Monday, April 02, 2018

Thomas Aquinas on Lying

Here is a passage from Thomas Aquinas taken from the Summa Theologica (Second part of the second part, question 110):

"As regards the end in view, a lie may be contrary to charity, through being told with the purpose of injuring God, and this is always a mortal sin, for it is opposed to religion; or in order to injure one's neighbor, in his person, his possessions or his good name, and this also is a mortal sin, since it is a mortal sin to injure one's neighbor, and one sins mortally if one has merely the intention of committing a mortal sin. But if the end intended be not contrary
to charity, neither will the lie, considered under
this aspect, be a mortal sin, as in the case of a
jocose lie, where some little pleasure is intended, or
in an officious lie, where the good also of one's
neighbor is intended. Accidentally a lie may be
contrary to charity by reason of scandal or any other
injury resulting therefrom: and thus again it will be
a mortal sin, for instance if a man were not deterred
through scandal from lying publicly."

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