Are you morally responsible for what you dream about?

My knee-jerk reaction is “No.”  But I know enough about my knee-jerk reactions to not rely on them as a source of truth.

This question came in mind after reading the passage in Matthew 5 in which Jesus explains that even our sinful thoughts are considered sin.  “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28 ESV)

It would follow then, that having a dream in which you reacted in any sinful way that you would be held responsible for that dream and would need to repent.

You could, of course, argue that one has no control over dreams, and therefore that would put a person off the hook.  I’m willing to accept that answer, although I would like some sort of Scripture to back that up.

However, the question remains, what if you’re a lucid dreamer?  In that case, you can control your dreams.  Are you responsible for what you do then?

If yes, then, as a friend of mine pointed out, that opens a whole new can of worms.  If you are morally responsible for committing an act of violence against a fictional man in a dream inside your head, then are you in the same way morally responsible for committing an act of violence against a fictional man in a video game?

Thoughts?  Obviously the answer to this has some far-reaching moral implications, and I’m no Bible scholar or theologian, so I would appreciate whatever help I could get.

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