Father Williams explains how the conscience is formed through our training and experiences and informed by the Holy Spirit, making it an essential tool for daily living. He uses familiar and surprising characters to illustrate the positive choices conscience can direct--and the disaster that results when a conscience is undeveloped or ignored. Questions he tackles include "Is it more important to be smart or good?""Is there a morally right thing to do in every situation?" and "Is the (...) Christian moral life an exciting adventure, or a necessary burden?" Rich, provocative, and practical for everyday decision making, KNOWING RIGHT FROM WRONG is a must-read for all who hunger for personal holiness. (shrink)
This book presents in translation writings by six medieval philosophers which bear on the subject of conscience. Conscience, which can be considered both as a topic in the philosophy of mind and a topic in ethics, has been unduly neglected in modern philosophy, where a prevailing belief in the autonomy of ethics leaves it no natural place. It was, however, a standard subject for a treatise in medieval philosophy. Three introductory translations here, from Jerome, Augustine and Peter Lombard, (...) present the loci classici on which subsequent discussions drew; there follows the first complete treatise on conscience, by Philip the Chancellor, while the two remaining translations, from Bonaventure and Aquinas, have been chosen as outstanding examples of the two main approaches which crystallised during the thirteenth century. (shrink)
out a visitation and a thorough assessment of his diocese. His predecessor (or rather his friend Benson, the bishop of Gloucester, who during Edward Chandler's decline had managed Durham's affairs) had kept the deanery records in good ...
ch. 1. Conscience--the subjective norm of morality -- ch. 2. Conscience and law -- ch. 3. Relationship between conscience and law -- ch. 4. Holy Scipture on the nature of conscience -- ch. 5. Freedom and commitment of conscience -- ch. 6. The African and conscience with particular reference to the Igbos of Nigeria -- ch. 7. Igbo moral conscience in the light of cross-cultural education: Western civilisation and christianity.
Reformed Christianity's qualified embrace of freedom of conscience is per- haps best represented by William Ames (1576-1633). This essay explores Ames's interpretation of conscience, his understanding of its relationship to natural law, Scripture, and civil authority, and his vacillation on the sub- ject of conscientious freedom. By rooting his interpretation of conscience in natural law, Ames provided a foundation for conscience as an authority whose convictions are binding and worthy of some civil respect and free- (...) dom. At the same time, his Puritan worldview ultimately required the deference of conscience to the superior manifestations of divine law in Scripture and civil institutions. As a result, Ames provided raw ingredients for a theological doctrine of freedom of conscience despite his unwillingness to commend the idea himself consistently. In this way, Ames symbolizes an ambiguity on freedom of conscience characteristic of the broader Reformed tradition. (shrink)
Moral moments -- The neurotic and the penitent -- True, false, and feigned penance -- Fame without conscience -- Cain and conscience -- Feminine paradoxes -- Sincere hypocrisy -- The poetical consience -- Envoi : spiritual sophistry.
