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Conscience 13/05/12




Conscience
Two different positions regarding conscience:
1. voice of God (who is the lawmaker) within
2. product of society and demands of authority

Position 1:

St Paul (1st century CE)

Conscience = the universally God given ability to know and choose good.

God's laws are "engraved upon our…

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Conscience 13/05/12




But, rationalistic approach doesn't sit v. well with importance of God's divine
revelation.

Joseph Butler

Conscience = God given guide on how to behave.

What makes humans different is our ability to reason and this can be used as
evidence for the existence of conscience.
"There is a…

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Conscience 13/05/12




Conscience comes from the values of different societies and cultures this explains
why people have different "consciences" of what is right or wrong.
20thC anthropologist Ruth Benedict researched values of different cultures:
The Spartans, Ancient Greece, thought stealing was morally right.
Tribe in East Africa threw deformed babies…

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Conscience 13/05/12




The first of these stages is ruled by punishment which encourages obedience as
people want to gain approval.
People then move to keeping the law, to caring for others...
The final stage is respect for universal principles "right" and "wrong" is based on a
set of selfchosen principles…

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