Author Topic: Whether it is unlawful to form a judgment from suspicions?  (Read 1392 times)

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Offline Caminus

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Whether it is unlawful to form a judgment from suspicions?
« on: June 27, 2009, 02:23:37 AM »
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  • Objection 1. It would seem that it is not unlawful to form a judgment from suspicions. For suspicion is seemingly an uncertain opinion about an evil, wherefore the Philosopher states (Ethic. vi, 3) that suspicion is about both the true and the false. Now it is impossible to have any but an uncertain opinion about contingent singulars. Since then human judgment is about human acts, which are about singular and contingent matters, it seems that no judgment would be lawful, if it were not lawful to judge from suspicions.

    Objection 2. Further, a man does his neighbor an injury by judging him unlawfully. But an evil suspicion consists in nothing more than a man's opinion, and consequently does not seem to pertain to the injury of another man. Therefore judgment based on suspicion is not unlawful.

    Objection 3. Further, if it is unlawful, it must needs be reducible to an injustice, since judgment is an act of justice, as stated above (Article 1). Now an injustice is always a mortal sin according to its genus, as stated above (Question 59, Article 4). Therefore a judgment based on suspicion would always be a mortal sin, if it were unlawful. But this is false, because "we cannot avoid suspicions," according to a gloss of Augustine (Tract. xc in Joan.) on 1 Corinthians 4:5, "Judge not before the time." Therefore a judgment based on suspicion would seem not to be unlawful.

    On the contrary, Chrysostom [Hom. xvii in Matth. in the Opus Imperfectum falsely ascribed to St. John of the Cross] in comment on the words of Matthew 7:1, "Judge not," etc., says: "By this commandment our Lord does not forbid Christians to reprove others from kindly motives, but that Christian should despise Christian by boasting his own righteousness, by hating and condemning others for the most part on mere suspicion."

    I answer that, As Tully says (De Invent. Rhet. ii), suspicion denotes evil thinking based on slight indications, and this is due to three causes. First, from a man being evil in himself, and from this very fact, as though conscious of his own wickedness, he is prone to think evil of others, according to Ecclesiastes 10:3, "The fool when he walketh in the way, whereas he himself is a fool, esteemeth all men fools." Secondly, this is due to a man being ill-disposed towards another: for when a man hates or despises another, or is angry with or envious of him, he is led by slight indications to think evil of him, because everyone easily believes what he desires. Thirdly, this is due to long experience: wherefore the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 13) that "old people are very suspicious, for they have often experienced the faults of others." The first two causes of suspicion evidently connote perversity of the affections, while the third diminishes the nature of suspicion, in as much as experience leads to certainty which is contrary to the nature of suspicion. Consequently suspicion denotes a certain amount of vice, and the further it goes, the more vicious it is.

    Now there are three degrees of suspicion. The first degree is when a man begins to doubt of another's goodness from slight indications. This is a venial and a light sin; for "it belongs to human temptation without which no man can go through this life," according to a gloss on 1 Corinthians 4:5, "Judge not before the time." The second degree is when a man, from slight indications, esteems another man's wickedness as certain. This is a mortal sin, if it be about a grave matter, since it cannot be without contempt of one's neighbor. Hence the same gloss goes on to say: "If then we cannot avoid suspicions, because we are human, we must nevertheless restrain our judgment, and refrain from forming a definite and fixed opinion." The third degree is when a judge goes so far as to condemn a man on suspicion: this pertains directly to injustice, and consequently is a mortal sin.

    Reply to Objection 1. Some kind of certainty is found in human acts, not indeed the certainty of a demonstration, but such as is befitting the matter in point, for instance when a thing is proved by suitable witnesses.

    Reply to Objection 2. From the very fact that a man thinks evil of another without sufficient cause, he despises him unduly, and therefore does him an injury.

    Reply to Objection 3. Since justice and injustice are about external operations, as stated above (58, 8,10,11; 59, 1, ad 3), the judgment of suspicion pertains directly to injustice when it is betrayed by external action, and then it is a mortal sin, as stated above. The internal judgment pertains to justice, in so far as it is related to the external judgment, even as the internal to the external act, for instance as desire is related to fornication, or anger to murder.

    Summa Theologica, II-II, Q. 60, A. 3.

