What is conscience
Moral faculty prompting us to see that certain actions morally right or wrong
Moral Compass = Prompt in different directions
Reliable guide but lacks consistency - lead people to do bad actions
Rely on intuitionist approach - conscience innate from God
Bible = law written on the heart
Augustine - voice of God speaking to us
Religious Views - Aquinas
Aquinas = all people aim for what is good, sinning falling short of God's ideals - idea of deprivation of good.
but even following conscience we will get it wrong
Two parts of conscience:
1) Synderesis = use of right reason, learn principle of doing good + avoiding evil
2) Conscientia = actual judgement leading to action
Jukebox - synderesis request song, result the song playing is conscientia
Moral faculty of conscience is what separates humans from animals.
Being human involves being moral
Conscience - God-given guide to right conduct + demands must be followed always
B/c comes from God, must be obeyed
Will harmonise self-love and benevolence. BUT may take time so uncertainty normal
Non-consequentialist, purpose is to guide person to happy life
Conscience controls human nature
Conscience voice of God - like Augustine
Voice in our head implies God b/c we feel ashamed and fear
--> conscience is witness
Secular Views - Freud
3 parts of the mind - superego (conscience + conscious), ego (conscious, seen by outside world) and ID (unconscious, amoral, in conflict with superego)
Clearly connected with guilt felt when go againt conscience - simply construct of mind
Religious people - perceptions in response to God
Non-religious - responses to externally imposed authority
Conscience product of experience + internalisation of disapproval of others.
Child's moral sense develops + ability to reason morally depends on cognitive development.
2 stages of moral development:
1) Heteronomous (controlled) morality - ages 5-10, when conscience is immature, rules broken, punishments expected. Consequences determine action right or wrong.
2) Autonomous morality- 10+ when children develop own rules + understand how to operate in society. Less dependent on others for moral authority - more subjective.
humans influenced by external authority apply rules and punishments for breaking them
Internalised by individuals
Guilty conscience result of displeasing authority = submissive to authority
healthier - asseses + evaluates behaviour
use to judge how successful we are as people
Use teachings + examples of others + discoveries to give personal integrity + moral honesty
Vincent MacNamara - conscience is an awareness or attitude - seeing goodness and truth as imporant
Richard Gula - way of seeing the world, responding through choices made
Daniel Maguire - decides which moral choice is best