Sinning
#1
If one thinks something is a sin which objectivey is no sin, and a person commits that sin with full consciece, does that mean that he sinned?
For example: a man is convinced that it is wrong to touch a woman because the religous upbringig he received thaught him so. And he shakes a womans hand assuming it was a sin.
Same situation with another man,the difference is that this man does not think it is a sin beause his religion thought him so, but he is convinced it is a sin because he is scrupulous. Isn't it that both have sinned in this situation because both are convinced they were comiting a sin, or could you say that one suffering from scruples never is totally convinced that their scruples are sinfull?
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#2
(07-25-2012, 08:46 AM)moonlight1987 Wrote: If one thinks something is a sin which objectivey is no sin, and a person commits that sin with full consciece, does that mean that he sinned?
Only if one sinned.

This situation is too vague and so is the example.

Quote:For example: a man is convinced that it is wrong to touch a woman because the religous upbringig he received thaught him so. And he shakes a womans hand assuming it was a sin.
What religion?

Sin is an offense against God, not oneself. False religions are a different issue. It does not matter if it is a sin within a false religion. One is outside the Church and separated from God's grace.

If one has a mistaken teaching, such as that failing to genuflect properly when physically able to do so in church is a sin, and one willfully does not genuflect with this knowledge, then the sin is not in the act, but in the intent. Just as a person who intends to deceive, but is actually speaking the truth (thinking it to be false) still sins, intending to sin, yet failing in completing it is still a sin.

However, if something is falsely taught to be a sin and one discovers or rationally suspects it is not, and does not intend to sin, but no longer believes what he has been taught, then it is likely not a grave sin (if at all) because one is not intending to sin. For example, if the same person taught improperly about genuflecting were to realise that this cannot be a grave matter in general, and does not genuflect on purpose, but only because he does not think it is a sin, then it wouldn't be a sin.

EDIT: This may sound like that one can get around actual moral theology by merely intending not to sin while doing something which is sinful, but this is not some legal technicality, but an internal matter and God knows the will and what one knows. A person can try to convince themselves that the binding law of the Church does not apply to them, but no matter how they try to justify it, it won't work. However, if a person honestly believes the law does not apply (ie, dispensation from the Sunday obligation), and it happened that it did, it would not be a sin. But this would involve true ignorance or a mistake, not some mental gymnastics.

Quote:Same situation with another man,the difference is that this man does not think it is a sin beause his religion thought him so, but he is convinced it is a sin because he is scrupulous. Isn't it that both have sinned in this situation because both are convinced they were comiting a sin, or could you say that one suffering from scruples never is totally convinced that their scruples are sinfull?
People afflicted with scruples should consult their spiritual director. It is a serious spiritual problem and not fit for discussion online.

Sins require knowledge and intent as well as the matter.

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#3
Does one break the law merely when he thinks he's broken the law? No, of course not. The criteria of what is and is not a sin is outside the individual, but the individuals thoughts are taken into account in matters of culpability when an objective law is broken. Even less so is one sinning just because one thinks it is a sin, since our relationship with God is one of grace, not of mere obligation under law.

Most of all God wants us to love Him and seek Him. It is best if one is scrupulous to place oneself under the direction of a good and holy confessor, and focus on the mercy and love of Christ.
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#4
Quote:If one thinks something is a sin which objectivey is no sin, and a person commits that sin with full consciece, does that mean that he sinned? For example: a man is convinced that it is wrong to touch a woman because the religous upbringig he received thaught him so. And he shakes a womans hand assuming it was a sin.

Yes. This follows from the principle St. Thomas lays out in ST II-I 19-5 as to whether an honestly erring conscious binds. His answer as found there, is that the conscience must be the moral guide for the person, even when it errs. Therefore, when you commit an act that you honestly think is sinful you sin regardless of whether or not the object of the act was objectively sinful itself. This should underscore why we should all be diligent in properly forming our consciences.

Quote:Same situation with another man,the difference is that this man does not think it is a sin beause his religion thought him so, but he is convinced it is a sin because he is scrupulous. Isn't it that both have sinned in this situation because both are convinced they were comiting a sin, or could you say that one suffering from scruples never is totally convinced that their scruples are sinfull?

Implicit in the notion of scruples is a hesitation which would indicate a struggle of the intellect. This would be impossible if someone was fully convinced that something was a sin (even though there might be guilt in both the outright sinner and the hesitant sinner). Therefore, in as much as this implies some knowledge of the sinfulness (or in this case, lack thereof) of the object, the scrupulous man does not sin in this case.
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#5
Quote:Most of all God wants us to love Him and seek Him. It is best if one is scrupulous to place oneself under the direction of a good and holy confessor, and focus on the mercy and love of Christ.

This is good advice, Moonlight. I have (and still occasionally do) suffered from scruples. Follow this advice.
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