    Offline CM

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    Whether it is unlawful to form a judgment from suspicions?
    « Reply #1 on: June 27, 2009, 08:49:57 AM »
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  • Offline Elizabeth

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    Whether it is unlawful to form a judgment from suspicions?
    « Reply #2 on: June 27, 2009, 09:03:37 AM »
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  • This is so difficult!  Certain behaviors, attitudes,etc. nearly always lend themselves to being unsafe around children.  Yet we are not supposed to think ill of our fellow Catholic.  We are not supposed to harbor evil suspicion, and if it is unfounded, we have made a mortal sin.

    Caminus, the Angelic Doctor is so hard for me to understand!

    But I take his point in reference to declarations about the Church, but in personal Mommy things....So is he talking about Legal, Formal Judgement in a formal inquiry?


    Offline Caminus

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    Whether it is unlawful to form a judgment from suspicions?
    « Reply #3 on: June 27, 2009, 01:01:02 PM »
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  • Quote from: Elizabeth
    This is so difficult!  Certain behaviors, attitudes,etc. nearly always lend themselves to being unsafe around children.  Yet we are not supposed to think ill of our fellow Catholic.  We are not supposed to harbor evil suspicion, and if it is unfounded, we have made a mortal sin.

    Caminus, the Angelic Doctor is so hard for me to understand!

    But I take his point in reference to declarations about the Church, but in personal Mommy things....So is he talking about Legal, Formal Judgement in a formal inquiry?



    Behaviors and attitudes are things, not persons and are to be judged in light of what we know to be good and true.  On the other hand, Thomas is referring to judging and condemning the person of a man based upon slight indications.  That doesn't mean we shouldn't judge what he says and does, according to what is necessary and within our competency, and act accordingly e.g. by avoiding the person.  Suspicion is evil thinking of the man based upon slight indications.  There's alot of that going around and is the reason why I posted this article.      

    Offline Raoul76

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    Whether it is unlawful to form a judgment from suspicions?
    « Reply #4 on: June 27, 2009, 01:05:28 PM »
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  • "Since justice and injustice are about external operations, as stated above (58, 8,10,11; 59, 1, ad 3), the judgment of suspicion pertains directly to injustice when it is betrayed by external action, and then it is a mortal sin, as stated above."

    Judgment becomes a mortal sin "when betrayed by external action."  Caminus would seem to be reminding us that posting on CathInfo is an external action.  And he would seem to be implying that we are judgmental here on CathInfo.

    I have been coming to the same conclusion in my mind and it's why I have stopped saying that Lefebvre may have been intentionally deceiving people.  I don't think I ever said that he flat-out WAS intentionally deceiving people, but it's possible I did.  

    I did flat-out say that Malachi Martin and David Hobson were con men but I doubt this was a mortal sin -- because at the time I didn't know it was and thus it was not willful.  Now I do and must be more careful.  I'll choose my words more carefully and say "I don't entirely trust them."

    But if this was posted to make us feel guilty about "judging" Ratzinger and the VII Popes, uh... What Catholic Martyr said.  We point to their actions, their words and their encyclicals.  What they do in the external forum -- their apostate acts -- precludes even the necessity of guesswork about their internal intentions.

    We live in a time of paranoia, and it makes you prematurely like the naturally suspicious old person that Aquinas speaks of.
    As I was a new convert when posting here, my posts are often full of error, even unwitting heresy and rash judgment, all of which I renounce, and all my writings are best avoided -- MDLS


    Offline Caminus

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    Whether it is unlawful to form a judgment from suspicions?
    « Reply #5 on: June 27, 2009, 01:19:34 PM »
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  • Quote
    precludes even the necessity of guesswork about their internal intentions


    It is statements like this which render an otherwise decent post grossly offensive and ignorant.  Why do you feel the incessant need to avoid any other consideration of the matter?  Why do you avoid critical examination?  Because it will ruin your preconceived notions?  Far from being a virtuous statement of 'simplicity' such an attitude only reveals an essential dishonesty.  Though you have removed yourself from one injustice, you still remain pertinaciously attached to others.  

    Offline CM

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    Whether it is unlawful to form a judgment from suspicions?
    « Reply #6 on: June 27, 2009, 11:48:22 PM »
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  • Hello Caminus, please consider the following points:

    When Nestorius taught that Mary was not the Mother of God, the words themselves carried an objective meaning, one which needed to be denounced, and waiting for a juridical or canonical sentence to be passed on him would have been imprudent, for in doing so, Catholics would have subjected themselves to a heretic and thus fallen out of Catholic communion, being no longer Catholic.  The objective sense in this case trumps the interior disposition, rendering it irrelevant.

