Why Christians should follow their conscience.
Christians believe that God speaks to Christians. The conscience is like a voice in our heads telling us what we should or should not do.
The voice of conscience seems to be the same as the voice of God, therefore christians should follow it.
The church and various Christian thinkers, such as St Paul and St Thomas Aquinas, say that Christians should follow their sonscience as if it were the voice of God.
Why some Christians think they shouldn't always fo
People have been mistaken about the voice of God, for example, the Yorkshire Ripper claimed that God had told him to kill prostitutes.
If you can be mistaken about the voice of God, you must also be able to be mistaken about the voice of conscience.
If Christians follow the teachings of the Bible and the Church, then they know other people wil think that what they do is right.
Summary: Conscience is the inner feeling that makes epople thuink somethign is right or wrong. Many Christians think conscience is the way God speaks to Christians today and so is the main guide for making moral decisions. Other Christians think it is safer to follow the Bible or the Church.
Situation Ethics: The idea that Christians should base moral decisions on what is the most loving thing to do in a situation.
Many of those Christians who believe that conscience is more important than the Bible or the Church believe that Christians should follow situation ethics.This is a Christian idea about making moral decisions which began with an American Christian thinker, Joseph Fletcher.
Accepting the authority of either the Bible or the Church means that things are either right or wrong regardless of the situation. For example if the Bible says stealing is wrong, it cannot be allowed whatever the situation. So if you find out that a madman has bought nuclear weapons, you would not be able to steal them from him to save the world because stealing is wrong.
Situation Ethics (Continued)
Similarly, if the Church says abortion is wrong, it cannot be allowed whatever the circumstances. So if a twelve year old girl was ***** and became pregnant, she could not be allowed an abortion even if the pregnancy was driving her insane, because the Church has declared that abortion is wrong.
Fletcher felt that this was wrong and that Christians should base their moral decisions on Jesus' commandment to love your neightbour as yourself, and on the situation. So fletcher said that christians should only follow the bible and or the church if it is the most loving thing to do. Therefore a Christian would work out that the most loving thing to do in the situation of the madman would be to steal the nuclear weapons from him. The most loving thing to do in the situation of the twelve year old girl would be to allow her to have an abortion.