Conscience

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  • Conscience
    • Cor= God has written his law on our hearts - HEBREW THINKING
      • Good heart = seeks God and listens to him
      • Bad cor = closed to God, hardened by sin
    • GREEK THINKING
      • 'Syneidesis' = Conscience
        • 'To Know'
          • Apostle Paul used it for those who know the will of God as that intended to rule their lives
            • We should be able to have a sense of guilt before God
              • Plutarch, ulcer of guilt from reason- cant be reasoned away
            • People act in a certain way because their conscience requires it
              • Duty to think of others' conscience
                • Meat offered to idols, wouldnt hurt someone with a clear conscience but those with a vulnerable conscience may see it as a way of leading back to paganism
                  • Do not take a good action if it can lead others to sin
            • People have the ability to reason good and bad actions
              • JEROME:SYNDERESIS
                • Innate ability to reason good and evil
                  • Directs humans to do good and restrain from doing evil
          • Innate, yet needs maturity and training
        • Refers to goodness or badness of actions perfromed by an individual in relationship with others
    • AQUINAS: VOICE OF REASON
      • Rejected idea that we have innate knowledge of what is right and wrong
        • We have ability to distinguish between good and evil
          • Reason unlocks God's law within
            • Conscience has ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY
              • It is always right to follow your conscience
                • BUT may lead to wrong decisions because of wrong practical reasoning or wrong principles
          • Conscience needs to be informed
            • Ignorance leads astray
              • Reason must be aquired
          • SYNDERESIS makes known God's general principles within us
            • Practical reason deals with specific issues
              • Through reflection on human nature
                • Practical reasoning for specific issues or primary precepts??????
      • to find God's law within us
      • Conscientia
        • Ethical judgement leading to derived secondary principles
      • Prudence
        • right reasoning
          • Developed by balancing our needs against the needs of others
      • 'The mind of man making moral judgements'
    • BUTLER: INTUITIVE GUIDE FROM GOD
      • distinguishes us from animals
        • humans can act out of self- love or benevolence
          • Conscience directs us to other-love (Altruism)
      • ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY
        • 'magisterially exerts itself spontaneously without being consulted.'
          • Automatic
        • Conscience controls human nature
          • It is the law of our nature
            • 'The guide assigned to us by the author of our nature: it therefore belongs to our condition of being.'
        • BUT, evil= to blind oneself to conscience to make way for the right action
          • Corruption of conscience and self-deceit is the worst sin
      • principle of reflection to distinguish approval or disapproval of our actions
    • NEWMAN: VOICE OF GOD
      • To follow conscience is to follow God's divine law
        • voice of God within
          • A principle planted within (innate)
          • Infallible- God is infallible
          • Our one-to-one relationship with God
        • Conscience tells us something of God's existence and what God is
          • We experience God as a sovereign judge and eternal witness
            • 'I toast the Pope, but I toast conscience first.'
              • Conscience has ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY
            • Guilt is being judged by God
              • We feel shame before God
    • FREUD:IRRATIONAL ASPECT OF SUPEREGO
      • superego develops from 5 years old onwards
        • Internalises and reflects on dissaproval of others
          • Forbids certain actions and provides a sense of guilt
            • Conscience should not be followed
              • NO AUTHORITY
          • Internalised voice of external authorities
      • Mind
        • Ego: Rational
        • Id: physical and emotional needs
          • Eros: life
          • Thanatos:death instinct
        • Superego: Controlling, restraining
      • WE think we make free decisions but we are controlled subconsciously
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