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Can an Atheist Commit Mortal Sin?

Discussion in 'Same Faith Debates' started by Francis, Jun 5, 2009.

  1. Francis

    Francis UBER-Christian

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    I have been wondering about this lately. To commit a mortal sin, among other things, you must know and accept that it is a mortal sin. Would an atheist be able to do this? Where, if it exists, is the line between knowing and believing? Peace!
     
  2. whereismynotecard

    whereismynotecard Treasure Hunter

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    Am I allowed to respond in this thread? It says "same faith debates..."

    I'll just respond, and if the moderators don't like it they can delete it. :D

    Do you mean that they have to know it is a sin or know that it is wrong and agree that it is wrong? Like if I killed a baby, I would know that it wasn't a nice thing to do and would feel as though I was "wrong," to kill the baby. But maybe something else is considered a sin and I do it and don't think it is wrong, so that means it isn't a sin for me?
     
  3. Francis

    Francis UBER-Christian

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    I don't know! That's exactly my question! Truth isn't changeable, but knowledge and understanding are. How far does this go? Peace!
     
  4. whereismynotecard

    whereismynotecard Treasure Hunter

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    I don't know. I don't know what is and what isn't a mortal sin. It sounds like killing someone would be, since the phrase has "mortal" in it. You'll have to wait for people who know about those kinds of things to respond, I guess. :D

    I should probably get out of this thread before I get in trouble, since I'm not the same religion as you and it's in the "same faith" section. :D
     
  5. blackout

    blackout Violet.

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    As a RCatholic I always defaulted to the idea
    that people enter into their own "agreements" with gOd.
    (or not... or... even in their "not agreeing to agree")
    By BEing RC, doctrines such as mortal sin apply to you,
    presicely BECAUSE you yourself have agreed to them,
    and in-vested your-self in them.

    I still believe the same general concept to be true
    (though under a whole new umbrella of nuance- and philosophy)
    now that I am no longer RC or even christian in any traditional sense,
    only I would use different language and terminology today, to express it...
    (if I weren't in a Roman Catholic thread. ;) )

    yet another non Catholic politely exits dir.....
     
    #5 blackout, Jun 5, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2009
  6. Jordan St. Francis

    Jordan St. Francis Well-Known Member

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    I would say it is certainly possible. The moral law, we believe, is written on our heart, and conscience, properly formed, often testifies to the truth. An atheist might perpetrate an evil act, knowing full well it is evil (even though lacking in belief), and therefore commit what we call "mortal sin".
     
  7. whereismynotecard

    whereismynotecard Treasure Hunter

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    What if said atheist doesn't believe that anything is evil and believes such a term is subjective, with no universal agreement upon its definition?
     
  8. Jordan St. Francis

    Jordan St. Francis Well-Known Member

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    He might not classify it as "evil", but he may full well know that it is intrinsically repulsive and contrary to human dignity. Even if he can not formulate it conceptually. People also might deceive themselves through poor or permissive philosophy [motivated by various appetites] and dull their mind through gradual indulgence in sin. When we choose-even bit by bit- a path for the mind which leads to the breakdown of morality, we may very well be guilty of mortal sin, IMO.
     
  9. Francis

    Francis UBER-Christian

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    yeah, that makes sense. but i still wonder: Can you believe without knowing? And vice versa? Also, doesn't the catechism say that you have to have full and complete knowledge of it? Peace!
     
  10. blackout

    blackout Violet.

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    Of course the athiest has no means of absolvement
    (by catholic standards).
    This would leave them damned for eternity without recourse.

    So obviously, another standard would need apply for them.

    You can't hold someone mortally responsible for a crime,
    and not give them the opportunity for "repentance"
    just because they don't do it "the right way".
    (Unless your god is legalistic to the point of injustice)

    As I said above, each person has/makes/adopts
    their OWN unique "agreement/s" between Life, UniVerse, and Self.
    All Sealed & Signed-- in mind, heart, action and intent.
    (weather they call any of this "gOd" or not)

    You cannot be judged beyond the legal borders of your own "State" (of BEing).

    (I answer here only because I was a devout RC for many years,
    and this was the view I held AS a sacramentally "invested" Roman Catholic.)
     
    #10 blackout, Jun 6, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2009
  11. Jordan St. Francis

    Jordan St. Francis Well-Known Member

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    Ultraviolet,

    You are perfectly right of course. His not going to sacramental confession could only be held against him only insofar as his failure to become a visible member of Christ's Church would be held against him.

    It's also Catholic teaching that an authentic plea for forgiveness from God at the time of death- if confession is not available- will still provide absolution. This is one reason why we can never really know what the state of someone's soul is when they have died, we have no idea what may have occurred between them and God in the final seconds of their life.
     
  12. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    I tend to agree with you; we (Christians) believe (as you know) that Jesus Christ will "look into our hearts" to decide if we are "good" or "bad" (and the variences in between) - no one is sin free. That being said, there is no way that someone could do horrendous deeds and get away with it by saying "Hang on, I didn't know there really was a God!!".

    The only exception to that, as far as I know is the psychopath - for he has no conscience, and therefore cannot be punished for his sins.
     
  13. Francis

    Francis UBER-Christian

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    No, of course not. But seeing as they didn't quite get the warning, would they maybe get a, like, half-eternity in purgatory? *chuckles* Peace!
     
  14. logician

    logician Well-Known Member

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    No, as an atheist, I am not bound by anybody else's religious beliefs.
     
  15. Francis

    Francis UBER-Christian

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    Well... i really dunno how to respond to that... :p Peace!
     
  16. Kilgore Trout

    Kilgore Trout Misanthropic Humanist

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    I try to commit several every day.
     
  17. Willamena

    Willamena Just be there, doing that
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    I can beat that. My entire existence is mortal sin.
     
  18. Kilgore Trout

    Kilgore Trout Misanthropic Humanist

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    Show-off.
     
  19. Francis

    Francis UBER-Christian

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    Wow... i thought i was bad! Peace!
     
  20. Makaveli

    Makaveli Homoioi

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    You do not need to know something is a mortal sin for it to be a mortal sin for you. Ignorance is never an excuse. And if you do know, believing is irrelevant, as the morality is moral whether you choose to believe in it or not.

    In Judaism, heathens must abide by the Seven Noahide Laws, which prohibit idolatry, murder, theft, sexual promiscuity, and blasphemy, and require non-Hebrews to obey some aspects of Hebrew dietary law, as well as make just laws. If they disobey these laws, they commit mortal sins by disregarding the words of HaShem.
     
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