    The same can be said of the Eastern Schismatics when they rejected the Filioque, that there was not necessarily any conscious evil intent, but the damage of schism and heresy does not require conscious evil intent at all.

    What I'm saying is that the internal dispositions of the antipopes matter not in the slightest, but the objective consequences of their apostate actions and teachings.  There are enough decrees in the Tradition of the Church which tell us that these men are indeed not members of the Catholic Church, such as the following:

    Pope Leo II, Third Council of Constantinople, 681: "...those who dare to compose another faith, or to support or to teach or to hand on another creed (Vatican II, for example)... excommunicated."

    Offline Caminus

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    Whether it is unlawful to form a judgment from suspicions?
    « Reply #7 on: June 28, 2009, 01:56:39 AM »
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  • You're still here?


    Offline Dawn

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    Whether it is unlawful to form a judgment from suspicions?
    « Reply #8 on: June 29, 2009, 09:21:53 PM »
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  • Nonsense. The teachings of the Church are not muddled but clear.
    Are those actions Catholic? Yes or No?
    It is just that clear. Yes or No Catholic or Not.

    Offline Dawn

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    Whether it is unlawful to form a judgment from suspicions?
    « Reply #9 on: June 29, 2009, 09:24:50 PM »
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  • We must remember that God does not equivocate. His Church does not change. It is the same yesterday, today and always.
    What was wrong in the early days of the Church is still wrong now. And, those actions are wrong. Period. If they are not wrong, then the early Papal Martyrs should have been able to wriggle out of their martyrdom. But, they did not. They did not let anyone even THINK that they where pretending to be on friendly terms with those outside of the True Faith.

    Offline DeMaistre

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    Whether it is unlawful to form a judgment from suspicions?
    « Reply #10 on: June 29, 2009, 09:27:03 PM »
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  • Quote from: Dawn
    Nonsense. The teachings of the Church are not muddled but clear.
    Are those actions Catholic? Yes or No?
    It is just that clear. Yes or No Catholic or Not.


    That is so true. I really so no use in debating anything here (or anywhere else) anymore. The answers are there for those who are of good will.


    Offline Dawn

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    Whether it is unlawful to form a judgment from suspicions?
    « Reply #11 on: June 29, 2009, 09:29:43 PM »
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  • Stand firm. Read Fabiola, it is a wonderful story with St. Sebastian and St. Pancratius.

    Offline Caminus

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    Whether it is unlawful to form a judgment from suspicions?
    « Reply #12 on: June 29, 2009, 10:01:43 PM »
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  • Quote from: DeMaistre
    Quote from: Dawn
    Nonsense. The teachings of the Church are not muddled but clear.
    Are those actions Catholic? Yes or No?
    It is just that clear. Yes or No Catholic or Not.


    That is so true. I really so no use in debating anything here (or anywhere else) anymore. The answers are there for those who are of good will.


    Dawn, what's your point?  DeMaistre, you are about to enter into that intellectual blackhole of speculative sedevacantism that cannot bear any criticism due to extreme perspicacity.  The opinion is absurd on its face, yet the lazy man shall repose there where the burden ceases to bear down on his shoulders.  To think that your opinions are above all criticism, that your ideas are in everyway so perfect, so obvious, that whosoever questions them is of bad will, is pure folly.  It is so utterly ridiculous that I can scarcely express it.    

    I defended you on another board because you were given the graces to see traditional catholicism.  But now you would abandon that grace in favor of your own extraneous judgments.  I have given you sound and reasonable advice and warned you of the path that you are on, especially in subjecting yourself to wicked men.  You have refused that advice and taken the matter into your own hands.  You will reap what you sow.  Take my words.      

    Offline DeMaistre

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    Whether it is unlawful to form a judgment from suspicions?
    « Reply #13 on: June 29, 2009, 10:04:26 PM »
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    I defended you on another board because you were given the graces to see traditional catholicism.  But now you would abandon that grace in favor of your own extraneous judgments.  I have given you sound and reasonable advice and warned you of the path that you are on, especially in subjecting yourself to wicked men.  You have refused that advice and taken the matter into your own hands.  You will reap what you sow.  Take my words.      


    Really? What board?

    Offline DeMaistre

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    Whether it is unlawful to form a judgment from suspicions?
    « Reply #14 on: June 29, 2009, 10:06:17 PM »
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  • I'm not saying that my position is perfect. I'm not even Catholic yet.

     

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