10. Conscience: Fromm's approaches to Conscience

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  • Created by: Alasdair
  • Created on: 26-06-17 20:47
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  • 10. Fromm's approaches to Conscience
    • The Authoritarian Conscience
      • All humans are influenced by external authorities who apply rules and punishments for breaking them
        • And these rules are then internalised by the individual
      • A guilty conscience is  a result of displeasing authority and if that is authority of God then the fear of being rejected will have a powerful influence on an individual
      • Disobedience produces guilt, which in turn weakens our power and makes us more submissive to authority
    • The Humanistic Conscience
      • Fromm's views changes over time and he obviously saw humanistic conscience as being much healthier, since it assesses and evaluates our behaviour
      • We use it to judge how successful we are as people
      • We use it to judge how successful we are as people
      • These views do not necessarily undermine the possibility of God having some role in our conscience
    • Criticisms
      • Theoretical problems
        • Fromm argues that human beings are predetermined creatures
          • This determinism sits uncomfortably with Fromm's view that life offers hope
          • How is it possible to rise above alienation if everyone is determined to be alienated?
          • Fromm argued that to be set free it is necessary to be conscientious, which means being a person of conscience
      • Critics
        • They argue Fromm analysed situation but did not establish the cure
        • Scholars also question whether the conscience works to give hope, joy and love
          • Michel Foucault (1926-1984) argued that the conscience acts to condemn the individual, not to liberate
            • He points out the link between the conscience and guilt complex
      • Practical problems with Fromm's view of biophilia and conscience
        • How is a conscience based on love of and for life to be used?
          • Fromm gives enough information to suggest an application of biophilia conscience is possible
            • A love of life should be applied to all moral decisions
              • This would mean businesses treating their emplyees as partners
              • it would mean not destroying the ecosystem
              • Fromm's conscience is designed to enhance Quality of Life and empower every individual

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