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  #1  
Old Sep 16, '13, 10:44 am
Paul Fekete Paul Fekete is offline
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Default Is it possible for Protestants to break a moral law without full knowledge?

Since moral law is written on the heart of every man (CCC 1860, Romans 2:15), is it possible for a protestant adult (that has crossed the age of reason) to a break moral law without full knowledge?

1860 Unintentional ignorance can diminish or even remove the imputability of a grave offense. But no one is deemed to be ignorant of the principles of the moral law, which are written in the conscience of every man. The promptings of feelings and passions can also diminish the voluntary and free character of the offense, as can external pressures or pathological disorders. Sin committed through malice, by deliberate choice of evil, is the gravest.

Last edited by Paul Fekete; Sep 16, '13 at 11:00 am.
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  #2  
Old Sep 16, '13, 11:47 am
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Default Re: Is it possible for Protestants to break a moral law without full knowledge?

Everybody is accountable for their actions to some extent, including children. It should also be noted that a protestant in today's world is almost certainly afflicted with vincible ignorance, not invincible ignorance. Meaning that the truth is readily accessible to them, but they do not attain it out of lack of hunger for it.

So sure, people break moral laws all the time. Whether or not it is in mortal defiance is left to be determined.
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Old Sep 16, '13, 12:08 pm
jmjconder jmjconder is offline
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Default Re: Is it possible for Protestants to break a moral law without full knowledge?

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Everybody is accountable for their actions to some extent, including children. It should also be noted that a protestant in today's world is almost certainly afflicted with vincible ignorance, not invincible ignorance. Meaning that the truth is readily accessible to them, but they do not attain it out of lack of hunger for it.

So sure, people break moral laws all the time. Whether or not it is in mortal defiance is left to be determined.
I differ with your post. Many denominations - including Catholics are invincibly ignorant...I was one. Accessibility to the truth does not make one vincibly ignorant - just because it is there one must hear it. To be vincibly igmorant one must hear the truth and deny it.

Expample - I grew up in a Catholic family, went to a Catholic grade and high school and did not know about many of the moral teachings of the faith. Even though it was available to me - I did not know enough to even seek the truth. My fault? No - the fault of inadaquate catechesis...which is a possibility for many people in many demoninations.
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Old Sep 16, '13, 12:10 pm
Paul Fekete Paul Fekete is offline
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Default Re: Is it possible for Protestants to break a moral law without full knowledge?

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So sure, people break moral laws all the time. Whether or not it is in mortal defiance is left to be determined.
I agree that People do break moral laws all the time. The question again is if they can claim to be ignorant of moral law if they have the ability to reason?
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Old Sep 16, '13, 12:14 pm
jmjconder jmjconder is offline
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Default Re: Is it possible for Protestants to break a moral law without full knowledge?

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Originally Posted by Paul Fekete View Post
Since moral law is written on the heart of every man (CCC 1860, Romans 2:15), is it possible for a protestant adult (that has crossed the age of reason) to a break moral law without full knowledge?

1860 Unintentional ignorance can diminish or even remove the imputability of a grave offense. But no one is deemed to be ignorant of the principles of the moral law, which are written in the conscience of every man. The promptings of feelings and passions can also diminish the voluntary and free character of the offense, as can external pressures or pathological disorders. Sin committed through malice, by deliberate choice of evil, is the gravest.
The natural law you refer to is - Do good and avoid evil. If one had not heard or does not know what is "evil" they are not held accountable.

CCC:
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1735 Imputability and responsibility for an action can be diminished or even nullified by ignorance, inadvertence, duress, fear, habit, inordinate attachments, and other psychological or social factors.
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  #6  
Old Sep 16, '13, 12:15 pm
Paul Fekete Paul Fekete is offline
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Default Re: Is it possible for Protestants to break a moral law without full knowledge?

