Smoking a sin?
#1
I went to confession and I asked the priest whether smoking cigarettes was a sin and he said it was a mortal sin, referencing to "Thou shalt not kill" and said "that includes yourself, if you know smoking is harmful and causes death and you know suicide is a grave sin, then you should know that cigarette smoking is a sin." What do you think?
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#2
That's BS.  He might as well say eating fried chicken or chocolate is a mortal sin. People who aren't troubled by the idea of babies being torn limb from limb in their mother's wombs always seem to be the first to freak out about the evils of smoking, which alone would make me suspicious.  Our culture cares nothing about sodomy or any manner of wickedness, but smokers might as well be the devil incarnate for endangering others with a puff of secondhand smoke.

One of our priests (FSSP) smokes.  He said he doesn't desire to live forever. 

Note:  I don't smoke and never have.
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#3
(01-04-2011, 05:37 AM)Madeformv Wrote: I went to confession and I asked the priest whether smoking cigarettes was a sin and he said it was a mortal sin, referencing to "Thou shalt not kill" and said "that includes yourself, if you know smoking is harmful and causes death and you know suicide is a grave sin, then you should know that cigarette smoking is a sin." What do you think?

Objectively, I do not see how it cannot be a mortal sin.

This is for people who:

* with full knowledge
* intent, without justification
* deliberately inhale the fumes of burning substances which have a known high risk of addiction and known health effects

For those who doubt this, it is mainly due to cultural acceptance. How accepting are you of other substances used in such casual ways?

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#4
I don't think an occasional cigarette will kill you any faster than an occasional fast food burger but I suppose gluttony of anything is sinful.  We're all going to die of something.  Smoking just ups the odds of what you are going to die from.


Besides, cigarette smoking is a powerful addiction.  Smokers aren't in full control and most don't really understand the consequences.  Sure, there is a warning on the side and they've seen the commercials but most people don't truly understand.  They're in denial.  It's not going to happen to them.  They can quit at any time.  Next month, they are going to get  prescription for Chantix and then they will really quit this time...etc...etc....

My grandma is just shy of 80 and has been a heavy smoker since her teens.  Just this year, it's really affected her.  She has end stage emphysema and she is still in denial.  I had to take her to the doctor once and the doctor is telling me that she is going to die a slow and painful death by suffocation because of her smoking.  And that is currently what is happening.  She still doesn't think it is caused by her smoking.  She thinks it is because she worked in a chile packing plant in her 20's.  ::)

My point is, most people don't start smoking with this "full knowledge" that this is how they will end up.  Nobody understands addiction until they are addicted and overcoming that addiction is difficult.  Your brain is permanently altered.  That is not to say that people are not responsible for their actions when they are addicted.  I just don't think you can generalize and say "smoking is a mortal sin."

As for abuse of other substances, most are illegal.  So there is your problem right there.

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#5
(01-04-2011, 02:44 PM)Paloma Wrote: I don't think an occasional cigarette will kill you any faster than an occasional fast food burger but I suppose gluttony of anything is sinful.  We're all going to die of something.  Smoking just ups the odds of what you are going to die from.
How many people become addicted to food which has some use for the body versus burning leaves which has no use but could cause a person to "need" that substance again?

Quote:Besides, cigarette smoking is a powerful addiction.  Smokers aren't in full control and most don't really understand the consequences.  Sure, there is a warning on the side and they've seen the commercials but most people don't truly understand.  They're in denial.  It's not going to happen to them.  They can quit at any time.  Next month, they are going to get  prescription for Chantix and then they will really quit this time...etc...etc....
This is why I think it has to be a mortal sin to do with full knowledge and intent. Usually, this means it would be a mortal sin for those who are not addicted already, but everyone had to start somewhere...

Quote:My point is, most people don't start smoking with this "full knowledge" that this is how they will end up.  Nobody understands addiction until they are addicted and overcoming that addiction is difficult.  Your brain is permanently altered.  That is not to say that people are not responsible for their actions when they are addicted.  I just don't think you can generalize and say "smoking is a mortal sin."

Yes, you can generalise. It is a grave matter, therefore, with knowledge and intent, it is a mortal sin. Those who do not have proper intent (those addicted) cannot be said to be in mortal sin, but supporting, defending or participating in the addiction probably would be. Addiction isn't a ticket to absolution. One is not absolved by "I can't help it". If one gives in or accepts it, then it is as bad as if one intended it freely.

For other substances, they don't have to be illegal. It would be a mortal sin to willingly inhale the fumes of a house hold items if one knew the effect they had on the nervous system.
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#6
Smoking cigarettes, in itself, is not a sin.

A case may be construed where one could argue that smoking cigarettes regularly to the point of addiction would constitute a sin. However, there's (still) no irrefutable evidence that proves a direct connection between smoking cigarettes and developping cancer, so the application of the 5th commandment does not seem to apply here. Furthermore, if that were the case, smoking would become de facto and de jure illegal in most civilised countries and that is nowhere the case, although legal restrictions on smoking in public places have already been enacted in light of its potential danger.
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#7
Was this a traditional priest?
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#8
(01-04-2011, 08:45 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote: A case may be construed where one could argue that smoking cigarettes regularly to the point of addiction would constitute a sin. However, there's (still) no irrefutable evidence that proves a direct connection between smoking cigarettes and developping cancer, so the application of the 5th commandment does not seem to apply here. Furthermore, if that were the case, smoking would become de facto and de jure illegal in most civilised countries and that is nowhere the case, although legal restrictions on smoking in public places have already been enacted in light of its potential danger.

Developing an addiction to an unnecessary substance constitutes a sin.

It interferes with the will unduly.

I've seen people allow this addiction affect their mood, decisions and life to degrees unacceptable.

There is no irrefutable evidence because nothing is certain with such things. The fact that something can cause cancer does not mean it will all the time. There is too much personal variety. Also, I think "irrefutable" in this case is an arbitrary unattainable standard of evidence. There is certainly evidence that inhaling the chemicals and fumes of burning substances such as cigarettes will result in higher statistical probability for a variety of cancers.

The reason why it is not illegal is because it is very common and was for a long time. It is in fact illegal for people under certain ages in most developed countries.

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#9
(01-04-2011, 02:55 PM)Rosarium Wrote: [

Yes, you can generalise. It is a grave matter, therefore, with knowledge and intent, it is a mortal sin. Those who do not have proper intent (those addicted) cannot be said to be in mortal sin, but supporting, defending or participating in the addiction probably would be. Addiction isn't a ticket to absolution. One is not absolved by "I can't help it". If one gives in or accepts it, then it is as bad as if one intended it freely.

For other substances, they don't have to be illegal. It would be a mortal sin to willingly inhale the fumes of a house hold items if one knew the effect they had on the nervous system.

I didn't say addiction is a ticket to absolution.  In fact, I said that people are still responsible for their actions.  I just don't think it meets the criteria for a mortal sin.

As for other substances...Well, huffing is usually illegal.  But is it a mortal sin to use something because it has a negative effect on the nervous system?  Is that what makes it sinful?

If I drink coffee until I'm jittery, Is that sinful?  If I take ibuprofen every day and hurt my stomach, is that sinful?  I refuse to get sucked into that kind of thinking.

As for cigarettes...smoking a few cigarettes here and there doesn't seem sinful.  You do more harm to your lungs living in a crowded city.  If your smoking becomes sinful it is probably because you overindulged in the spirit of gluttony.
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#10
Using substances in ways not intended by the seller is often "illegal", but then again, Q-Tips are made for cleaning ears, despite every warning on them stating not to use them for that. It is liability. It is not morality.
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