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Why claim that smoking is not a sin? - Printable Version

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Re: Why claim that smoking is not a sin? - JayneK - 02-12-2011

(02-12-2011, 06:00 PM)Mithrandylan Wrote: The problem is in that if we are to take the logic that "if its harmful to you its a sin" we must apply it to a wide facet of things.  Like food, particularly.  One might say its not applicable to food because you <i>have</i> have food where you don't <i>have</i> to smoke that is not the case when we're talking mcdonalds.  If smoking is a sin, mcdonalds and other unhealthy food would also be a sin.

I don't have a problem with saying that eating in a way that harms one's health is a sin.


Re: Why claim that smoking is not a sin? - SouthpawLink - 02-12-2011

(02-12-2011, 07:42 PM)JayneK Wrote: I'm asking because of the way Vetus mentioned it in the other thread.  It came across to me as assuming "of course everybody knows that smoking is not a sin"  and that just seemed so strange to me.  I see nothing obvious about the idea that smoking is not a sin.  Traditionally "thou shalt not kill" has been understood to forbid actions that endanger oneself and others and I do not see how, knowing what we do now, this would not include smoking.

It is a matter of intellectual interest to me but does not affect me personally.  I have never smoked, never intend to smoke and am not tempted to smoke. 

There have been findings since the 1930s that smoking is bad for your health*.  And yet no moral theology manual - at least among those I'm aware of - named smoking as a sin.  Moreover, as late as the 1992 Catechism of the Catholic Church, long after the harmful effects of smoking had been already well-documented**, we read:

"The virtue of temperance disposes us to avoid every kind of excess: the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco, or medicine" (n. 2290).

Tobacco is no more a sin than is alcohol, if it is used moderately.  I do understand your point about the principle of not using anything harmful, but hopefully you'll forgive me for not responding to that until later (I can provide a couple of quotations from Jone and Prümmer).


* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_effects_of_tobacco (scroll down to the section on Studies)
** See the above Wikipedia article, in the same place, where is mentioned the 1953 study done in New York City.


Re: Why claim that smoking is not a sin? - Ruination_ipa - 02-12-2011

(02-12-2011, 08:13 PM)JayneK Wrote:
(02-12-2011, 07:52 PM)Jitpring Wrote: The answer is found in that short sermon posted above. Here it is again:

http://www.sensustraditionis.org/webaudio/Sermons/Disk5/Smoking.mp3

It will shock adherents of the neopagan cult of the body.

This priest reiterates the traditional principle that smoking is sinful to the extent that it harms one's health.  If it is slightly harmful it is a venial sin.  If it is very harmful it is a mortal sin.  His argument is based on questioning the consensus of medical authorities that smoking is harmful.  He lists some conditions for which nicotine is beneficial.  When he speaks of moral theology he speaks within his area of expertise.  I agreed with everything he said about this. His conclusions about health contradict the experts in that field.  Therefore I do not consider his opinion to carry much weight.

I guess you missed the part where he says those who say smoking and drinking are sinful are in error....

You are in error.






Re: Why claim that smoking is not a sin? - JayneK - 02-12-2011

(02-12-2011, 07:01 PM)Ruination_ipa Wrote: Everything has risks. You have a high chance of developing a brain tumor from radiation from a cell phone, getting in your car runs a very high risk of getting into a fatal accident, having an office job requiring a lot of sitting and inactivity means heart problems and hemorrhoids. Everything has risks - God does not require us to live in a bubble - that would be even more detrimental to the soul.

There is a proportionate reason to use a cell phone, a car or have an office job that justifies the risk involved.  What is the proportionate reason the justifies smoking? 


Re: Why claim that smoking is not a sin? - Ruination_ipa - 02-12-2011

(02-12-2011, 08:37 PM)JayneK Wrote:
(02-12-2011, 07:01 PM)Ruination_ipa Wrote: Everything has risks. You have a high chance of developing a brain tumor from radiation from a cell phone, getting in your car runs a very high risk of getting into a fatal accident, having an office job requiring a lot of sitting and inactivity means heart problems and hemorrhoids. Everything has risks - God does not require us to live in a bubble - that would be even more detrimental to the soul.

There is a proportionate reason to use a cell phone, a car or have an office job that justifies the risk involved.  What is the proportionate reason the justifies smoking? 

The same that justifies drinking.



