Is intentionally tempting others a sin?


#1

Let’s say police have a drug abuse suspect, but they don’t have any evidence to arrest him. so they (or ordering a captured drug dealer) contact the suspect saying they have some drug to offer. if the suspect accepts the offer, they’ll arrest the suspect and will charge him just on this case. this is a pretty common practice here. so if the police are sinful for tempting the suspect?


#2

In your example, no.

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#3

Would you please elaborate, Trelow? If you mentioned the CCC in response to the thread and not just as part of your signature, can you refer to the appropriate place in it?


#4

Intentionally tempting someone to sin is indeed a sin… boy, these hypothetical’s drive me bonkers…

Peace :thumbsup:


#5

My opinion is that they are not helping him sin because he is arrested before he ever has a chance to use the drugs. Maybe you could say that they tempted him but at the same time you could say that they also prevented him from actually sinning. If they waiting until he had taken the drugs then that would be a different story. I have seen on COPS how they send these undercover cops to pick up prostitutes and the minute the prostitute accepts the offer of sex for money they pull over and arrest her. Again, I do not think they are really tempting her to sin as much as they are stopping her from sinning. Another point to remember is that they are not allowed to encourage a crime, that would be entrapment. They are very careful to make sure that the suspect initiates the entire ordeal, they are there mainly to be witnesses to the crime. I support law enforcement in these sometimes dangerous maneuvers to limit the amount of crime on our streets.


#6

I support law enforcement in these sometimes dangerous maneuvers to limit the amount of crime on our streets.

I understand the sentiment but we must always keep in mind that we should not commit evil to do good.

Let’s think of this in another context. Suppose a priest wanted to warn one of his parishioners about lusting after other women in his heart. Do you think it would be appropriate for the priest to invite the parishioner to have dinner with him in a strip club, watch him closely and then spring a speech on him when the guy’s eyes started wandering?


#7

[quote=abcdefg]Let’s say police have a drug abuse suspect, but they don’t have any evidence to arrest him. so they (or ordering a captured drug dealer) contact the suspect saying they have some drug to offer. if the suspect accepts the offer, they’ll arrest the suspect and will charge him just on this case. this is a pretty common practice here. so if the police are sinful for tempting the suspect?
[/quote]

This is a difficult ethical question, but if the suspect is truly innocent, he wouldn’t give in to those “temptations”, no matter how much he was subjected to it. Besides, the motives of those officers was not to cause him to sin for its own sake, and the officers are not interested in the drugs for their own benefit, but to “prove” that he had actually been doing it and is in fact capable of doing so. So I believe the officers’ motives would be the determining factor here in judging if it were a sin. In this case I doubt if it can be truly called sinful.

This is just my opinion though.

Gerry :slight_smile:


#8

[quote=Jeremy]I understand the sentiment but we must always keep in mind that we should not commit evil to do good.

Let’s think of this in another context. Suppose a priest wanted to warn one of his parishioners about lusting after other women in his heart. Do you think it would be appropriate for the priest to invite the parishioner to have dinner with him in a strip club, watch him closely and then spring a speech on him when the guy’s eyes started wandering?
[/quote]

I get your point but I also think that your analogy misses the point that I was trying to make because in your analogy the parishioner is actually sinning by looking at the women in the strip club. In the original post the suspect is not actually buying or using drugs, only trying to! He is stopped before he ever has a chance to sin or commit a crime. That may or may not be a significant difference but it is different, at least in my mind. How do you see it?


#9

I see what you are saying, in fact it had occurred to me when I wrote the analogy.

I suppose it comes down to the notion of entrapment, which I think of as being “encouraging someone else to do something wrong which they would not do in ordinary circumstances”. In the strip club example, there is entrapment because to coerce a normal man into a position where he is surrounded by many naked women is to encourage sin, which is wrong.

Here is perhaps a more appropriate analogy involving lust. Suppose again we have a priest and a parishioner as before, but this time instead of taking the man to a strip club, he takes the man out to dinner at a normal restaurant while accompanied by an attractive young woman, dressed modestly, who is a friend of the priest. In this case there is no entrapment because being in the company of an attractive woman who is not their wife is a normal temptation men face every day.

So I change my mind. Under certain circumstances what the police do is perfectly fine :slight_smile:


#10

Yea, I am pretty sure that we both see it the same way. The man in your last analogy may still be tempted to lust even in the presence of a modestly dressed woman, however that would not be the fault of the priest. Like you said he is in the presence of modestly dressed women on a daily basis so it is his responsibility to discipline himself accordingly.


#11

[quote=Jeremy]Would you please elaborate, Trelow? If you mentioned the CCC in response to the thread and not just as part of your signature, can you refer to the appropriate place in it?
[/quote]

I reccomend the CCC because of the enormous emount of posts by abcdefg that could be resolved with it.

In the forementioned instance the temptation leads the tempted into a situation where he could get help to overcome his temptations. A much greater good, including salvation of the abusers soul outweighs the fact that you are “tempting” him with something you aren’t going to give him anyways.

