Does anyone ever know what they are doing when they sin?


Seems like you are selling your advice, not your observation

You are selling the point, everyone is ignorant. You’re arguing No one really knows what they are doing when they sin the topic of the thread. Fast forward that argument to its conclusion, then no one is guilty of anything they do because they didn’t know what they were doing when they sin.

So what did Jesus mean by “forgive them for They” don’t know what they do?

Who are “THEY” / “THEM” who don’t/didn’t “KNOW”?

Taking a guess, remember what one of the soldiers said at the foot of the cross after the earthquake?
by those words, They (those pagans) admitted, prior to that event, they didn’t know who Jesus really was. Must have been one heck of an earthquake

either way, Here’s how the CCC puts it.
1791 This ignorance can often be imputed to personal responsibility. This is the case when a man “takes little trouble to find out what is true and good, or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin.” In such cases, the person is culpable for the evil he commits.

IOW, their ignorance isn’t innocent.

Can you find an example of a person who is ignorant, and intends to be ignorant, and knows what he is doing in choosing such ignorance? Can you even create such a scenario? I’ve found it impossible, one always ends up with a person who is not rational.

Try it Steve! It’s impossible.

Thanks for your responses!


Yes BUT that person has died and the development of their intellect is complete as it will be until they reach their JUST eternal reward

PRIDE: Pride is the root in some manner of ALL sins. So its prevalence extends to a multiplicity of situtions

Absolutely & precisely correct :grinning:

[quote=“OneSheep, post:84, topic:456249”]
[1]Are you saying that God judges people instead of forgiving? That is going to depend on the image we have, right?

[2]btw: Are you yelling?
NO :grin: just emphasis

[quote=“OneSheep, post:84, topic:456249”]
[3]Are you saying that God judges people instead of forgiving? That is going to depend on the image we have, right?

Actually in the sense that it is WE who choose our eternal reward by our lives choices, and God, dare I say :only" confirms our choices. But the direct asner is

God Bless you,


I’m having trouble distinguishing those two sentences. Don’t they mean the same thing?

If I am “selling”, it is for the purpose of sharing the joy of understanding and forgiving people. It is a very awesome feeling!

That is your conclusion, Steve, not mine. Everyone is guilty of every sin they commit… I say that at the risk of being very repetitive. Are you defining “guilt” as “God holds something against them”? That might change things a little. “Guilt” to me means imputability, it means people taking ownership of their choices. Do you mean that no one is “culpable/blameable” by my words? That is going to depend on the observer, but for sure we are called to forgive rather than blame, right? Yes, with understanding I do drop blame/desire to punish/.

This may seem a bit tedious, but it looks like we are defining some terms, maybe, which is something that needs to happen in the beginning, but I always fail to remember…:roll_eyes:

Well, there was everyone present, plus some:

Acts 3:15 You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. 16 By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.

17 “Now, fellow Israelites, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders…

Innocent or not, it is still their personal responsibility, but again, I cannot create a scenario where a person knows what they are doing when they choose ignorance. Just try, Steve, and you can see what I’m talking about. Try to determine what is going on in a person’s mind when he chooses ignorance, whatever it is, its not rational.

Well, try answering this question: “what is going on in the mind of Fred, who is choosing to be ignorant?”


I think I have lost the reference. I looked back, but I could not figure out who you are talking about. (who died?)

Well, there needs to be some definition of terms, but yes, people do desire status, and the desire for status is really pervasive, and enters into so many choices. When people are caught up in their desires, they do not make rational choices, they do not know what they are doing. Sin is irrational.

What do you think of the image of a “Gotcha!-God”.? For this image, God does not try to bring in the sinner, but simply looks at the list of what they did in their lives, regardless of why, and says, “see here, you thought you were in the right, but you were not”. “Gotcha!” “Now, to the down elevator with you.”

Thanks for your continued blessings! Back atcha


Good Morning, Steve

I woke up this morning realizing that this is probably the most significant thing, the most underlying statement in your post.

You see, I am not saying anything new. Sin is irrational, by definition. If the person is rational, that is, they are operating with full knowledge, no blindness, with all the relevant information at the forefront, he won’t sin.

However: Your statement reflects a very natural recoil to the observation that people do not know what they are doing when they sin! Our condemnation of the sinner is an operation of the conscience, our condemnation of ourselves (emotional guilt) is what guides our behaviors when we are growing up, before we can truly allow love of neighbor to take over. Ask yourself “If I really saw that every sin I have ever done involved an unwanted ignorance, would I be more likely to sin?”.