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[b] To be vincibly igmorant one must hear the truth and deny it.
Does not Romans 1: 18-20 teach that no person (past the age or reason) has an excuse? Romans 1:18 says that people "suppress the truth" that has been shown to them. God reveals his truth to all mankind through His creation and moral law is written on the hearts of every man (Romans 2:15), so I am not sure we can blame poor Religous teaching for our disobedience to God's moral laws.
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Old Sep 16, '13, 12:18 pm
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Default Re: Is it possible for Protestants to break a moral law without full knowledge?

This is getting into an area where it takes an omniscient God to answer the question, but invincible ignorance refers to people that are literally incapable of hearing the gospel.

A person that grows up in a Christian household and follows whatever denomination they were born in is not invincibly ignorant. They have great access to exploring the truth, but they don't do it because they don't care. It's easier to follow the path of your upbringing than it is to go into uncomfortable & uncharted territory.

A person that is only vincibly ignorant might not be guilty of mortal sin, however the defense of invincible ignorance is one that is shrinking day by day. That is, after all, the purpose of spreading the truth. It heightens culpability, where before there was ignorance. From those who have been given little, not as much will be expected. From those who have been given much, much more will be asked.
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Old Sep 16, '13, 12:20 pm
Paul Fekete Paul Fekete is offline
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Default Re: Is it possible for Protestants to break a moral law without full knowledge?

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Originally Posted by jmjconder View Post
The natural law you refer to is - Do good and avoid evil. If one had not heard or does not know what is "evil" they are not held accountable.

CCC:
I think if you Read Romans 1 - 3:23 you may come to a different conclusion. Romans 3:23 is a clear statement that all have sinned and broken the moral law.
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  #9  
Old Sep 16, '13, 12:22 pm
Paul Fekete Paul Fekete is offline
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Default Re: Is it possible for Protestants to break a moral law without full knowledge?

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This is getting into an area where it takes an omniscient God to answer the question, but invincible ignorance refers to people that are literally incapable of hearing the gospel.

A person that grows up in a Christian household and follows whatever denomination they were born in is not invincibly ignorant. They have great access to exploring the truth, but they don't do it because they don't care. It's easier to follow the path of your upbringing than it is to go into uncomfortable & uncharted territory.

A person that is only vincibly ignorant might not be guilty of mortal sin, however the defense of invincible ignorance is one that is shrinking day by day. That is, after all, the purpose of spreading the truth. It heightens culpability, where before there was ignorance. From those who have been given little, not as much will be expected. From those who have been given much, much more will be asked.
Does the CCC mention vincible versus invincible ignorace? What I read in the CCC is this "But no one is deemed to be ignorant of the principles of the moral law, which are written in the conscience of every man."
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Old Sep 16, '13, 12:28 pm
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Default Re: Is it possible for Protestants to break a moral law without full knowledge?

A person that is invincibly ignorant is still going to be accountable for what they do. Everybody is accountable for what they do, but without the proper exposure to the truth, God will hold people less or more accountable.As a person becomes exposed to the truth, they become increasingly accountable for their actions.
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Old Sep 16, '13, 12:39 pm
Paul Fekete Paul Fekete is offline
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Default Re: Is it possible for Protestants to break a moral law without full knowledge?

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A person that is invincibly ignorant is still going to be accountable for what they do. Everybody is accountable for what they do, but without the proper exposure to the truth, God will hold people less or more accountable.As a person becomes exposed to the truth, they become increasingly accountable for their actions.
I think I understand what you are getting at. However, I can not find this concept in the CCC or the Bible. From what I read, every adult that has the ability to reason has been exposed to moral law. If moral law is "written on our heart" how much more exposure to the truth does one need before they are held accountable for breaking a moral law?
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Old Sep 16, '13, 12:46 pm
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Default Re: Is it possible for Protestants to break a moral law without full knowledge?

Part of this is because there are certain things that are impossible for man to determine on their own. A virtuous pagan could never, ever, be able to conclude independently that God is Triune, or that Jesus Christ is our Savior, or that in order to attain forgiveness from mortal sin, one must confess to an ordained priest. These are all things that we know by revelation.

