1. Conscience: What is Conscience?

  • Created by: Alasdair
  • Created on: 26-06-17 13:45
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  • 1. What is Conscience?
    • Mostly understood as something which tells us right from wrong
      • But when issues are considered in more depth the actual nature and function of conscience are harder to establish
        • What is conscience?
        • Where does conscience come from?
        • Is conscience innate or acquired?
        • What is its function in ethical decision-making?
    • Generally seen as a moral faculty, sense or feeling which compels individuals to believe that particular activities are right or wrong
    • Conscience may also be seen to prompt different people in quite different directions
    • We consider our conscience to be a reliable guide
    • Mark Twain
      • "I have noticed my conscience fr many years, and I know it is more trouble and bother to me than anything elze I started with"
    • Conscience lacks consistency
      • Even individuals are inconsistent and matters about which we once had conscientious feelings no longer affect us
      • If conscience is so changeable, how can it be a reliable guide?
    • Religious views include:
      • Biblical teachings
      • Divine Command theory
      • Works of Augustine, Aquinas, Butler, Newman, Bonheoffer, etc.
    • Secular views include:
      • Psychological
      • Sociological
      • Humanitarian
      • Authoritarian


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