If I am more likely to sin because I have forgiven myself in this way, through understanding an underlying ignorance, then perhaps it would be better to reject the observation! I am not ready to forgive myself, I am not ready for love to be my guide, I still need the “stick” to keep me on the right path. It’s okay.

Jesus invites us to love one another. In doing so, we no longer need the stick to guide us. The stick is still there, so fears about the stick going away, though subconscious, are unfounded. But the stick itself becomes rather obsolete when love of neighbor is truly our guiding principle. In the mean time, in forgiving oneself, which is truly knowing God’s forgiveness, we live a new “wholeness”, a holiness. When I condemn myself, beat up on myself about past actions, I am in a stressful state, enslaved, not living an “eternal life” where the “yoke is easy and the burden light”. When I instead forgive myself, I reconcile within, and I am free!

What I am saying, then, is that Jesus invites us to forgive ourselves in this deeper way. We can realize that we do not know what we are doing when we have sinned, and this brings us to a deeper reconciliation. Indeed, we can find that every choice we have ever made involves good intent, but our sight was not clear, we were usually blinded by some desire that subconsciously pushed away rational thought.

I say the above knowing full well that no amount of talking about it can convince anyone. In order to understand what I am saying, a person has to make the effort to understand their own sin by using Luke 23:34 as a guide.


The point being made, you were no longer giving just an observation you were making your argument, selling your opinion,

Fast forward your argument to its conclusion, then no one is guilty of anything they do because they didn’t know what they were doing when they sin.

Look at the topic of the thread.

all emphasis mine

“Does ANYONE ever know what they are doing when they sin”?

That question suggests that no one ever knows what they are doing when they sin.

In extension,
.if no one knows what they are doing when they sin, then no one can be guilty of sin.
.if no one is guilty of sin, Jesus actions were a waste

I gave the example from the CCC
1791 This ignorance can often be imputed to personal responsibility. This is the case when a man “takes little trouble to find out what is true and good, or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin.” In such cases, the person is culpable for the evil he commits."


You’re having a discussion about faith and the Catholic Church with non Catholics. They all have smart phones. You ask what Ignatius of Antioch, said about the Catholic Church. It’s probably fair to say most of them don’t even know who Ignatius is. How long do you suppose it takes for the answer to appear on everyone’s phone ? What if one of them was exhibiting anti Catholic sentiments, and didn’t want to know the answer, because of their bias, so they didn’t search the name. In this case, they deliberately refuse to educate them self.

I just gave the example previously. One choosing not to know, chooses to be ignorant.


If we can forgive ourselves, why did we need a savior? Savior from WHAT? Savior from WHO?

Jesus, the one who judges ALL said the following, knowing everything from the foundation of the world

Matthew 7:13-14 ,

Jesus doesn’t back off His statement
Luke 13:23-28 ,

Why only a few are saved? Jesus said,

because wickedness is multiplied, most men’s love will grow cold. Those who endure to the end (the few) are saved. When the gospel is preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations; then the end will come.
Mt 24:12-14,

moral of the story, always be prepared we don’t know when the end is coming for each of us.


Steve, you are always coming up with these really great questions. I think that for some people, knowing that God forgives them is enough, and that is that. For many others, though, they can know of God’s forgiveness but still hang onto resentment towards themselves. For these people, they don’t truly realize God’s forgiveness because they are still imprisoned by resentment. When a person is forgiven by God, it comes from God. When a person forgives himself, it still comes from God. Jesus saves us from our captivity, this thread addresses the captivity to resentment. Forgiveness sets us free.

By following Him, we are saved from our enslavement to desires, emotions, resentments, etc.

Yes, I addressed these earlier.

Well, yes, that would be a reason to “be prepared” based on fear of “the end”. However, we also have much more reason to “be prepared” or to follow Christ. We have a Kingdom to build, a Kingdom built upon the values of mercy, love and forgiveness. We can all see that in our world today these principles are not prevalent. Do you agree? Christians are often criticized for being too focused on the afterlife instead of the world we live in. It is a valid criticism, is it not? Jesus was addressing life starting now, not just the afterlife. In fact, his references to the afterlife alone were very rare. Eternal life begins now, right?


. If one’s contrition (sorrow) is imperfect , how does one then know they have really been forgiven?