On a postcard to Franz Overbeck from January 4, 1888, Nietzsche makes some illuminating remarks with respect to the three treatises in his book On the Genealogy of Morality.2 Nietzsche says that, ‘for the sake of clarity, it was necessary artificially to isolate the different roots of that complex structure that is called morality. Each of these three treatises expresses a single primum mobile; a fourth and fifth are missing, as is even the most essential (‘the herd instinct’) – for (...) the time being, the latter had to be ignored, as too comprehensive, and the same holds for the ultimate summation of all those different elements and thus a final account of morality.’ Nietzsche also points out that each treatise makes a contribution to the genesis of Christianity and rejects an explanation of Christianity in terms of only one psychological category. The topics of the treatises are ‘good’ and ‘evil’ (first treatise), the ‘bad conscience’ (second), and the ‘ascetic ideal’ (third). The postcard suggests that Nietzsche discusses these topics separately because a joint treatment is too complicated, but that in reality, these ideas are inextricably intertwined, both with each other and with others that Nietzsche omits. Therefore, the three treatises should be regarded as parts of a unified theory and critique of morality. Nietzsche’s remarks on that postcard are important because in the Genealogy itself, he makes little effort to show the unity among the treatises. We shall return to this postcard repeatedly.3 The first treatise has attracted most scholarly attention, but much less work has been done on the second treatise, ‘ “Debts”, “Bad Conscience”, and Related Matters’. This is unfortunate, since it seems that, in Nietzsche’s own view, the central notion of the second treatise, namely, the bad conscience as a feeling of guilt, is a key element of Christian morality. Therefore, understanding Nietzsche’s treatment of this notion is essential to understanding his views on Christianity and the impact of the Christian heritage on non-religious moral philosophy.. (shrink)
While much has been made of the similarities between the work of Nietzsche and Freud, insufficient attention has been paid to their differences. Even where they have been noted, the degree of these differences, which sometimes approaches direct opposition, has often been underestimated. In the following essay, I will suggest that on the topic of conscience Nietzsche and Freud have radically opposed views, with profoundly different moral consequences. Despite superficial similarities, Nietzsche’s conception of conscience is opposed to that (...) of Freud in almost every conceivable way. For Freud, conscience is primarily associated with bad will, repression, subordination to social prohibition, and the feeling of guilt. For Nietzsche, conscience is primarily related to affirmation, memory, individual sovereignty, and the feelings of pride and power. To be sure, Freudian “bad conscience” has its parallel in Nietzsche’s philosophy—but only as a modality of conscience, not as its foundation. Freudian conscience is, on the contrary, an essentially bad conscience. (shrink)
Conscience is oft-referred to yet not understood. This text develops a theory of cognition around a model of conscience, the ACTWith model. It represents a synthesis of results from contemporary neuroscience with traditional philosophy, building from Jamesian insights into the emergence of the self to narrative identity, all the while motivated by a single mechanism as represented in the ACTWith model. Emphasis is placed on clarifying historical expressions and demonstrations of conscience - Socrates, Heidegger, Kant, M.L. King (...) - in light of the ACTWith model, while at once turning these resources to developing the basic architecture. In the end, this text aims to enrich moral theory by improving our understanding of moral cognition, while at once providing a useful tool in everyday moral practice and self-development. (shrink)
The literature on conscience in medicine has paid little attention to what is meant by the word ‘conscience.’ This article distinguishes between retrospective and prospective conscience, distinguishes synderesis from conscience, and argues against intuitionist views of conscience. Conscience is defined as having two interrelated parts: (1) a commitment to morality itself; to acting and choosing morally according to the best of one’s ability, and (2) the activity of judging that an act one has done (...) or about which one is deliberating would violate that commitment. Tolerance is defined as mutual respect for conscience. A set of boundary conditions for justifiable respect for conscientious objection in medicine is proposed. (shrink)
A growing number of medical professionals claim a right of conscience, a right to refuse to perform any professional duty they deem immoral—and to do so with impunity. We argue that professionals do not have the unqualified right of conscience. At most they have a highly qualified right. We focus on the claims of pharmacists, since they are the professionals most commonly claiming this right.
