain you're referring to?
But, in this, it is not the pain itself which is the problem. So, something which is sinful is sinful regardless of whether it causes pain.
Like others have said, it has to go to intent.  Even if one directly intends to cause pain, there can be legitimate reasons for doing so, such as justice (i.e., punishment) or correction.

Well, I asked the question to sort of kick off a wider-ranging discussion of pain and sin. 

It seems to me that there is a secular morality that equates pain with sin far more than we do.  Besides the interpersonal pain in all of the examples above, there is the pain of being sick and choosing for whatever reason not to use drugs, or the pain of sacrificing a desired object for the sake of a holy vow or for the sake of doctrinal restrictions and these kinds of pain can cause real punitive reactions from people in public agencies, school teachers, or the  media if the individual holds any kind of office or public visibility in their work.

Just in popular culture of personal interactions I think we see this attitude towards any kind of physical effort and I have always blamed it on a class mentality of slavery that equates physical effort with lower social status (unless "blessed" with a $200 outfit of athletic gear) but now I am beginning to wonder if the bliss-ninnies of the Sixties actually succeeded in turning pain itself into a form of sin, so that all Catholic practices that include even minor forms of pain (occasional fasting, etc) are actually perceived, unconsciously, as perversion or sin just because of pain itself.

I think that perhaps this kind of unconscious process might be as much to blame for the recent irrational behavior of the media as any of the political and economic factors.

I wonder where a full consideration of the history of the social perception of pain alongside the personal perception of sin wil take us. Of course, I really don't know  how all the other traditional religions  look at physical pain.  I think mainly it is the New Age  that emerged in the 20th century that treats  all forms of pain as some kind of sin or punishment, and I am not sure how the concept of karma would fit this. .
The Jews treated pain as punishment for sin.  Lepers were lepers because they were sinners.  Pain as sin goes way back.
(04-18-2010, 09:15 PM)QuisUtDeus Wrote: [ -> ]The Jews treated pain as punishment for sin.  Lepers were lepers because they were sinners.  Pain as sin goes way back.

Are there any traditions among Jews, ancient or modern, that call for pain as a voluntary activity?  Does self-flagellation, for example, appear among Jews or is it an invention since the Crucifixion? I know it did become most widespread because of fear of the plague in the  Middle Ages and also that Muslims engage in it, but their religion is post-Christian.

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