After all,

. why did Jesus institute the sacrament of reconciliation? Reconciliation for what and with WHOM are we reconciled?


[quote=“steve-b, post:105, topic:456249”]
. why did Jesus institute the sacrament of reconciliation? Reconciliation for what and with WHOM are we reconciled?[/quote]

I think you may have misunderstood the meaning of my words. What I am saying is that people do, practice the Sacrament of Reconciliation and still have not forgiven themselves. Most, of course, practice the Sacrament and are able to really feel and know His forgiveness. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is very important, for it brings Jesus into the healing process in a very explicit way. God always forgives us, and the Sacrament is there to make His forgiveness known to us in a very tangible way.

Forgiveness through understanding oneself involves a deeper reconciliation, and we were given the means to do so, in part, by Luke23:34.


Did I tell you about the Linn’s book Good Goats: Healing Our Image of God? While the book may present an image of God that is contrary to one’s experience in some way, it is still worth a read.

For example, Jesus asks us not to worry or to fear, so to worry about salvation or to fear God’s wrath goes against the call to avoid such enslavements, and belief in a wrathful God is hardly a means to knowing a real secure relationship.

But Steve, have you noticed how I am talking mostly about people, specifically a means of understanding people, and your own responses have been centered on the fear that people will misbehave if we have such understanding? Also, you are expressing words that are meant to use fear to get people to avoid sin. There is a place for all of these words, but I am talking about something more, an invitation by Christ to take a look within, a look that will ultimately lead to seeing the goodness of people.

To go round and round about the ramificatons of understanding why people sin is of no use, what really can bear fruit is the use of the Gift of Understanding to actually understand why people sin, and Jesus gives us the means to do so from the cross. Are you willing to try to understand people in a way that does not involve fear or blame?

For example, Judas defied Jesus and turned Him over to the authorities, which truly was sinful. Can you understand what Judas did, seeing his blindness and ignorance, without blaming him?


[quote=“OneSheep, post:106, topic:456249, full:true”]

My focus is on reality not exceptions which one might deem for them self, which may or may not be reality for them…

Regarding one’s contrition (their sorrow for sin) absent the sacrament of reconciliation, which Jesus established and instituted for good reason

Note: the conditions being identified for contrition

1452 When it (contrition) arises from a love by which God is loved above all else, contrition is called “perfect” (contrition of charity). Such contrition remits venial sins; it also obtains forgiveness of mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible.

1457 According to the Church’s command, “after having attained the age of discretion, each of the faithful is bound by an obligation faithfully to confess serious sins at least once a year.” Anyone who is aware of having committed a mortal sin must not receive Holy Communion, even if he experiences deep contrition, without having first received sacramental absolution, unless he has a grave reason for receiving Communion and there is no possibility of going to confession. Children must go to the sacrament of Penance before receiving Holy Communion for the first time.

Does that even matter in your argument?

Re: your quote, lets put the quote into context

Lk 23:34

And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they cast lots to divide his garments.

Cutting to the chase, you’ve been arguing that hell is empty. Everyone is forgiven. Everyone is saved. No one is held responsible for anything they’ve done. No one is lost…



Refer to my previous post.

As for sheep and goats, your opening point,

The goats in the example I’m thinking of were separated from the sheep. The goats were put on the left. And based on the language Jesus used in the example, and let’s not forget, the one doing all the judging is the one telling the story and giving the example, it was a horrible ending for the goats


Agreed. The sections you quoted have to do with reconciliation and the sacrament of reconciliation, which involves the person making some steps and having contrition.

This would be an assumption. Like I said, reconciliation involves two. If a person refuses God, they are choosing hell. It would take an uncaring God to trap a person who has inadvertently chosen hell, and it would take a very stubbornly unaware person to choose hell, but it is possible, in theory, as people ultimately have a choice.

Have I been saying hell is empty? No, this thread is about understanding people

Everyone is forgiven? By God, yes, and by me all people I ever held anything against, yes.

Everyone is saved? That involves choice on the part of the person. Salvation involves contrition, humility, letting go of anger, etc.

No one is responsible for anything they have done? You have brought this up many times and I have answered the same way every time. Have you read my posts? We are all responsible. In fact, the more aware a person is, the less he is caught up in self-condemnation, the more able he is to respond for his sin, take ownership of his shortcomings.

No one is lost? Is this another reference to salvation?