However, because mankind has been embedded with souls of reason and with a conscious, they are still capable of sin, even without the knowledge of revelation. This is what is called the natural moral law. If you explore various ancient societies, you are always going to find certain moral tenants being taught in all of them, albeit imperfectly.

I'm sorry. I know scripture very well but unfortunately I don't yet have the power to be able to easily pick out parts of the CCC. I'm sure somebody else would be happy to guide you with select articles of text.
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Old Sep 16, '13, 1:06 pm
Robert Joseph60 Robert Joseph60 is offline
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Default Re: Is it possible for Protestants to break a moral law without full knowledge?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Fekete View Post
Since moral law is written on the heart of every man (CCC 1860, Romans 2:15), is it possible for a protestant adult (that has crossed the age of reason) to a break moral law without full knowledge?

1860 Unintentional ignorance can diminish or even remove the imputability of a grave offense. But no one is deemed to be ignorant of the principles of the moral law, which are written in the conscience of every man. The promptings of feelings and passions can also diminish the voluntary and free character of the offense, as can external pressures or pathological disorders. Sin committed through malice, by deliberate choice of evil, is the gravest.
All humans break God's moral law everyday, we are all liars with a desperatally wicked and deceitful heart.

How many lies does one need to tell to be a liar?

How many murders does a murderer need to do to be a murderer?
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Old Sep 16, '13, 1:56 pm
Paul Fekete Paul Fekete is offline
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Default Re: Is it possible for Protestants to break a moral law without full knowledge?

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Part of this is because there are certain things that are impossible for man to determine on their own. A virtuous pagan could never, ever, be able to conclude independently that God is Triune, or that Jesus Christ is our Savior, or that in order to attain forgiveness from mortal sin, one must confess to an ordained priest. These are all things that we know by revelation.

However, because mankind has been embedded with souls of reason and with a conscious, they are still capable of sin, even without the knowledge of revelation. This is what is called the natural moral law. If you explore various ancient societies, you are always going to find certain moral tenants being taught in all of them, albeit imperfectly.
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Thanks for your response. I am not sure I would include " that God is Triune, or that Jesus Christ is our Savior, or that in order to attain forgiveness from mortal sin, one must confess to an ordained priest." as moral law. My original question was if God reveals His moral law (i.e. the ten commandments) to all adults that have the ability to reason. It seems fairly clear that God did not give anybody an excuse and that when reasoning adults break moral law they had full knowledge of the moral law.
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Old Sep 17, '13, 6:46 pm
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Default Re: Is it possible for Protestants to break a moral law without full knowledge?

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I differ with your post. Many denominations - including Catholics are invincibly ignorant...I was one. Accessibility to the truth does not make one vincibly ignorant - just because it is there one must hear it. To be vincibly igmorant one must hear the truth and deny it.


No. To be invincibly ignorant means that there is no possibility that you could ever learn the thing. No possibility ever.

It is not possible to move from a state of invincible ignorance to a state of vincible ignorance or to a state of having knowledge. Someone who is "invincibly ignorant" would remain ignorant, by no fault of their own, for their entire life.

When we speak of those who are invincibly ignorant, we mean people who will never attain the use of reason, and people who will never have access to Catholic teaching at all in their whole lives, no matter what they do or where they go.

Vincible ignorance means that the knowledge is available, but one has not yet availed oneself of it.

Quote:
Example - I grew up in a Catholic family, went to a Catholic grade and high school and did not know about many of the moral teachings of the faith. Even though it was available to me - I did not know enough to even seek the truth. My fault? No - the fault of inadaquate catechesis...which is a possibility for many people in many demoninations.
Every rational adult person is responsible for informing himself or herself of the teachings of his or her religion. If it wasn't received in childhood, then it's necessary to study it in adulthood.

The knowledge that you should be informed about the things you identify yourself by should be "written on the heart" - it should be interior knowledge. At some point along the journey, it occurs to everyone to ask, "What do I mean when I say that I am a ... " (Canadian, a Catholic, a woman, an artist, a daughter, a wife, a mother, etc.)
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