FishEaters Traditional Catholic Forums
Why claim that smoking is not a sin? - Printable Version

+- FishEaters Traditional Catholic Forums (https://www.fisheaters.com/forums)
+-- Forum: Church (https://www.fisheaters.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?fid=2)
+--- Forum: Catholicism (https://www.fisheaters.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?fid=10)
+--- Thread: Why claim that smoking is not a sin? (/showthread.php?tid=42231)

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28


Re: Why claim that smoking is not a sin? - hbelzak - 02-14-2011

No. they need to consult with a priest because he is the only one who can judge if it is a sin. Doctors are clue less to the affairs of the soul and will do no good to prove if it is a sin or not.


Re: Why claim that smoking is not a sin? - JayneK - 02-14-2011

(02-14-2011, 04:18 PM)jovan66102 Wrote:
(02-14-2011, 04:13 PM)JayneK Wrote:
(02-14-2011, 02:23 PM)jovan66102 Wrote:
(02-12-2011, 05:00 PM)JayneK Wrote: We have only recently discovered how unhealthy smoking is for the smoker and others.  Any teaching specifically about smoking would necessarily be recent.  But general principles about not causing harm to self and others go back to the beginning of the Church.

King James I wrote his 'Counter-Blaste Against Tobacco' on the evils of smoking in the early 17th century. The State of Minnesota, IIRC, has required the teaching of the evils for around a century. I'm 63 and there has never been a time in my life that I didn't know that smoking was not exactly healthy. What is 'recent'?

While there has been anti-smoking material ever since Europeans discovered it, there has been pro-smoking material too and it has been difficult to ascertain the truth.  In the last decade it has been proven in court that tobacco companies were deliberately spreading misinformation and knew that their product was harmful. 

You said, 'We have only recently discovered how unhealthy smoking is...'. I pointed out that it's been 400 years. I still want to know what 'recent' is.

It has not been 400 years.  Medicine was not a science 400 years ago and we did not know anything about health.  All there was back then was conflicting opinions.  Even now the odds favour that any given individual study will be poorly designed and reach an incorrect conclusion.  Reaching  a reasonable level of certainty about any health matter requires decades of evidence and consensus of experts.  In the case of tobacco, confusion was deliberately sowed by tobacco companies paying for falsified study results.  The harmfulness  (and degree of harmfulness) of smoking has only been know beyond reasonable doubt for a few decades at most.


Re: Why claim that smoking is not a sin? - jovan66102 - 02-14-2011

(02-14-2011, 04:36 PM)JayneK Wrote: It has not been 400 years.  Medicine was not a science 400 years ago and we did not know anything about health.  All there was back then was conflicting opinions.   Even now the odds favour that any given individual study will be poorly designed and reach an incorrect conclusion.   Reaching  a reasonable level of certainty about any health matter requires decades of evidence and consensus of experts.  In the case of tobacco, confusion was deliberately sowed by tobacco companies paying for falsified study results.  The harmfulness  (and degree of harmfulness) of smoking has only been know beyond reasonable doubt for a few decades at most.

OK, for the sake of argument I'll grant your point. Are you willing to admit that it was known in 1997 when Pope John Paul II promulgated the Catechism of the Catholic Church without mentioning that smoking is a sin? Or did it just slip his mind?


Re: Why claim that smoking is not a sin? - JayneK - 02-14-2011

(02-14-2011, 04:40 PM)jovan66102 Wrote:
(02-14-2011, 04:36 PM)JayneK Wrote: It has not been 400 years.  Medicine was not a science 400 years ago and we did not know anything about health.  All there was back then was conflicting opinions.   Even now the odds favour that any given individual study will be poorly designed and reach an incorrect conclusion.   Reaching  a reasonable level of certainty about any health matter requires decades of evidence and consensus of experts.  In the case of tobacco, confusion was deliberately sowed by tobacco companies paying for falsified study results.  The harmfulness  (and degree of harmfulness) of smoking has only been know beyond reasonable doubt for a few decades at most.

