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Physical evil deprives the subject affected by it of some natural good, and is adverse to the well-being of the subject, as pain and suffering.Moral evil is found only in intelligent beings; it deprives them of some moral good. This may be defined as a privation of conformity to right reason and to the law of God.This last named division is indeed the most important of all and it calls for special treatment.But before taking up the details, it will be useful to indicate some further distinctions which occur in theology or in general usage.Thus, a person who takes the property of another while believing it to be his own commits a material sin; but the sin would be formal if he took the property in the belief that it belonged to another, whether his belief were correct or not. Three kinds of internal sin are usually distinguished: An efficacious desire, i.e.Internal Sins That sin may be committed not only by outward deeds but also by the inner activity of the mind apart from any external manifestation, is plain from the precept of the Decalogue : "Thou shalt not covet ", and from Christ's rebuke of the scribes and pharisees whom he likens to "whited sepulchres... one that includes the deliberate intention to realize or gratify the desire, has the same malice, mortal or venial, as the action which it has in view.
Actual sin is committed by a free personal act of the individual will.
I would gladly eat meat on Friday, if I had a dispensation ; and in general this is the case whenever the action is forbidden by positive law only.
When the action is contrary to natural law and yet is permissible in given circumstances or in a particular state of life, the desire, if it include those circumstances or that state as conditions, is not in itself sinful: e.g.
God has endowed us with reason and free-will, and a sense of responsibility; He has made us subject to His law, which is known to us by the dictates of conscience, and our acts must conform with these dictates, otherwise we sin ( Romans ). The sinner intends here and now to act in some determined matter, inordinately electing that particular good in defiance of God's law and the dictates of right reason. A pure or entire privation of good could occur in a moral act only on the supposition that the will could incline to evil as such for an object.
In every sinful act two things must be considered, the substance of the act and the want of rectitude or conformity (St. The deformity is not directly intended, nor is it involved in the act so far as this is physical, but in the act as coming from the will which has power over its acts and is capable of choosing this or that particular good contained within the scope of its adequate object, i.e. This is impossible because evil as such is not contained within the scope of the adequate object of the will, which is good.