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  #1  
Old Jun 22, '05, 3:45 pm
Isidore_AK Isidore_AK is offline
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Join Date: September 1, 2004
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Default Is it a sin to let yourself die?

If you are on a path that will lead to death, through your own inaction, is it a sin to let yourself die?

Something like eating foods that will lead to an early heart attack, gaining massive amounts of weight, and not caring. Not doing anything to stop yourself. Etc...
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“Heresy is from the Greek word meaning 'choice'…But we are not permitted to believe whatever we choose, nor to choose whatever someone else has believed.”

-St. Isidore of Seville (AD 560-AD 636)
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  #2  
Old Jun 22, '05, 4:26 pm
BJRumph BJRumph is offline
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Join Date: June 3, 2005
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Default Re: Is it a sin to let yourself die?

well, according to CCC 2288, we must take reasonable care of ourselves;

and, according to CCC 2290, we must avoid every kind of excess, specifically mentioning food, alcohol, tobacco, or medicine.

One counter-question though;

How does "eating foods that will lead to an early heart attack, gaining massive amounts of weight, and not caring. Not doing anything to stop yourself. Etc.." , which are all actions on your part, relate to "through your own inaction".

While I am pretty sure that depression (which is what this sounds like) is not a sin, as these actions violate the duty we have to preserve the dignity of our bodies (according to the CCC), then I am sure that these actions will constitute some sort of sin...

But I am hardly the best source of info on this one (being a weakness of my own at times)...
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  #3  
Old Jun 23, '05, 2:27 am
tuopaolo tuopaolo is offline
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Join Date: August 20, 2004
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Default Re: Is it a sin to let yourself die?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Isidore_AK
If you are on a path that will lead to death, through your own inaction, is it a sin to let yourself die?
If you are trying to cause your death, then it would be a sin. If you are merely accepting death as a secondary consequence even perhaps while desiring it though not trying to cause it, then it is not a sin on that account though it could be a sin for other reasons. It is also a sin to desire to die unless one's desire is motivated by a desire to see God in heaven or one's life involves a lot of hardship.

Quote:
Something like eating foods that will lead to an early heart attack, gaining massive amounts of weight, and not caring. Not doing anything to stop yourself. Etc...
Eating tasty foods that you know may end up leading to a heart attack is not a sin. So for example, enjoying bacon and eggs is not a sin even if it may lead to a heart attack (and I'm not sure that it would but that's another topic). However if you are eating these foods not because they are tasty but because you are trying to cause your death, then it would be a sin.

Likewise enjoying these foods for other good reasons besides or in addition to taste (such as part of a celebration or for festive reasons or because that's the only thing on the menu or for aesthetic reasons or because you're feeling down and a little food cheers you up or any other good reason) even knowing that it may lead to death earlier than would be expected without them is not a sin.

As for gaining weight, if one's culture involves overeating occasionally such as on certain holidays, then it may be OK to overeat in these cases. But outside of that or other good reasons to overeat (ex. you are expecting a faminine in the future and are overeating to store up fat), it would be a sin to overeat. It would also be a sin to overeat for the express purpose of becoming obese (I don't know who would want to do that) But sometimes people become overweight without any overeating or deliberate overeating due to peculiar medical conditions and some are unusually overweight due to rare medical conditions that have nothing to do with eating -- so these cases would not involve any sin.

If you are suffering from depression, then your culpability for certain sins may be diminished.
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Old Jun 23, '05, 2:06 pm
UtahMaggie UtahMaggie is offline
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Join Date: May 31, 2004
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Default Re: Is it a sin to let yourself die?

I think this is a question which can be better answered by your parish priest. If you don't have one, open the phone book and start dialing parishes. They don't care if you are not a registered member of their parish.

Although the members of this board are wonderful, you need to talk to a priest, not your computer.

May the Peace of our Lord be with you,
Maggie
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