OK, for the sake of argument I'll grant your point. Are you willing to admit that it was known in 1997 when Pope John Paul II promulgated the Catechism of the Catholic Church without mentioning that smoking is a sin? Or did it just slip his mind?

The Catechism does say that the abuse of tobacco is a sin.  Abuse means using tobacco in a way that is harmful.  From what I can tell this applies to the majority of smokers.


Re: Why claim that smoking is not a sin? - devotedknuckles - 02-14-2011

Your joking  right?
the Pope full well knew the cat was spwakin about tobaco being smoked. Whihbis what the vast majority of is users do.



Re: Why claim that smoking is not a sin? - jovan66102 - 02-14-2011

(02-14-2011, 04:47 PM)JayneK Wrote: The Catechism does say that the abuse of tobacco is a sin.  Abuse means using tobacco in a way that is harmful.  From what I can tell this applies to the majority of smokers.

As is the abuse of food or alcohol. Your thread title is 'Why claim that smoking is not a sin?', which implies, without qualification, that smoking is a sin. I'm perfectly willing to admit that tobacco, along with food and alcohol, may be used sinfully, but that's not what you're arguing. I think that like most puritans and nanny-state totalitarians you're arguing that smoking is a sin/unhealthy/etc. in order to argue for government action as several people on this thread have already done.




Re: Why claim that smoking is not a sin? - Nic - 02-14-2011

(02-14-2011, 02:49 PM)JayneK Wrote:
(02-14-2011, 07:45 AM)Nic Wrote:
(02-13-2011, 02:15 PM)JayneK Wrote: I find it interesting that so many people have made this point in this thread.  The argument seems to be that eating unhealthy food is as bad or worse than smoking and we eat unhealthy food therefore we can smoke.  Let's try similar reasoning in this sentence: Pornography is not as bad as adultery so there is no need to be concerned about pornography.  I hope everyone recognizes that this statement was incorrect.  

Than I hope you are a vegan and never shove another greasy hamburger down your gullet - because eating red meat, not to mention nearly all of today's processed foods, are just as bad as smoking - and still yet the Church has made no declaration on either being sinful - one is only sinful in the neo-con Church of Modernity under popess JayneK.  Besides, your argument is pointless.  Smoking can obviously be a sin if done in excess to the exclusion of all other things, when one makes it priority number one - but so can just about anything else - including overeating.  There is so much that we do that is harmful to our bodies, especially in these modern times.  Was working in that manufacturing plant that had polluted air a sin too, Jayne? - because I can almost guarantee that the air there was just as harmful as smoking.  What about all of the people who work in places MUCH worse than that?  Are they all sinners too because they knowingly "infect" their bodies with pollutants?

I avoid eating conventionally raised meat (sometimes when I am a guest charity demands that I eat things I would rather not).  When I eat meat I usually eat organic, grass-fed meat that is not associated with the health problems you mention.  I also avoid processed foods. I do not drink alcohol or coffee or soda.  Usually I drink filtered water.  I also work out at the gym five times a week.    I take care of my body because my body belongs to God.  I am responsible to Him for what I do with it.  This does not make me a neo-con or a modernist or neo-pagan or a Puritan or a Jansenist.  I am a Catholic doing her best to figure out what is right and do it.

As I have already stated (more than once), harming one's body is justified when there is a proportionate reason to do so.   Having to earn a living is a proportionate reason.  Harming one's body when it is unavoidable (as in breathing polluted air) is obviously not a sin.  None of these things apply to harming one's body by smoking.  Most people smoke for pleasure which is not a proportionate reason for harming oneself.  Most people have the option of avoiding smoking.

I started this thread because I wanted to understand how Church teaching applied to the issue of smoking.  I did not have anything to prove and was open to the idea that smoking might not be a sin.  And I can see that it is correct to claim that smoking is not intrinsically sinful.  But the arguments being put forth in this thread to justify smoking have been uniformly bad.  My conclusion from this discussion is that probably most people who smoke are committing at least a venial sin.

