That you wish someone would think about someone or something falsely like that the truth is for example(hypotetical), that you baked a chicken pie but wish someone else would think that its a pork pie without doing anything to make the other decevie.
Like a practical joke?
I am sorry Tim, but I don’t grasp your question. If you are asking is it OK to make other people believe that something that is supposed to be something is not what it is supposed to be it is not right. You did mention pork and chicken. I think who ever taste it know that it is not pork if it is chicken (and right now I don’t have a clue about what I write anymore) so…
Let’s approach this another and maybe more fruitful aspect. If you tell someone you are a pilot when you really are the postman, it is wrong if you want to gain something out of it. So that is a sin. If you don’t want to gain anything from it it is also a sin because you lie. The best advice I can give you is that stick to the truth and nobody will get confused ot mislead.
Its an extremely frightening notion that you should want to do that to anyone if it were to achieve an end beneficial to yourself or detrimental to the person you are deceiving even if you think that deception is to the good of that person! But it can swing both ways, and is a moral judgment call. Heres a scenario, you have a daughter that is dating a guy you don’t like, your daughter is a clever girl at medical school and he’s just a guy who works at the gas station, he’s not good enough for her. So you decide to invent a story that you saw him kissing another girl who works at the gas station. Bad thing. On the other hand, your daughter has a terminal disease but she wants to go to Disneyland before she dies, she’s due to fly their in a month but the doctors tell you she only has a week left to live, you start packing the bags and discuss all the fun things you are going to do. Heartbreaking but good thing.
Well let’s see which commandment would we be breaking ok?
Jesus told us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, this means that we cannot wish harm to come to them.
So do your action “wishing them to believe a falsehood or be in a lie” squares with the commandment?
Now wether this is “venial” or “mortal” depends on the degree or gravity of the situation.
That is, what are you thinking that this person should believe.
For example you wish your neighbor believes he is a murderer when he is not, this would cause grave harm to him.
Jesus said that harboring evil thoughts is just as bad as actually commiting the action, therefore I would confess this to my priest as an actual sin and would pray that I get rid of this tendency.
Of course if you are pulling a prank on someone so the “wish” is not a permanent state on your part then there is no sin.
I think it depends on the circumstances and the motive. I think the poster said let them believe something without actually telling them the thing is true. Like if you bring in cookies that are delicious and everyone thinks you made them but you didn’t. You didn’t say you made them, they just assumed you made them and you did not correct their assumption. That’s the kind of thing I think he’s asking if it’s wrong. Do you let someone think something that’s not true even though you never said it was true they just assumed it. I think it depends on the circumstance and the motive. If someone thinks someone stole something and you saw the real person who stole it, yes it’s wrong to let everyone think it’s the wrong guy. On the other hand if your kid made you something that you think looks or tastes awful but she thinks you like it, do you tell her you really hate the thing she worked on for you? Is it wrong to let her think you like it? That’s where circumstance and motive comes in to play I think.
But letting your kid think you like something she worked hard on for you I think that falls into treating your neighbor as you would want to be treated. I wouldn’t want my parents to tell me they thought something I worked on as a kid tasted or looked awful even if it really did look or taste awful. Or if an adult gives you a gift that they saved up for and hope that you like and you hate it, is it wrong to let them think you like it? :shrug: I wouldn’t want someone to tell me they hate my gift. So letting someone think I like it is treating others as I would want to be treated if I gave a gift. So I think motive and circumstance have to come into play. You never said you liked it, they just assumed you did and you didn’t correct them, so you never told a lie technically.
The moral problem of truth and lie is deeper than the 0/1 magic of do we manage to avoid a direct lie. This is not to say that direct lies are okay, but the opposite, the intention to have someone else believe something which is false is problematic. This said, not all deceit is morally wrong, and not all information must be volunteered. For example, I can’t see anything wrong in the action of military commanders of old who had servants raise dust or who lined up civilians to pretend that they have more troops, or the old classic fake retreat. Or leaking false orders. The intention there is very clearly to have the opponent believe something which is false. Now, I’m a bit torn on stuff like fake identities or issuing fake orders to enemy troops.
Anyway, I’m pretty sure that intending for someone who has the right to know the truth from us to misinterpret our words and think something false would be wrong. How much wrong I don’t know, but I don’t know. When he doesn’t have the right to know the truth, the situation gets more complicated because the absence of a right to know the truth doesn’t make deceit a fair game.
Not necessarily. Sometimes we believe it’s best for others if death comes unnoticed, but they actually prefer to be able to prepare themselves if given the choice.
TALK TO YOUR PRIEST about your scrupulosity.