Besides if they were not to “tempt” him, then someone else would actually sell him the drugs and he would use them, further cutting himself off from God.

In that instance they aren’t tempting him to sin, they are tempting him to get arrested and rehabilitated.


#12

[quote=martino]My opinion is that they are not helping him sin because he is arrested before he ever has a chance to use the drugs. Maybe you could say that they tempted him but at the same time you could say that they also prevented him from actually sinning. If they waiting until he had taken the drugs then that would be a different story.
[/quote]

It is a sin to decide to do a sin. What I mean is, say I decide to rob a bank and begin my plans, but fate intervenes in them somehow (maybe I get arrested for some previous crime). It was still a sin for me to choose to rob a bank, even if I didn’t get to finish my plans.


#13

[quote=Pug]It is a sin to decide to do a sin. What I mean is, say I decide to rob a bank and begin my plans, but fate intervenes in them somehow (maybe I get arrested for some previous crime). It was still a sin for me to choose to rob a bank, even if I didn’t get to finish my plans.
[/quote]

Ok but the way the police operate they are only going after those that have already began commintting crimes on their own. They cannot put the idea into the head of the suspect, otherwise that would be entrapment. They see a guy who goes to a certain spot during certain times looking to buy drugs, all they do is place themselves in that spot in hopes of catching him “attempt” to buy drugs. Since actually buying drugs is a crime, they set up a phony way for him to think he is buying drugs, and then arrest him. I still do not think there is anything wrong with this, but by all means please correct me if I am wrong.


#14

[quote=martino]Ok but the way the police operate they are only going after those that have already began commintting crimes on their own. They cannot put the idea into the head of the suspect, otherwise that would be entrapment. They see a guy who goes to a certain spot during certain times looking to buy drugs, all they do is place themselves in that spot in hopes of catching him “attempt” to buy drugs. Since actually buying drugs is a crime, they set up a phony way for him to think he is buying drugs, and then arrest him. I still do not think there is anything wrong with this, but by all means please correct me if I am wrong.
[/quote]

“Entrapment” is defined as enticing someone to commit a crime they would not otherwise commit. That precludes “tempting” someone to sin.


#15

[quote=vern humphrey]“Entrapment” is defined as enticing someone to commit a crime they would not otherwise commit. That precludes “tempting” someone to sin.
[/quote]

Isn’t that basically what I was saying?

The police in the above scenarios do not entice people to do anything, that is the point I was trying to make.


#16

[quote=Trelow]In the forementioned instance the temptation leads the tempted into a situation where he could get help to overcome his temptations. A much greater good, including salvation of the abusers soul outweighs the fact that you are “tempting” him with something you aren’t going to give him anyways.
[/quote]

I don’t agree with your logic here. No amount of good justifies committing evil, even to the point of saving his soul.


Matt 26:23-24: Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born."


While a good thing came out of Judas’ betrayal of Jesus – Christ’s sacrifice for all men – Judas himself is still condemned.

The only reason the sort of thing being discussed in this thread would be okay is if no evil were committed at all (i.e. if you are not actually tempting someone to commit sin but merely contriving a neutral situation to see what they will do). Extreme caution seems required.


#17

[quote=martino]Ok but the way the police operate they are only going after those that have already began commintting crimes on their own. They cannot put the idea into the head of the suspect, otherwise that would be entrapment.
[/quote]

I posted on this topic because I am troubled by it. I don’t have too much problem with putting a bunch of cameras where you suspect the guy will go and buy drugs, nor with marking bills or something so that you can trace them. Although, it does bug me in some sense that a completely preventable sin is not being prevented (you don’t stop the guy, rather you let him continue so that you can prosecute him).

I guess I get hung up on if a police officer poses as a drug seller, well, for the trap to work, you have to literally hope the guy will come and buy from the officer. You have to want the guy to do a sin. It just seems wrong.

There is some distinction here between the person is generally willing to buy drugs and a specific instance of that person buying drugs. If I had a friend who was always willing to spraypaint houses, it still would be wrong to encourage him to do it on a specific occasion.

I don’t know. I’m glad I’m not a police officer.


#18

[quote=Jeremy]I don’t agree with your logic here. No amount of good justifies committing evil, even to the point of saving his soul.


Matt 26:23-24: Jesus replied, ÒThe one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born."


While a good thing came out of Judas’ betrayal of Jesus – Christ’s sacrifice for all men – Judas himself is still condemned.

The only reason the sort of thing being discussed in this thread would be okay is if no evil were committed at all (i.e. if you are not actually tempting someone to commit sin but merely contriving a neutral situation to see what they will do). Extreme caution seems required.
[/quote]

Judas had no intent of saving anyones soul. His was a purely selfish motive.

And in the mentioned instance the police are not leading him into sin. They are leading him away from sin, circumventing the occasion of sin.


#19

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