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Old 04-18-2009, 05:24 AM   #31
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Re: Pinning Down Definition Of Sins of Commission vs Omission

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Originally Posted by David Sklansky View Post
And what about the guy who aborts his rescue to earn his money?
Yeah, I started thinking about this almost immediately I said it - there'd be two sins in the second case. The payee's is also of commission, I think, because he accepts money for the specific purpose, thus entering into an agreement. By taking the money - by agreeing to let someone die for pay - I would imagine in Christian terms this becomes more than just neglect; he now has common cause with the payer, rather than just also happening to not save the drowning man.
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Old 04-18-2009, 05:27 AM   #32
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Re: Pinning Down Definition Of Sins of Commission vs Omission

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And what about the guy who aborts his rescue to earn his money?
Same way: arrogance not omission.
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Old 04-18-2009, 07:07 AM   #33
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Re: Pinning Down Definition Of Sins of Commission vs Omission

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If I walk by a drowning man I don't like, it is a sin of omission as long as I had nothing to do with his drowning. But what if I notice someone rushing to help and I offer that person $1000 not to? (In other words I pay him to commit a sin of omission.)
By my understanding of the terms, it would appear to be a sin of commission. If I was not there the drowning man would not have died, but due to my actions he does die.

Was that meant to be difficult?
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Old 04-18-2009, 08:46 AM   #34
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Re: Pinning Down Definition Of Sins of Commission vs Omission

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I would imagine in Christian terms this becomes more than just neglect; he now has common cause with the payer, rather than just also happening to not save the drowning man.
Straw man. Ancient Christianity does not distinguish between ommission and commission. It does speak about "voluntary" and "involuntary". Will has nothing to do with sin. Sin is sin. Sin is that which causes separation between man and God. Pretty simple actually. Not very legalistic but totally logical to a person who believes in God.
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Old 04-18-2009, 08:59 AM   #35
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Re: Pinning Down Definition Of Sins of Commission vs Omission

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Straw man. Ancient Christianity does not distinguish between ommission and commission. It does speak about "voluntary" and "involuntary". Will has nothing to do with sin. Sin is sin. Sin is that which causes separation between man and God. Pretty simple actually. Not very legalistic but totally logical to a person who believes in God.
Most of the people around Jesus have been sinners. There are 2 forms of sin. One comes from omission (negligence) and one comes from commission (arrogance). For omission there is a way back. For commission there is no hope. An if you would change in front of their eyes the places of moon and sun, they will not give up on their arrogance.

Last edited by shahrad; 04-18-2009 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 04-18-2009, 09:57 AM   #36
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Re: Pinning Down Definition Of Sins of Commission vs Omission

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Straw man. Ancient Christianity does not distinguish between ommission and commission. It does speak about "voluntary" and "involuntary". Will has nothing to do with sin. Sin is sin. Sin is that which causes separation between man and God. Pretty simple actually. Not very legalistic but totally logical to a person who believes in God.
Well, not that I'm taking sides, but over a billion Catholics officially disagree with you there (scroll down to 'Division', it should take you straight there but it won't... lousy Catholics).

Just sayin' is all. But I guess maybe they're not true Christians.

And - I hate getting sidetracked but - if 'will has nothing to do with sin', then in what sense are we culpable for our sins?

And, you know, 'voluntary', 'involuntary' - these terms are all about will, or its violation, or its absence. What do you even mean?
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Old 04-18-2009, 10:02 AM   #37
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Re: Pinning Down Definition Of Sins of Commission vs Omission

I've always considered a sin of omission to be a failure to act from a lack of knowledge but with no evil intent which is a somewhat legal point of view but that's not what the Catholic encyclopedia says about sins of omission and I'd say the Catholics are probably the foremost authority on sins of omission.

wiki:

Omission
Omission is, in Catholic teaching, the failure to do something one can and ought to do. If this happens advertently and freely a sin is committed. The degree of guilt incurred by an omission is measured like that attaching to sins of commission, by the dignity of the virtue and the magnitude of the precept to which the omission is opposed as well as the amount of deliberation.

A person may be guilty of a sin of omission by failing to do something which he is unable to do, by reason of a cause for which he is entirely responsible, as when a person knows that drinking to drunkness will incapacitate him, and yet drinks.

Paul the Apostle refers to this sin directly when he states "For I do not do the good I want..." (Romans 7:19).

