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


1849 Sin is an offense against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is failure in genuine love for God and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods. It wounds the nature of man and injures human solidarity. It has been defined as "an utterance, a deed, or a desire contrary to the eternal law."121

For the sake of clarification :slightly_smiling_face:, we can say that any torture or violation of human dignity is a deed contrary to eternal law.

Sin is not only caused by “perverse attachment to certain goods”, unless hatred itself can be categorized as such.


Yes i believe toture would follow under that heading. But the catechism had not yet been written, :joy:


Can you come up with an example, Steve, where you can really demonstrate the “knowing” in his mind, that all relevant information is at the forefront?

I invite any readers to jump in and try to find an example or create a scenario in which a person knows what they are doing when they sin.

Thanks! :slightly_smiling_face:


Father God warned Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, or surely they will die. I do not believe that Adam and Eve were fully aware of the consequence of their sin. Did they know that they would be cast out of the Garden of Eden? Did they know that God would distant Himself from mankind and return to the heavens? Did they understand what God meant when He said, “surely you will die?” Did they understand that this was a spiritual death? And that all mankind will now be awaiting the coming Messiah? Did they understand that the soul would be without God’s love, and that the soul would be in ruins awaiting to be redeemed and salvaged by the divine powers of Christ? I believe if Adam and Eve were fully aware of these things, like God would be, they would have never of sinned. I do not believe that mankind is fully aware of what they are doing when they sin. For if they were completely aware of what they were doing, they would not sin. IMHO :slightly_smiling_face:


Has your observation of this helped in forgiving others and yourself? Has it helped in realizing, knowing God’s forgiveness?


post 126 I offered the following, (btw you didn’t answer)

.“But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear him”

That knowledge is front and center. Jesus is telling us about Himself. How far would you take that with Him?


My observations that we are not fully aware of what we do when we sin has humbled me in knowing that I am stupid before God and has made me realize that His love and mercy is greater than I know. For, God and His Son Jesus truly do see things clearly and for the way they are. Their vigilance would be much greater than ours and it would be hard for our minds to grasp the magnitude of their understanding.


I think you may perhaps not understand what I am asking for, but let me give this a try.

Let’s say a person has in his mind, at the forefront, .“But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear him”.

Is this the person who you are saying is simultaneously, at the moment, choosing to sin?


Me too! It is no wonder that we are called “sheep” in scripture, we are so incredibly dull-witted. Awareness is an extremely humbling experience. A long time ago, before I was “OneSheep” I was “dumbsheep”.

But what about forgiveness? In seeing the blindness and lack of awareness, has it helped you be able to forgive at a deeper level?


Are you suggesting ignorance is constant and even permanent? I would suggest that sounds like one way some maybe most, use to game the system.


No, I am not. Are you going to answer my question?


Not that I have given it much thought, but I will have to say yes…it has opened my eyes to an inadequate condition in which we all possess and I have humbly seen it in others and offered a deeper level of forgiveness. I need to practice this more in my life though.

You once called yourself, “dumbsheep”…lol.

I used to call myself, “lowlyservant.”


We know from the Gospel that Jesus “grew in wisdom”. So Jesus must have had the human experience of doing something in ignorance, and learned something from His errors.

The word “understand” means to “stand among”. At a deeper level of forgiveness, we do as Jesus did from the cross, He “stood among”, he entered into the mindset of the people who were wanting Him punished and gone.

So when He says, “forgive them, for they know not what they do”, he is forgiving at a deeper level, a level that says “I could have been among these people doing the very same thing if I had the same awareness they do.” This is more than merely offering, it is truly forgiving from the heart, right?

When we take this step, we are truly connecting with people in a deeper way, right? It is a new wholeness, a deeper holiness. Can you relate to this?


I believe that Jesus would have “grew in wisdom” through His experiences and not out of ignorance or error. Jesus said, “forgive them, for they do not know what they do” implies that he understood them and their actions, not that He would do the very same thing if He was in their position. Because of His great compassion and understanding, He could forgive with a deeper level of understanding in His heart. His mercy would be perfect and not clouded with shades of darkness. He would no longer see us for what we were, but what we have become. There would be no residual resentments as with us humans. God and Jesus are perfect. They are high above all the angels and the Creators of all things both visible and invisible.


We are pretty much in agreement. If a person is “growing in wisdom”, they are growing from a position of less awareness to more awareness. Ignorance is a harsh word, it sort of says “blameably lacking” or something like that. Seeing God’s perfection, a merciful perfection, takes all the blame out of it. People make errors, they are not necessarily errors in compassion, but they follow the same pattern we make an error, we learn something, we grow. That is what experiential growth is about, correct? If we say that Jesus was incapable of error, then we start to move into the direction of those who said that Jesus was not really human.

You left out a very important part of what I said, though:

Obviously, Jesus had the awareness of the divine, but because He experienced what it means to be human, (and we can all relate to that human experience) He also was able to put Himself in their shoes. A very important aspect of mature forgiveness is being able to understand the lack of awareness, blindness, mental illness, etc. involved when people make hurtful choices, and you are demonstrating this great humility.

Can you look at the worst actors in history and say “I could have been this person doing the very same thing if I had the same (lack of)awareness he did”? For me, it takes a realization that we truly do not know what we are doing when we sin.


Yes, you do have a tendency to focus on people getting away with something while I am trying to bring it back to understanding! :slightly_smiling_face:

Yes, some people remain ignorant and blind a very long time, even a lifetime. Fr. Anthony de Mello said, “Anytime you have a negative feeling toward anyone, you’re living in an illusion.” Yes, people can hold grudges for a lifetime, and therefore have the illusions for a lifetime.

And when the illusions are relevant to our behavior, we certainly do not know what we are doing.


Understanding? People quickly understand gaming the system.


When Adam was caught having eaten the apple, did he take ownership of his actions when confronted by God? Nope! What did he do? Adam immediately blamed Eve. THEN he blamed God, by saying the woman YOU gave me caused me to eat the fruit you said NOT TO EAT… Was Adam some poor ignorant schmuck? He came up with that argument awfully quick. Where did he learn that argument from that he gave? Why didn’t he apologize? It would have been the first excuse ever given and the first apology.

ALL Sin can be boiled down to disobedience. And the net of that, the first human being didn’t own up to what he did, he doubled down on his offense, by blaming Eve and ultimately God, but not himself… and that’s exactly the approach you’re taking in your approach. No body is guilty. No body knows what they are doing when they sin…which is the topic of the thread… Ultimately the consequences to this topic, taking your approach,

People come away with a blurred understanding of their part of wrong, or even indifferentism to it, because of misapplied or false sentimentality towards God and their own responsibility in sin. They lower the bar, rather than keeping the bar high where it was put there by Jesus, with solid teaching.,

For those who have tried to fashion Jesus into an overly pleasant, overly affirming sort of fellow in all situations, rather than the uncompromising God & Lord that He is, … well, I would suggest, they will have a rude awakening on “the” day… Because the Jesus who is there, said the following

“But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear him”


You are referring to the conscience, yes, it is there but it takes experience and awareness to have access to it. A conscience can indeed be malformed, misinformed.

Can you come up with a scenario where a person knows what he is doing?

thanks for your response!:slightly_smiling_face:


Yes it’s the same person.

See my previous post to you for an example


You’re not alone in this. I’ve done it as well.

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