Going to give Judas a try? :slightly_smiling_face:


Isn’t it really always about salvation? Your argument is, no one knows what they are doing when they sin.

BTW I think you missed this one Does anyone ever know what they are doing when they sin?


Well, I suppose it is about salvation, in a global sense, and a personal sense. It is about salvation in a global sense, because the more people can understand each other, the more forgiveness will happen, and violence can end (creating the Kingdom).

On a personal level, use of the gift of Understanding enhances forgiveness, which leads to reconciliation within and without; this is a salvation.

Well, it works this way. If I see that all people like cheesecake, then I could chalk that up to observation, and say “all people like cheesecake”. It is established as a fact in my mind. Now, let’s say I get on here and press the observation. What would be the purpose? It would be a very superficial purpose. Instead, I press the observation of this thread to get people to pick up the Gift of Understanding and use it, for the benefit of everyone involved. It is more than simply an opinion, it is an observation that when revealed has a purpose, and the purpose was initiated in me through the Gospel, specifically Jesus’ understanding and forgiveness from the cross.

Opinions are philosophical stuff, they belong there. This is about spirituality.

When you are using the word “guilty”, you mean “blame”, right? So do you mean that the conclusion is that everyone is forgiven, which is expressed in the quote (Pope Francis) I have in my profile?

Well, we do keep going around about this, don’t we? If “guilty” means “imputed to”, then my observation has absolutely no effect on guilt. Just because a person does not know what they are doing when they make a choice, it is still their choice. No one made them make the choice. If “guilty” means “to be blamed, to have something held against, to be resented” then yes, no one is held to blame, because they have been forgiven by God. However, we cannot know such forgiveness until we ourselves forgive in an unconditional way, which is what Jesus showed us from the cross.

Please respond to the above paragraph, friend! Steve, you are continuing to put forth really important points to consider.


Well, you are coming from a position of a classic infralapsarian Christology, and there is certainly a place for this. Pope Benedict, Pope Francis, St. Bonaventure, Jon duns Scotus, and others point more in the direction of what is called a Supralapsarian Christology.

It is very natural, pervasive in humanity, to hang onto self-blame (it helps form the conscience). For that reason, people by nature will project that God blames us. It could be observed, even, that a negative view of human worth is an innate state, because such a negative view is the by-product of the workings of the conscience itself. So while there are a few examples of the OT showing us a God who cherishes His people, the general impression is that we messed up, and God holds it against us. An infralapsarian view is that God needed payment for all the crap we do, so Jesus paid the price.

To me, Jesus’ actions were by no means a waste. In a supralapsarian view, (though certainly there are several versions of it, as there are infralapsarian views) God always forgives us, forgave us before He created us. Therefore Jesus comes not to appease God, but to save man from his own nature, to invite us to see our Father as a loving “Abba” who holds nothing against us. In following Christ, in loving God with all we have and loving our neighbor as ourselves, we move toward the perfection that Christ calls us to, a loving perfection, a love that hesitates at nothing to love (note:forgiveness is an act of love), not even the human compulsion for justice. Indeed, in a Supralapasarian view, Jesus calls us to transcend the conscience itself. Note: this does not eliminate the need for punishment as a corrective measure.


So, here is the question: Why is he choosing not to educate himself? What is he thinking?

Here are some examples:

A. "I don’t care about the Church, I am not Christian. Jesus is a myth"
B. "This guy talking to me is a religious fanatic. Religious fanatics are crazy and cause extremism. Whatever he says is to be avoided."
C. “I don’t have time for this. All this talk about heaven, and I’m just trying to find my next source of alcohol.”

Feel free to pick one, or find another alternative. Then, we can discover why the person wants to remain ignorant, and analyze whether his reasons come from a position of awareness.


That is NOT salvation I’m talking bout.

That is NOT salvation I’m talking about

The topic

“Does anyone ever know what they are doing when they sin”?

That suggests no one knows what they are doing when they sin. THAT by definition excuses everyone of sin since it is necessary for one to know wrong to be guilty of doing wrong. To not understand what is wrong and bad, is to also not understand what is good and right as well.


We are ALL made to the image and likeness of God. No one is left out of that description. Therefore, God is working with everyone on this side of eternity to get them to respond via grace. Everybody benefits from grace except those who refuse grace. There are going to be consequences to that, and they will see their errors at the end of their life. See the quote at the end of my last post. And THOSE are ones who even call Him Lord…

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