"Sin or no sin" during RCIA

I was at an RCIA class (as a sponsor) and we played a gamed called “sin or not sin”. The facilitator asked various moral/ethincal questions and we had to determine whether the specific question posed to us was sinful or not. We then discussed the question briefly and moved on to the next question. Some of the questions were: If you found an intruder in your house with a gun, is it a sin to shoot him and kill him before he kills you or your family. If you and your family are starving, is it ok to steal a loaf of bread from the local bakery? If your wife bought an ugly dress that she really liked, she asked you what you thought of it, is it ok to say that you like it etc.

I assumed at the end of the game the facilitator would provide us with some answers to these moral dilemas, he only told us that the Church teaches that there is no right or wrong answer to these questions, we simply must examine our own conscience for the answer. Is this teaching accurate? Your thoughts…

I am not looking for justification of the questions, only the Church’s teaching on the examination of conscience regarding moral issues.

[quote=Arbie] If you found an intruder in your house with a gun, is it a sin to shoot him and kill him before he kills you or your family.
[/quote]

If the law allows it, then by all means empty several clips into the person, whether it be a 14yr old or a 50 year old intruder. dont stop shooting until they are lying on the ground not moving. most laws allow for incapacitating shots fired at one distance, i.e., you cant shoot someone in the chest, they go down, then walk up and shoot them in the head.

you can fire round after round at them from the original location you initiated firing at until you are sure they are dead, even if it means reloading several times. just make sure they are inside your house, or fall inside you house, otherwise you have to find a way to unnoticeably drag them inside.

[quote=BioCatholic]you can fire round after round at them from the original location you initiated firing at until you are sure they are dead, even if it means reloading several times.
[/quote]

Of course you were being sarcastic, but in the fear that someone will take you seriously and repeat your “advice”, I will quote the Catechism:

2263: The legitimate defense of persons and societies is not an exception to the prohibition against the murder of the innocent that constitutes intentional killing. "The act of self-defense can have a double effect: the preservation of one’s own life; and the killing of the aggressor. . . . The one is intended, the other is not.

2264: Love toward oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality. Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect for one’s own right to life. Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow:
The key words are “intended” and “forced”. In you tongue-in-cheek example, deliberately inflicting murderous damage after the assailant is down would be morally murder.

[quote=Arbie]If you found an intruder in your house with a gun, is it a sin to shoot him and kill him before he kills you or your family.
[/quote]

Addressed in my previous message (read the next couple of paragraphs in the CCC, though.

[quote=Arbie]If you and your family are starving, is it ok to steal a loaf of bread from the local bakery?
[/quote]

Paragraph 2408.

[quote=Arbie]If your wife bought an ugly dress that she really liked, she asked you what you thought of it, is it ok to say that you like it
[/quote]

Paragraphs 2282-2287.

[quote=Arbie]he only told us that the Church teaches that there is no right or wrong answer to these questions, we simply must examine our own conscience for the answer. Is this teaching accurate? Your thoughts…
[/quote]

The CCC citations I gave would seem to indicate otherwise.

[quote=Timidity]Of course you were being sarcastic, but in the fear that someone will take you seriously and repeat your “advice”, I will quote the Catechism:
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That is what the LAW (in most states) says. if you are going to use deadly force at all, you had better make sure the person you are using it against is DEAD. some people have the impression that when you shoot someone, they “go down” just like in the movies, when in fact many times they are still able to walk, and move around. hence, if you fire at someone in your house, you had better keep firing until they are on the ground not moving. otherwise, they can use their gun, and shoot you.

the Church says you can defend yourself, yes, but common sense should tell you that if you are justified to use deadly force, do it right and make sure they are dead, and no longer a threat.

[quote=Arbie]I assumed at the end of the game the facilitator would provide us with some answers to these moral dilemas, he only told us that the Church teaches that there is no right or wrong answer to these questions, we simply must examine our own conscience for the answer. Is this teaching accurate? Your thoughts
[/quote]

In the truest sense, your instructor was correct. The Church teaches what is morally good, neutral or evil. In other words, if an act is good, evil or neither.

The sinfulness of the action depends a lot on knowledge and intent. Did the person know the act was sinful? Did the person commit the act of their own free will?

Take the case of the thief entering your home.

First of all the Church teaches that a family head has a moral obligation to defend their family. So that must be taken into account. It might be quite sinful to do nothing.

Let’s say you have a gun and intend to use it.

If you use it with the INTENT to stop the attack alone, that is a morally good act, even it the defense might result in the death of the attacker.

If you use it with the INTENT to KILL the attacker, that is a moral evil, and not justifiable.

If you did shoot the attacker (using however many shots are required to ensure your safety, but no more), calling for medical assistance for the attacker is a moral requirement.

So yes, the Church does call for one to look at their “Well Formed” Conscience.

Looking at a conscience alone does not suffice, the conscience must be “well formed” which means that one develops their conscience to act in accord with Church teachings. A well developed conscience, by defintion, does not go against the Church in matters of faith or morals.

No the Church says that one can defend oneself until the threat of attack is done.

Now, most often, that will result in the death of the attacker, but that is never the goal of defense.

[quote=Timidity]Paragraphs 2282-2287.

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These pp. deal with suicide and the sin of scandal…

[quote=marcadam]These pp. deal with suicide and the sin of scandal…
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Oops–typo! Thanks for the catch: 2482 to 2487.

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