Mortal sin by thought


Pretty much. Mortal sin requires an act of the will. Intrusive thoughts don’t involve the will until you chose to dwell on them.


Yes, it is not inherently sinful to think about anything. But one can sin in one’s thoughts, through which one commits the will to a disordered act. It is sinful to plan a murder, for instance.


That’s like saying porn is fine because it’s not real. Wrong


Think about this for a second.
Right at this moment there is a person (probably young male) fantasizing about killing a bunch of people. IF he acts, the act is born in the movement of his will to entertain the subject. The act doesn’t happen in a vacuum. The act is formed in the thoughts or imagination, and the person chooses to entertain and encourage it, or fight it off.
You can translate this to a lot of different dangerous fantasies. Sexual violence, Arson. etc…
Does this put the matter in a different light?

(I am not making an equivalence between masturbation and murder, ok? I am addressing your assertion that willfully entertaining thoughts cannot be sinful)

While it’s true that morality evaluates acts not mere temptations or thoughts, the will can be active in these things. An act is not limited to overt physical actions.
I would say that every sin I commit begins with some form of “just a little bit is ok, I can let my guard down…” even while


I would say that is more false equivalency. Think about this for a second: right now millions of kids are murdering millions of people in their video games or watching violent movies thus the thoughts of murder last insects are in their head but it is not real and they are not acting upon it in real life that is a big difference here.


What do you mean false equivalency? What am I equating with what?

If you read the post again, do you think that killers have considered their acts before they perform the physical act?


This. Example: “thou shalt not covet”


I’m saying it does not matter at all what the criminal is thinking about. What matters is the harmful action itself. Similarly one can think absolutely anything they want dream fantasize use their imagination and none of that matters. What matters is their actions and words.


So you have no problem with the fact that right now, the next mass murderer is entertaining, thinking about, planning, and fantasizing about mass murder?
You have no problem with that…


You’re completely missing the point. I’m talking about the billions of people who fantasize lust and dream every day, using their imaginations reading a book or playing a violent video game but of course they would never hurt someone in real life.


But they do. YOU are completely missing the point.
And before someone acts physically, and act of the will to entertain something destructive or perverse has already affected himself and those around him.

Take lust for example: a person entertains lustful thoughts. Those thoughts may lead him to objectify women including his wife if he has one, distracts him from time with children and friends, threatens well being at work. All without necessarily acting physically. People suffer.

The thoughts are probably resulting in feeding physical actions, the physical actions feed the thoughts, in a vicious circle.
Human beings are a unity of body and soul.


And if you want to cast this in terms of the battleground with evil, deception is the tool of Satan. And Satan does not need large lies to accomplish corruption. Small lies are the most cruelly deceptive. Small lies are easy to cozy up to.


You wouldn’t give a 12YO a violent video game because they might act out on it. You don’t give someone porn because they might act out on it. If violent video games or porn were good things in and of themselves we wouldn’t have a problem with them.

This sounds like rationalizing that they are good if used correctly. The same is the case with thoughts


I’m talking about adults here. The same kind of backwards logic was used by those that tried to blame Judas Priest music for using subliminal messages that lead to a tragic suicide. Video Games books and movies are never the cause no matter how violent or defensive they may seem.


But wouldn’t you agree they can weaken the will and have us be more suseptive to evil (indoctrination/desensitization).

Someone who watches a ton of porn becomes desensitized to it and therefore is more prone to devaluing females. The same can be said for impure thoughts. They weaken our will and make us more suseptable to grave sins.

Perhaps you could argue “well not everyone gets indoctrinated” which implies that some people can “handle” porn or impure thoughts better then others and that simply isn’t true


[quote=“Sbee0, post:1, topic:523408”]
When exactly do such sinful thoughts become mortal?

A) You think of these thoughts, understand that it’s wrong and yet continue dwelling on them[/quote]

Potentially mortal - see below.

Not sinful.

Thoughts certainly can be sinful - hatred is an excellent example, as are lustful thoughts - because they can be just as corrosive to our spiritual lives as actions. Of course all sorts of weird, wonderful and worrying thoughts pass through our minds while we’re awake and we can’t really help that. What we need to do however, with the more problematic ones, is make sure we get into the habit of chasing them away rather than allowing ourselves to linger on them. However, although doing so is most probably sinful whether its mortal is another question. Things like our level of tiredness/wakefulness, mood, maturity (or lack thereof) and past experiences can all play a part in increasing our vulnerability and in turn reduce our personal level of culpability.


Just a few comments without addressing specifically A and B in your OP but to dispel some of the errors I think I’ve read in some posts on this thread. Yes, a person can sin mortally or venially in thought, an interior act, without an exterior action. In fact, every mortal or venial sin that passes into an external action such as a word or with the members of the body is first mortally or venially sinful interiorly or in the intellect and will. For the will moves the members of the body and the intellect as well to their acts. There is no such thing as a true human action that doesn’t proceed from the intellect and will of the person. A sin is a voluntary action and this proceeds from the free will working with the intellect of the person. Since the will moves other powers of the soul to their acts and the body too, it is the first subject of sin or of a good action.

Thinking (an operation or act of the intellect) over some thought is an interior human act for we can’t think about something without willing to think about it. An act of the will is a human act too and the will does not will anything without something to will which something is provided by the intellect, namely, some thought or knowledge under the aspect of good. Again, all sins or good acts begin in the intellect and will for them to be called true human acts at all that are either praiseworthy or blameworthy. A thought that sort of spontaneously arises in the intellect doesn’t become either a good or bad interior act of the soul until the person realizes it and then proceeds to either to will to think about it or not. A person steeped in sin has kind of a disposition in themselves for such thoughts and thus they may be culpable to some degree for the very presence of such spontaneous thoughts. However, it takes an act of the will for any thought to be considered a sinful act or a meritorious or praiseworthy good thought.

Take, for example, a murder some person commits with the hand. Do we blame the hand or the man? The whole man is guilty for it is his soul that moves his body and principally his will which is a spiritual power of the soul. All sins are first in the interior of the person’s soul, namely, the intellect and will before they pass out exteriorly to the body or vocally in words. A person can pray to God interiorly without vocal words or using bodily members and this is meritorious, a good human act. Conversely and similarly, a person can entertain evil thoughts such as cursing God or planning to do evil and this is a bad or sinful human act. I think someone posted those words of Jesus where he talks about evil exterior acts proceeding from within a person. Some people can’t speak vocally or are paralyzed in the body but they are still capable of performing human acts with their mind and will such as making acts of faith, hope, and charity or the contrary of these and thus either meriting heaven or hell. Any person can make such acts or the contrary of these interiorly and in many cases to their dying breath and thus possibly save their soul or not. The angels who are pure spirits merited heaven or hell solely by an act of their intellect and will.


I’lll stick with science on this. Behavioral science tells us that human beings are largely a product of their environment, although not necessarily in a completely deterministic way.
What you see, what you do, who you hang with, what you read, how people treat you, how you were raised, these things all influence your own personality and behavior.

Science is good.


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