Catholic encyclopedia with explanation and examples:

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11251b.htm

So I guess in the legal view we focus on the guilt of the act which is not the true and total nature of the act but what we take in account when we weigh the implications of the act.
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Old 04-18-2009, 10:15 AM   #38
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Re: Pinning Down Definition Of Sins of Commission vs Omission

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One comes from omission (negligence) and one comes from commission (arrogance). For omission there is a way back. For commission there is no hope.
We will agree to disagree then. In Orthodox Christianity there is always a way back. It is called repentance and change.
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And, you know, 'voluntary', 'involuntary' - these terms are all about will, or its violation, or its absence. What do you even mean?
It is human nature to demand our own way, do things our way, assert our wills. Anything we do that is not in line with the will of God is deemed sin. Sin is not about "right" and "wrong." Sin is about separating our will from the will of God. We don't always know the will of God for any number of different reasons. We just do our best. The more we meditate and pray the more likely it is that we will make right decisions. You confuse moral philosophy and theological principles. They are not one and the same.
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Well, not that I'm taking sides, but over a billion Catholics officially disagree with you there (scroll down to 'Division', it should take you straight there but it won't... lousy Catholics).
Yes, I know they do. They've made up alot of new rules since the split began in the 700's. They've legalized things. They've created hierarchies of sin. Cardinal and Venial; ommission and commission etc. Thomas Aquinas even came up with a bunch of "proofs". All sorts of things. I was born and raised a Catholic. I know whereof I speak. I am not anti-Catholic. I am Orthodox. We think differently. We don't even try to explain the unexplainable. It is what it is. When you say "Christians do this" be careful. That's akin to my saying "All atheists believe _____________."
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Old 04-18-2009, 10:40 AM   #39
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Re: Pinning Down Definition Of Sins of Commission vs Omission

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That'd be taking a strange tunnel view of a persons actions. My wife says, "If you just stand there the eggs will burn." She considers my "standing there" equivalent to " putting eggs in incinerator".... that's one reason I married her.
Standing there isn't equivalent to putting the eggs in the incinerator.

Standing there doesn't indicate that you have a tendency to harm eggs, only that you have a tendency to be an absent-minded cook.

The behavioral implications of my going out and finding someone to kill are very different from the behavioral implications of my happening across someone in danger and failing to save them.
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Old 04-18-2009, 10:48 AM   #40
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Re: Pinning Down Definition Of Sins of Commission vs Omission

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It is human nature to demand our own way, do things our way, assert our wills. Anything we do that is not in line with the will of God is deemed sin. Sin is not about "right" and "wrong." Sin is about separating our will from the will of God. We don't always know the will of God for any number of different reasons. We just do our best. The more we meditate and pray the more likely it is that we will make right decisions. You confuse moral philosophy and theological principles. They are not one and the same.
Which is not what I'd call 'having nothing to do with will', but w/ever, it's your barbecue.

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Yes, I know they do. They've made up alot of new rules since the split began in the 700's. They've legalized things. They've created hierarchies of sin. Cardinal and Venial; ommission and commission etc. Thomas Aquinas even came up with a bunch of "proofs". All sorts of things. I was born and raised a Catholic. I know whereof I speak. I am not anti-Catholic. I am Orthodox. We think differently. We don't even try to explain the unexplainable. It is what it is. When you say "Christians do this" be careful. That's akin to my saying "All atheists believe _____________."
Weeeell, I was basically raised as a lapsed Catholic, so when I hear a question relating to Christian theology, if I 'know the answer' it's usually a Catholic answer that I know. I mean, it's just as much of a generalisation for you to say 'Christians do _____' as it would be for me to say 'Atheists believe ______'. The question of 'what a Christian would do' doesn't really mean a whole lot more than 'what might anyone do' viewed in those terms.
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Old 04-18-2009, 11:34 AM   #41
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Re: Pinning Down Definition Of Sins of Commission vs Omission

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Standing there isn't equivalent to putting the eggs in the incinerator.

Standing there doesn't indicate that you have a tendency to harm eggs, only that you have a tendency to be an absent-minded cook.

The behavioral implications of my going out and finding someone to kill are very different from the behavioral implications of my happening across someone in danger and failing to save them.
who said anything about absentminded. That would mean I did not know the consequences of my actions would be burnt eggs.
I choose to stand there and let them burn, "taking no action" in muddle-speak. In a causal universe I have decided to have burnt eggs and my action of scratching my balls instead of reaching for handle is having the effect I know it will have.