Following a discussion of some historical roots of conscience, we offer a systematized version of reflective equilibrium. Aiming at a comprehensive methodology for bioethical deliberation, we develop an expanded variant of reflective equilibrium, which we call ‘triangular reflective equilibrium’ and which incorporates insights from hermeneutics, critical theory and narrative ethics.We focus on a few distinctions, mainly between methods of justification in ethics and the social practice of bioethical deliberation, between coherence in ethical reasoning, personal integrity and consensus formation, and (...) between political and moral deliberation.The ideal of deliberation is explicated as a sharing of conscience within a special commitment to sincerity and openness to persuasion. Personal growth in wisdom is an indirect by-product of the continuous practice of moral deliberation. This is explicated in the light of Sternberg's balance theory of wisdom and in the context of medicine as a profession embodying altruistic responsibilities of care in democratic and pluralistic societies. (shrink)
I am not a pantheist and I don’t believe that pantheism is consistent with Christianity. My preferred speculation is what I call the Swiss Cheese theory: we and our artefacts are the holes in God, the only Godless parts of reality. In this paper, I begin by considering a world rather like ours but without any beings capable of sin. Ignoring extraterrestrials and angels we could consider the world, say, 5 million years ago. Pantheism was, I say, true at (...) that time. That is my qualified endorsement of pantheism. I then use the Sin premise, namely that we are capable of sinning, to argue that beings like us are not parts of God and I examine some consequences. (shrink)
Conscience and Corporate Culture advances the constructive dialogue on a moral conscience for corporations. Written for educators in the field of business ethics and practicing corporate executives, the book serves as a platform on a subject profoundly difficult and timely. Written from the unique vantage point of an author who is a philosopher, professor of business administration, and a corporate consultant A vital resource for both educators in the field of business ethics and practicing corporate executives Forwards the (...) constructive dialogue on a moral conscience for corporations Offers a philosophical and practical approach to considering business ethics. (shrink)
Although modern societies have come to recognize diversity in human sexuality as simply part of nature, many Christian communities and thinkers still have considerable difficulties with related developments in politics, legislation, and science. In fact, homosexuality is a recurrent topic in the transdisciplinary encounter between Christianity and the sciences, an encounter that is otherwise rather “asexual.” I propose that the recent emergence of “Christianity and Science” as an academic field in its own right is an important part of (...) the larger context of the difficulties related to attempts to reconcile Christianity and a recognition of diversity in human sexuality as a norm. Through a critical discussion of arguments which are upheld most disturbingly on a global scale by the Roman Catholic Church and supported with much sophistry by important stakeholders of an influential stream in analytic philosophy of religion, this paper aims to contextualize and defend the legitimacy of the question why God would create homosexuals as such if it is true that every homosexual act is prohibited by God. While recently advanced nonheterosexist scientific models of sexuality in nature inform the discussion, I reject the simplistic view that religions suppress and the sciences liberate in matters sexual. (shrink)
In Intimations of Christianity Among the Ancient Greeks , Simone Weil discusses precursors to Christian religious ideas which can be found in ancient Greek mythology, literature and philosophy. She looks at evidence of "Christian" feelings in Greek literature, notably in Electra, Orestes, and Antigone , and in the Iliad , going on to examine God in Plato, and divine love in creation, as seen by the ancient Greeks.
There were two prevailing sentiments in Europe after the Reformation: One opposing papal authority and one advocating individual freedom. This paper analyzes these two sentiments and finds that the concept of conscience is crucial in understanding them. The issue of conscience is about judging truth and good, and in initiating the Reformation, Martin Luther heavily appealed to his conscience while countering Catholic attacks. With the wide dispersal of the Reformation, Luther’s notion of conscience was well received (...) among his supporters throughout Europe. Descartes later transformed Luther’s conscience into an epistemological being (the cogito ), and argued that its existence was the only valid thing that survived his thorough skepticism — and as such is the foundation of human knowledge. Rousseau continued this line of thinking, which we call subjectivism, and re-employed the term conscience as a replacement for cogito , holding that conscience is the final authority in judging good and bad; that, as the starting point of human existence, it cannot be withheld from any human being; and that it therefore constitutes an inalienable human right. This paper argues that the Enlightenment was a subjectivist movement propelled by this conscience- cogito -conscience conceptualization, and that it sought to enlighten this inalienable conscience. (shrink)
Some bioethicists argue that conscientious objectors in health care should have to justify themselves, just as objectors in the military do. They should have to provide reasons that explain why they should be exempt from offering the services that they find offensive. There are two versions of this view in the literature, each giving different standards of justification. We show these views are each either too permissive (i.e. would result in problematic exemptions based on conscience) or too restrictive (i.e. (...) would produce problematic denials of exemption). We then develop a middle ground position that we believe better combines respect for the conscience of healthcare professionals with concern for the duties that they owe to patients. Our claim, in short, is that insofar as objectors should have to justify themselves, they should have to do it according to the standard that we defend rather than according to the standards that others have developed. (shrink)
Is there a specifically "Hobbesian moment" in the extremely complex history of the idea of conscience? In order to answer this question and to understand why Hobbes's conception of conscience was so innovative, one needs to look at the materials he used to build his system, including the medieval doctrine of synderesis. The article examines the way this doctrine was both perpetuated and altered in Renaissance England.
