Calling someone stupid a mortal sin

Just now I was watching a documentary by a historian. The historian had already made several mistakes (including one which could be viewed as being anti Catholic). His mistakes were increasingly riling me up and in the end I just exploded at a point he made and said ‘[you’re wrong for these reasons], you stupid man’. Now, as I was saying the bit in square brackets (actually shouting it at my laptop screen) I would say I considered to some degree the term ‘stupid man’. Am I in mortal sin or not?

I would say this is Venial at most.

But I have a policy- “when in doubt confess it out”

I should add too that I am quite scrupulous too… So for example in the last few minutes I’m worrying about whether a friendly hit on the arm I gave a priest is a mortal sin! (I know it isn’t!)

That depends. If he did not know what he was saying was absurd then he was just being ignorant. Many people we think should know better in fact just don’t. They spent all that time in high school and never learned how to read. At least not the words on the page. They read what they want to read. And in seeing the did not see and in reading they did not read. They are ignorant. They don’t get it.
Now if he does not better and he is saying something differently then he is lying and that is a different thing entirely. It would be hard for him to be stupid which requires you to know better but not act on that knowledge. Then and only then would he be stupid. like a sheep who is very thirsty and refuses to drink from the good water because it is moving to fast and is making scary sounds.
So is calling him stupid a sin. The answer comes back “not if he really is stupid”. Yelling at your computer screen at the top of your lungs about it. That involves getting angry and loosing your temper. If there was a sin is was in the loss of temper.
Dont worry so much he might just be dumb.

Well the guys a phd in history so can’t be that stupid. The documentary in question was about the First World War and the causes. I think my announce was over his claims about it being unnecessary to keep a balance of power in Europe (which if anyone knows the history of Europe they know full well there’s a need for a balance of power because if someone gets too strong they start making war. Napoleon is a very good example of this.

Matthew 5:22 But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council. And whosoever shall say, Thou Fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

This is exactly the first thing that I thought of. I have said similar things to fellow motorists in morning traffic and immediately regreted it. I suppose culpability could be reduced if one struggles with anger issues, but I try to remember to always confess it when it happens. Scripture certainly makes it sound as if it COULD be mortal.

There is a difference, perhaps a big one, between 1) yelling “You’re stupid!” at a television or computer screen, especially when no one else can hear, and 2) telling someone else that “Dr. So-and-so the historian is stupid,” (detraction) and 3) Telling Dr. So-and-so to his face that he is stupid. Depending on the context, #3 could be either an insult or a work of spiritual mercy :smiley:

Oh I am sure he has a lot of letters after his name. The problem is people think we know everything about history. most of history is simple not know and much of what we know is wrong. History is a lot more about politics, and there is a lot of politics to intra-European relations. So he could be stupid, as in he knows facts he chooses not to admit to support his historical theory of what started WWI.
But that is not the point. You lost your temper and that is the point. Probably on the edge of scrupulous as I do not believe this is the worst struggle any of us will have today.

The mortal sin was watching television. :wink: :stuck_out_tongue:

That’s what I thought about… On the flip side though. I don’t bear any hatred to the man though… Just at what he was saying, I think.

I don’t think you sinned against someone on a computer who doesn’t know and doesn’t care what you think.

On the other hand, you might rethink your priorities if you’re spending a lot of time watching inane videos.

Well it wasn’t an inane video, it was an hour and a half documentary produced by the BBC about the historiography of the First World War (which I only managed to watch the first half an hour of before getting too annoyed). I study history at an academic level (undergrad) and the chap is a historian at a very prestigious London University… It’s important, I feel, to feed ones mind with such information, especially seeing as I study it and understanding such things allows one to make valuable cultural criticisms of Europe’s history (which is exceptionally important for where we are now and hour we understand out society).

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