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OF THE CAUSES OF SIN, IN PARTICULAR (FOUR ARTICLES)

We must now consider the causes of sin, in particular, and (1) The internal causes of sin; (2) its external causes; and (3) sins which are the causes of other sins. In view of what has been said above (A[2]), the first consideration will be threefold: so that in the first place we shall treat of ignorance, which is the cause of sin on the part of reason; secondly, of weakness or passion, which is the cause of sin on the part of the sensitive appetite; thirdly, of malice, which is the cause of sin on the part of the will.

Under the first head, there are four points of inquiry:

(1) Whether ignorance is a cause of sin?

(2) Whether ignorance is a sin?

(3) Whether it excuses from sin altogether?

(4) Whether it diminishes sin?

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