(a)According important to insist that there is
(a)According to Delhaye, a real mortal sin occurs, not on the level of particular choices but on the level of the fundamental option.
Explain this statement and its consequences and the implication.As a premise, let it be noted that a mortal sin is an act done with full knowledge and consent as a formal refusal opposed to Gods call to love. It is a turning away from God and is so grave that it could affect the entirety of the person. By entirety, we mean personality and orientation which according to Delhaye are categorized into the good Fundamental Option and the bad Fundamental Option. And by orientation, we mean a tendency or a direction that leads a person to make certain decisions. Thus, we say that mortal sin occurs in the level of the Fundamental Option because commiting one objectively serious sin doesnt automatically equate to a mortal sin if the persons Fundamental Option is good.
Lets say a man kills 3 men that are trying to rape his wife. Indeed murder is a very grave sin yet taken in the context of the event that he was merely protecting his wife, in the level of the particular, it becomes difficult to say if the husband committed sin. However, the focus here shouldnt be the technicalitites of the gray area that this incident is in. Rather the focus is what the act implies and how the act affects the husbands relationship with God a relationship founded on ones Fundamental Option.
If a person is deeply rooted in evil- hence, his Fundamental Option is to turn against the absolute good, God – when he commits a grave sin, it is relatively easier for him to plunge into mortal sin. Thus, the frequency of commiting a mortal sin is associated with the persons Fundamental Option. And once a mortal sin is committed, because it has changed a persons orientation and has affected a persons relationship with God, it would take more than a sorry to get a person back in the right (loving) track. (b)Why is it important to insist that there is a level beyond particular acts, why is it important to insist that mortal sin occurs on this level?Man isnt always consistent or 100% coherent. His decisions and corresponding actions often depend not on a strict set of principles but on the different situations that he faces that always call for an assessment of objective content.
However, we cannot continue to believe that a persons life is determined by acts that are independent from each other and that every slight mistake or bad decision already equates to mortal sin. God is very forgiving. He does not condemn or disown us for every slight misstep. Being that our lives are not just about a series of separate particular acts, we believe that there is a much profound level beyond this Fundamental Option. And because as is said previously, the Fundamental Option is determinant of our personality or the person that we are, it becomes but judicious that it is only in this level that mortal sin occurs. It is also important to insist that mortal sin occurs on the level of Fundamental Option so that our idea of mortal sin is not trivialized.
Mortal sin is severe and it is not easily committed or forgiven, thus a person should be careful in dealing with such matters. It is only in the occasion of mortal sin that the-person-that-we-are continuously veers away from God by incessantly commiting acts that hurt other people and our relationship with God. (c)Why would this be better than the tradidtional sin in partiuclar acts explanation? Expound on your answer.Looking at mortal sin as occuring in the level of the Fundamental Option would be a better basis than the sin in particular acts explanation because it takes into account a larger picture of sin, particularly mortal sin. Our lives are not merely a series of random acts. People do have inconsistencies but these inconsistencies are part of being human. Regardless of the inconsistencies, peoples actions connote or indicate a certain unity that move toward certain goals.
And as is said in Delhayes article, the goal of Fundamental Option is the absolute good that is God that is love. Thus, if all acts and particular decisions stood alone without a certain unifying theme, then the person loses his or her stake in life and that is love and his/her relationship with God.Through the explanation of the Fundamental Option, we are able to assess acts with regards to intention and what these intentions and these acts do to the person the we are. For example, a person has chosen to be good, by attending Sunday mass. But during the mass, he remembers that he has nothing to feed his children on Monday so snatches the bag of an old lady during communion, and in trying to immediately escape, he knocks over the lady and the lady goes into coma and eventually dies because of the impact of the fall. The mans intention to praise God and feed his family are good. But his intention and act of snatching the old ladys bag and knocking her over is bad.
If we look at it in the perspective of particular acts, we would be confused as to how, by the actions of this person, he could be judged fairly. The snatching and the intentional knocking over are sins. Yet, he didnt intend to kill the old lady. In the perspective of Fundamental Option, this short anecdote is insufficient to judge the man fairly.
His historicity is needed to determine his Fundamental Option. However, this is not short of saying that the act of snatching or intentionally hurting the old lady do not affect the development of the Fundamental Option (to be expounded in the next number). But given more knowledge on this man, the Fundamental Option perspective becomes a more sensible guage of what kind of a man he is (But the importance of the role of particular acts should come into play. This wil be discussed on the last section.
) .(d)Would every act contribute equally to the formation and development of the fundamental option? Explain your answer.Not all particular actions contribute equally to the pursuits of the Fundamental Option to a relationship with God and to love. People do not engage their Fundamental Option in the same intensity all the time. Not all acts have the same merit. An act can greatly contribute to the formation and development of the Fundamental Option if free will is completely participating.
Sometimes people act half heartedly, they do not commit themselves into their action or decision. Sometimes they have no other choice but to do the act even if it is contrary to the dictates of their will, these acts surely do not merit enough to the destruction or growth of the Fundamental Option. But nonetheless they affect the Fundamental Option. Also, it is in the nature of men and the inherent nature of situations that not everything is to be regarded with the same level of importance. For example, in the development of a good Fundamental Option, helping a gradeschooler carry her books isnt seen as weightier that jumping into a pool to save a drowning child. There are some things that people feel and that really are more important than others in the process of growth and maturity. (e)Does the fundamental option explanation for mortal sin imply a diminution of the importance of particular acts? Explain and defend your answer.
No, it doesnt. Indeed, the Fundamental Option is important and thus needs nurturing but the Fundamental Option, being an option, cannot be strengthened without the expression and concretization through particular acts. Likewise, particular acts shape our Fundamental Option. It wouldnt make sense if our Fundamental Option is good and we do bad things. For example, a man cannot claim to have full intent on loving and following the will of God if he kills anyone just for the heck of it. Particular acts and Fundamental Option go together and are usually consistent. If we choose something good over something bad, that is because deep within ourselves, we want to turn towards God.
The Fundamental Option is thus strengthened by the follow-ups and relative consistency of doing good actions. In constantly trying to seek God and fortifying a good Fundamental Option, we try to do good continuously until these good particular actions eventually begin to have more bearing on our Fundamental Option than acts that we rarely do. Contrarily, a series of particular acts done with repeated incoherences can affect and ultimately destroy and change our Fundamental Option.