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full knowledge

May 25, 2017

Shalom.i have a question.What does the term “full knowledge” mean? Does full knowledge mean one has to have the most knowledge about sins (like most knowledge of why watching pornography is a sin)?

Asked at 01:49 pm on May 25th 2017

Hi Christopher, we say that the requirements for our being responsible for any action, means that we must know what we’re doing and choose to do it. So ‘full knowledge’ means just an ordinary awareness of what we’re doing, not at all some kind of scientifically validated knowledge. Say I’m a truck driver or airline pilot, whatever, it’s not rocket science for me to know that if I’ve been drinking, I shouldn’t get behind the wheel or into the cockpit. Maybe I can take a small beer or single glass of wine (everyone has different capacities), but it’s a professional requirement for me to know I can’t go even one drop over the minimum allowed by law.

Regarding pornography, a friend of mine gave me the example of a ‘cyanide sandwich’ — all you need is a tiny dot of cyanide in an otherwise normal sandwich to kill you . In areas to do with sexuality, the only way to deal with pornography is zero tolerance, never to allow even the slightest image that could be an occasion of sin. Because if the devil spots that I’m lowering my guard (a bit like an opposing team can spot if a guy on the other side is scared of being tackled, they’ll fall on him like a ton of bricks), he’ll let me compromise a little here and a little there, and like St Peter warns, he’s going about like a lion looking for someone to devour. Then he pounces on me because I haven’t refused to compromise in the least. Very best, Fr Brendan

Replied at 04:09 am on June 01st 2017