My wife could phrase it this way -
"If you scratch your balls the eggs will burn, if you pull handle towards you they won't burn. Which action are you going to take?"
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Old 04-18-2009, 12:15 PM   #42
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Re: Pinning Down Definition Of Sins of Commission vs Omission

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Yes, I know they do. They've made up alot of new rules since the split began in the 700's. They've legalized things. They've created hierarchies of sin. Cardinal and Venial; ommission and commission etc. Thomas Aquinas even came up with a bunch of "proofs". All sorts of things. I was born and raised a Catholic. I know whereof I speak. I am not anti-Catholic. I am Orthodox. We think differently. We don't even try to explain the unexplainable. It is what it is. When you say "Christians do this" be careful. That's akin to my saying "All atheists believe _____________."
I mean, I think that there are two different kind of sins, but I don't think ever that as a human we can say this was commission or this was omission. If there is a god only he has the knowledge of it. The church or whoever maybe able to say, you lied and this is a sin, but they never can say, if he did lie because of omission or commission. Omission and commission are given to human before they are born. And we cannot do anything about it.
Just read the story of Moses and Pharaoh. God makes Pharaoh not to believe for that people can recognize Moses. Moses and Pharaoh live in every of us. Moses was a sinner too, but his sins were because of omission and Pharaoh was a sinner because of arrogance. Nevertheless the knowledge of omission and commission belongs to god, therefore only god knows who finds hell, who finds heaven and who finds him.

Last edited by shahrad; 04-18-2009 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 04-18-2009, 12:21 PM   #43
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Re: Pinning Down Definition Of Sins of Commission vs Omission

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Anyway, that's the standard Catholic line on the matter AFAIK. For OP purposes, obviously the first is o, the second c. Where did all this come from, does anyone know?
At least here but there were certainly precursors. If this is what you're asking. Aquinas.

On the contrary, Omission and commission are found in the same species of sin. For the covetous man both takes what belongs to others, which is a sin of commission; and gives not of his own to whom he should give, which is a sin of omission. Therefore omission and commission do not differ specifically.

I answer that, There is a twofold difference in sins; a material difference and a formal difference: the material difference is to be observed in the natural species of the sinful act; while the formal difference is gathered from their relation to one proper end, which is also their proper object. Hence we find certain acts differing from one another in the material specific difference, which are nevertheless formally in the same species of sin, because they are directed to the one same end: thus strangling, stoning, and stabbing come under the one species of murder, although the actions themselves differ specifically according to the natural species. Accordingly, if we refer to the material species in sins of omission and commission, they differ specifically, using species in a broad sense, in so far as negation and privation may have a species. But if we refer to the formal species of sins of omission and commission, they do not differ specifically, because they are directed to the same end, and proceed from the same motive. For the covetous man, in order to hoard money, both robs, and omits to give what he ought, and in like manner, the glutton, to satiate his appetite, both eats too much and omits the prescribed fasts. The same applies to other sins: for in things, negation is always founded on affirmation, which, in a manner, is its cause. Hence in the physical order it comes under the same head, that fire gives forth heat, and that it does not give forth cold.
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Old 04-18-2009, 12:29 PM   #44
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Re: Pinning Down Definition Of Sins of Commission vs Omission

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At least here but there were certainly precursors. If this is what you're asking. Aquinas.
Nah, I meant this thread specifically. The rest is all beautiful stuff, I'm sure.
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Old 04-18-2009, 12:38 PM   #45
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Re: Pinning Down Definition Of Sins of Commission vs Omission

There was some question about culpability especially in sins of omission but this actually relates to commission also. One must consider whether one "knowingly" performs an act. Aquinas again.

On the contrary, It is written (James 4:17): "To him . . . who knoweth to do good and doth it not, to him it is sin."

I answer that, omission signifies the non-fulfilment of a good, not indeed of any good, but of a good that is due. Now good under the aspect of due belongs properly to justice; to legal justice, if the thing due depends on Divine or human law; to special justice, if the due is something in relation to one's neighbor. Wherefore, in the same way as justice is a special virtue, as stated above (Q[58], AA[6],7), omission is a special sin distinct from the sins which are opposed to the other virtues; and just as doing good, which is the opposite of omitting it, is a special part of justice, distinct from avoiding evil, to which transgression is opposed, so too is omission distinct from transgression.
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