[quote=ByzCath]So if the rule, “one may never do evil so that good may result from it” is a rule that applies in every case, then it doesn’t matter if you did not believe that in the past, it still applied. Now if you didn’t believe it the severity of the sin commited might be mitigated but it doesn’t nullify the sin.
GRRRRR! I just made a long post that the servers ate! Here is my new version, sigh.
I can understand your comment in two ways:
A) The ends/means rule always is in play, even if your are not aware of it. So if you violate it in ignorance, a material sin will be done, that is, damage will take place, even if there is no culpability in the particular case.
B) It is doctrinally impossible to be ignorant of the ends/means rule, so if you violate it, you are guilty of at least a venial sin. You cannot pawn it off as material only. (For now I exclude considerations of coercion, being asleep, etc.)
I offer two CCC, one towards A and one towards B.
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.
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.
It has never before occurred to me that 1860 might mean that everyone is judged (deemed) to be knowledgeable of the ends/means law no matter what, no exceptions for being stupid or grossly mistaught.
I do consider the ends/means rule to always be in play.
Which do you mean?