Re: Why claim that smoking is not a sin? - JayneK - 02-12-2011

(02-12-2011, 08:33 PM)Ruination_ipa Wrote: I guess you missed the part where he says those who say smoking and drinking are sinful are in error....

You are in error.

Actually, I'm asking those who claim it is not sinful to support their claim.  I am open to a good argument that smoking is not sinful.  I have not seen one yet in this thread, including in that sermon.  The argument in the sermon is based on claiming that smoking is not really harmful, a matter on which the priest does not appear qualified to speak, especially since he contradicts medical authorities.


Re: Why claim that smoking is not a sin? - JayneK - 02-12-2011

(02-12-2011, 08:41 PM)Ruination_ipa Wrote:
(02-12-2011, 08:37 PM)JayneK Wrote:
(02-12-2011, 07:01 PM)Ruination_ipa Wrote: Everything has risks. You have a high chance of developing a brain tumor from radiation from a cell phone, getting in your car runs a very high risk of getting into a fatal accident, having an office job requiring a lot of sitting and inactivity means heart problems and hemorrhoids. Everything has risks - God does not require us to live in a bubble - that would be even more detrimental to the soul.

There is a proportionate reason to use a cell phone, a car or have an office job that justifies the risk involved.  What is the proportionate reason the justifies smoking? 

The same that justifies drinking.

According to medical authorities, the health risks of moderate drinking are not equivalent to the health risks of moderate smoking.  There is little risk to drinking moderately therefore drinking simply for the pleasure of it is a proportionate reason.  There is significant risk to even moderate smoking therefore a proportionate reason needs to be more than it feels good.


Re: Why claim that smoking is not a sin? - Ruination_ipa - 02-12-2011

That's not true. The studies showing the risks of smoking pertain not to people who smoke only after meals, the occasional cigar smoker, or the one bowl every other day pipe smoker - they pertain to those who have an immoderate smoking habit. You have to compare apples to apples. Smoking immoderately has health risks - as does immoderate drinking. There was a recent study that showed pipe smokers live, on average, eight years longer than the average person.

The evidence has already been presented to you here. If smoking were sinful the Church would've condemned it long ago. The Church cannot remain silent if millions of people are falling into hell because of smoking.

Now two questions for you:

1. Is tobacco inherently evil?
2. Is smoking inherently evil?


Also, you stated: "According to medical authorities, the health risks of moderate drinking are not equivalent to the health risks of moderate smoking" - so you admit that there are health risks involved in moderate drinking - just that they're not supposedly equivalent. So what justifies the moderate usage of alcohol in your opinion if there are health risks involved?





Re: Why claim that smoking is not a sin? - Augstine Baker - 02-12-2011

smoking's cool


Re: Why claim that smoking is not a sin? - The_Harlequin_King - 02-12-2011

Drinking and smoking aren't comparable. Alcohol has been a part of the human diet for thousands of years, and is also a necessary part of the liturgy. God has sanctified wine. It's Biblical, and sacramental.

Smoking was introduced to Christian culture only after "discovering" the New World and picking it up from native Americans, so it's only 500 years old at best. The early popes of the smoking period condemned the practice as pagan, and King James I wrote a tract about its unhealthiness centuries before the Surgeon General was invented. Smoking on church property was once an excommunicable offense. But as time passed, even the popes were addicted to snuff, so the practice became permissible and "baptized" into the culture.

I'm not really an anti-smoker, nor do I think it merits a confession...... even though nicotine almost certainly shortened my dad's lifespan. But I do a bit of an eyeroll every time the trad guys in my area organize a men's hangout at a pub, and I get choked with cigar smoke. The smoking culture sometimes gets conflated with traditionalism in general, but we all know it's more of a 1950's-ism than anything else. The same cigar-puffing trad men will frown upon the sight of a woman smoking a cigar, or (God forbid) a pipe, which is unladylike or whatever. But before the 20th century, women typically smoked pipes and cigars. What else? Cigarettes hadn't been invented yet. And I understand it's typical in some Latin American countries to see older women smoking cigars even today.


I'd honestly be impressed if some Remnant columnist took up his pen and condemned the use of tobacco as pagan/Indian nonsense. He would find a sympathetic audience with King James I and Pope Urban VII. Is it any surprise that the excommunication for using tobacco on church property was lifted only in 1724, by Benedict XIII was a snuffer himself!?


King James I Wrote:"What honour or policie can move us to imitate the barbarous and beastly maners of the wilde, godlesse, and slavish Indians, especially in so vile and stinking a custom?"