Natural Law and "full knowledge"


#1

Can someone do something (e.g masturbation, stealing, lying, etc.) that is contrary to natural law without full knowledge? What if someone recognizes natural law but only after a while realizes something they’ve done is contrary to that law? Would that count as “full knowledge”? :hmmm:


#2

Let your conscience be your guardian angel.

Anything done in secret is more often than not a sign that it is a sin.

That would apply to masturbating, stealing, and lying.

Who but a pervert would do all of those for the whole world to see?


#3

Yes. The Catechism has a lot to say about natural moral law; see paragraphs 1954-1960. (Catechism of the Catholic Church)
Here is a brief quotation to answer your first question:
(excerpt from paragraph 1960) “The precepts of natural law are not perceived by everyone clearly and immediately.”


#4

Yet the existence of the natural law is perceived clearly and immediately by almost everyone. “Do good and avoid evil.” It doesn’t get more clear or immediate than that.


#5

Yes, but conscience needs to be formed and educated:
The Formation of Conscience

1783 Conscience must be informed and moral judgment enlightened. A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful. It formulates its judgments according to reason, in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator. The education of conscience is indispensable for human beings who are subjected to negative influences and tempted by sin to prefer their own judgment and to reject authoritative teachings.

1784 The education of the conscience is a lifelong task. From the earliest years, it awakens the child to the knowledge and practice of the interior law recognized by conscience. Prudent education teaches virtue; it prevents or cures fear, selfishness and pride, resentment arising from guilt, and feelings of complacency, born of human weakness and faults. The education of the conscience guarantees freedom and engenders peace of heart.

1785 In the formation of conscience the Word of God is the light for our path; we must assimilate it in faith and prayer and put it into practice. We must also examine our conscience before the Lord’s Cross. We are assisted by the gifts of the Holy Spirit, aided by the witness or advice of others and guided by the authoritative teaching of the Church.


#6

Compendium issued by Pope Benedict XVI

416. In what does the natural moral law consist?

1954-1960
1978-1979

The natural law which is inscribed by the Creator on the heart of every person consists in a participation in the wisdom and the goodness of God. It expresses that original moral sense which enables one to discern by reason the good and the bad. It is universal and immutable and determines the basis of the duties and fundamental rights of the person as well as those of the human community and civil law.
**
417. Is such a law perceived by everyone?**

1960

Because of sin the natural law is not always perceived nor is it recognized by everyone with equal clarity and immediacy.

vatican.va/archive/compendium_ccc/documents/archive_2005_compendium-ccc_en.html


#7

Catechism:

1859 Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent. It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God’s law. It also implies a consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice. Feigned ignorance and hardness of heart133 do not diminish, but rather increase, the voluntary character of a sin.

1860 Unintentional ignorance can diminish or even remove the imputability of a grave offense. But no one is deemed to be ignorant of the principles of the moral law, which are written in the conscience of every man. The promptings of feelings and passions can also diminish the voluntary and free character of the offense, as can external pressures or pathological disorders. Sin committed through malice, by deliberate choice of evil, is the gravest.

scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s1c1a8.htm#IV

1791 This ignorance can often be imputed to personal responsibility. This is the case when a man "takes little trouble to find out what is true and good, or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin."59 In such cases, the person is culpable for the evil he commits.

1793 If - on the contrary - the ignorance is invincible, or the moral subject is not responsible for his erroneous judgment, the evil committed by the person cannot be imputed to him. It remains no less an evil, a privation, a disorder. One must therefore work to correct the errors of moral conscience.


Natural Moral Law: scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s1c3a1.htm#1957


Compendium issued by Pope Benedict XVI

416. In what does the natural moral law consist?

1954-1960
1978-1979

The natural law which is inscribed by the Creator on the heart of every person consists in a participation in the wisdom and the goodness of God. It expresses that original moral sense which enables one to discern by reason the good and the bad. It is universal and immutable and determines the basis of the duties and fundamental rights of the person as well as those of the human community and civil law.
**
417. Is such a law perceived by everyone?**

1960

Because of sin the natural law is not always perceived nor is it recognized by everyone with equal clarity and immediacy.

vatican.va/archive/compendium_ccc/documents/archive_2005_compendium-ccc_en.html


#8

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