(02-14-2011, 07:45 AM)Nic Wrote: My point is that there is a matter of culpability in such things.

Since smoking is highly addictive, I would expect that the majority of smokers have reduced or limited culpability.  Judging people's culpability is not any of my business. 

Ah, but working in a polluted environment is NOT unavoidable - people CHOOSE to do it.  So I ask you again, is CHOOSING to work in such a polluted environment that is equally or even more harmful than smoking a sin?  If you continue to maintain that smoking is sinful, then you must also concede that choosing to work in polluted environs with known health risks is also a sinful act.  These are more or less rhetorical questions, because the Church has never declared smoking to be a sin - but maybe it is in the Church of JayneK, of which, thankfully, I am not a part of.


Re: Why claim that smoking is not a sin? - jovan66102 - 02-14-2011

(02-14-2011, 04:58 PM)Nic Wrote: Ah, but working in a polluted environment is NOT unavoidable - people CHOOSE to do it.  So I ask you again, is CHOOSING to work in such a polluted environment that is equally or even more harmful than smoking a sin?  If you continue to maintain that smoking is sinful, then you must also concede that choosing to work in polluted environs with known health risks is also a sinful act.  These are more or less rhetorical questions, because the Church has never declared smoking to be a sin - but maybe it is in the Church of JayneK, of which, thankfully, I am not a part of.

Well said, eh? Especially agree with the highlighted part! :laughing:


Re: Why claim that smoking is not a sin? - JayneK - 02-14-2011

(02-14-2011, 04:53 PM)jovan66102 Wrote:
(02-14-2011, 04:47 PM)JayneK Wrote: The Catechism does say that the abuse of tobacco is a sin.  Abuse means using tobacco in a way that is harmful.  From what I can tell this applies to the majority of smokers.

As is the abuse of food or alcohol. Your thread title is 'Why claim that smoking is not a sin?', which implies, without qualification, that smoking is a sin. I'm perfectly willing to admit that tobacco, along with food and alcohol, may be used sinfully, but that's not what you're arguing. I think that like most puritans and nanny-state totalitarians you're arguing that smoking is a sin/unhealthy/etc. in order to argue for government action as several people on this thread have already done.

You are reading far more into my title than was there.  Someone claimed that smoking was a not a sin and I wanted to know why. There were no implications beyond that.  It has become clear to me in the course of this discussion that smoking is not intrinsically sinful.  It is sinful to the extent that it is harmful without proportionate reason.  I have written nothing about government involvement and have not yet formed an opinion on that aspect.  I approach this subject as a person with an interest in Catholic moral theology working out how it applies to a particular issue.


Re: Why claim that smoking is not a sin? - JayneK - 02-14-2011

(02-14-2011, 04:58 PM)Nic Wrote: Ah, but working in a polluted environment is NOT unavoidable - people CHOOSE to do it.  So I ask you again, is CHOOSING to work in such a polluted environment that is equally or even more harmful than smoking a sin?  If you continue to maintain that smoking is sinful, then you must also concede that choosing to work in polluted environs with known health risks is also a sinful act.  These are more or less rhetorical questions, because the Church has never declared smoking to be a sin - but maybe it is in the Church of JayneK, of which, thankfully, I am not a part of.

If a person chose to work in a harmful environment without a proportionate reason it would be a sin. It is a basic principle in moral theology that knowingly causing harm to oneself without a proportionate reason is a sin. The Church has declared abuse of tobacco to be a sin and abuse, by definition, means using in a way that is harmful.  I am eager to conform my opinions to the teaching of the Catholic Church.  If anyone had been able to show me that the Church teaches it is not a sin to harm one's body by smoking, I would certainly accept that..  Instead, people have made such non-compelling arguments as telling me that I am a modernist or that I wish to impose my personal opinions on others.  Of course I am not convinced by this nonsense.