Mortal sin and full knowledge


#1

If you are unsure if something is a mortal sin, you think it isn’t but that it might be, and you do that action, do you sin even if it turns out you were right about it not being a sin? Or is that a case of lacking full knowledge?


#2

Never mind. That situation couldn’t be a mortal sin: not grave matter, didnt think it was but thought maybe it could have been. Maybe a venial sin described above methinks.


#3

Knowing something is a sin of any kind and making a conscious choice to do it anyway is a grave matter.


#4

:confused:

Venial sins are not grave matters.


#5

Normally, I don’t think a person who has a doubtful conscience should act.

If you think something is a mortal sin (whether it is or isn’t), you could be committing mortal sin (if all three conditions are present) simply because you are WILLING to commit mortal sin.

Consistent doubts presented on this site means that you should ask yourself if you are scrupulous or not.


#6

Interesting point. But what if, for example, I kill a common house fly thinking that it is a mortal sin. The matter is objectively not “grave”, and therefore can’t constitute a mortal sin no matter my disposition. Or perhaps you are right - maybe the gravity of a small matter like killing a fly can result in mortal sin if our hearts are truly disposed that way?


#7

It’s not the venial sin. It’s the purposeful action of “it’s a sin, but, eh, I’ll just ask for forgiveness later.”


#8

A deliberate venial sin – is a* deliberate venial sin*. Not a mortal sin.

That is what that is called. Yes such is worse than one that is not fully deliberate. But it is not mortal sin.

(this post is responding the this post not the original post of the thread).


#9

Let me simply say that if one thinks something can be a mortal sin - one is to normally not act -but seek to know if it is sinful or not (yes one could sin).

Given that there are those on this forum who struggle with scruples - let me leave it at that - and let me *quickly *note that *they *can be in a *different boat than others *- for they see or fear sin where sin is not or fear mortal sin where it is not - they need to have a *“regular confessor” *who knows them and their scruples and can direct them and even give them general principles for them to follow in the case of their particular difficulties. Remember they can be in a different boat than others - given principles for them to follow that others would not. (Thus they might do Y based on the direction of their confessor though they feel fear or have thoughts that Y is sin- and not sin.)


#10

Thus they would follow their confessor due to their scrupulosity - in all but manifest sin (- like he says to murder someone or use contraception- such things that are rather clear- they would not do such).


#11

A deliberate venial sin can be completed totally coincident with separate mortal sin. Stealing a pencil from someone lacks gravity, and is therefore not a venial sin. But if it is done with malice (the desire to harm another with full knowledge, while flaunting the sin in God’s face), the malice itself could easily be mortal.

Ignorance of the sinfulness of the action is not always a valid excuse. Some actions transgress the law of God written in our hearts. Some actions done in ignorance are done so only because the evildoer has neglected his conscience formation or willfully avoided the necessary studying when the opportunity was available. This could easily heighten, not diminish, the sinful nature of the action.

This determination must be made with all the facts. If unsure, a penitent should likely confess it anyway.


#12

#13

If you think something might be mortal sin, and you do it anyway, you have incurred mortal sin.


#14

??? Not necessarily.


#15

??? Presumption is a mortal sin.


#16

If a person commits an act thinking that the act was a sin of grave matter, but in fact was only of venial matter, that person would have committed a mortal sin because thinking the act was of grave matter is sufficient to satisfy that condition.


#17

Given that there are those on this forum who struggle with scruples – let me quickly note that they can be in* a different boat *than others - for they see or fear sin where sin is not or fear mortal sin where it is not - they need to have a “regular confessor” who knows them and their scruples and can direct them and even give them general principles for them to follow in the case of their particular difficulties. Remember they can be in a different boat than others - given principles for them to follow that others would not.

Thus they might do Y based on the direction of their confessor though they feel fear or have thoughts that Y is sin- and not sin.

Thus they would follow their confessor due to their scrupulosity - in all but manifest sin (- like he says to murder someone or use contraception- such things that are rather clear- they would not do such).


#18

Yes, but in such a scenario, it is not necessarily the act itself that constitutes the sin. For example, killing a common house fly is NOT a mortal sin. If a person kills the fly thinking it is a mortal sin, the act of killing the fly remains morally neutral, while the person’s intention to commit a mortal sin remains.

In other words, a mortal sin can never come from an action which lacks the objective gravity necessary. Thus, the act of killing a common house fly (at least in any reasonably foreseeable circumstances) is simply not a mortal sin, where as the act of killing an innocent human being is objectively of mortal gravity. It is in the person’s interior disposition towards the act - and not the act itself (in situations where the act is not objectively a mortal sin) - that the mortal sin is committed. The grave matter for the sin is the desire to separate from God’s grace.


#19

Does that really matter? The end result is the same - a mortal sin.


#20

Of course it matters. We must always remember that there is an intrinsic level of morality attached to every human act. If we forget this, it becomes easy to fall into subjectivism.


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