This book shows that civil disobedience is generally more defensible than private conscientious objection. -/- Part I explores the morality of conviction and conscience. Each of these concepts informs a distinct argument for civil disobedience. The conviction argument begins with the communicative principle of conscientiousness. According to this principle, having a conscientious moral conviction means not just acting consistently with our beliefs and judging ourselves and others by a common moral standard. It also means not seeking to evade the (...) consequences of our beliefs and being willing to communicate to them to others. The conviction argument shows that, as a constrained, communicative practice, civil disobedience has a better claim than private objection does to the protections that liberal societies give to conscientious dissent. This view reverses the standard liberal picture which sees private 'conscientious' objection as a modest act of personal belief and civil disobedience as a strategic, undemocratic act whose costs are only sometimes worth bearing. -/- The conscience argument is narrower and shows that genuinely morally responsive civil disobedience honours the best of our moral responsibilities and is protected by a duty-based moral right of conscience. -/- Part II translates the conviction argument and conscience argument into two legal defences. The first is a demands-of-conviction defence. The second is a necessity defence. Both of these defences apply more readily to civil disobedience than to private disobedience. Part II also examines lawful punishment, showing that, even when punishment is justifiable, civil disobedients have a moral right not to be punished. (shrink)
Christians and Marxists have co-operated in various forms of political work in recent decades, and, after earlier years of antagonism, thinkers on both sides have come to take the other seriously. The aim of this book is to get Christianity and Marxism to meet on terrain on which they might seem most opposed: their philosophical positions; and to do so without watering either down, but taking then full strength.
Moral intuitionism, which claims that some moral seemings are justification-conferring, has become an increasingly popular account in moral epistemology. Defenses of the position have largely focused on the standard account, according to which the justification-conferring power of a moral seeming is determined by its phenomenal credentials alone. Unfortunately, the standard account is a less plausible version of moral intuitionism because it does not take etiology seriously. In this paper, I provide an outline and defense of a non-standard account of moral (...) intuitionism that I dub the “Prudent Conscience View.” According to this view, phenomenal credentials only partially determine the justification-conferring power of a moral seeming, for a seeming’s justification-conferring power is also determined by its etiology. In brief, a moral seeming is justification-conferring to the degree that the conscience that gave rise to it is functioning properly, and a person's conscience functions properly to the degree that the person is prudent. (shrink)
This examination of a fundamental but often neglected aspect of the intellectual history of early modern Europe brings together philosophers, historians and political theorists from Great Britain, Canada, the United States, Australia, France and Germany. Despite the diversity of disciplines and national traditions represented, the individual contributions show a remarkable convergence around three themes: changes in the modes of moral education in early modern Europe, the emergence of new relations between conscience and law (particularly the law of the state), (...) and the shared continuities and discontinuities of both Roman Catholic and Protestant moral culture in relation to their medieval past. (shrink)
A part of the “return to religion” now evident in European philosophy, this book represents the culmination of the career of a leading phenomenological thinker whose earlier works trace a trajectory from Marx through a genealogy of psychoanalysis that interprets Descartes’s “I think, I am” as “I feel myself thinking, I am.” In this book, Henry does not ask whether Christianity is “true” or “false.” Rather, what is in question here is what Christianity considers as truth, what kind (...) of truth it offers to people, what it endeavors to communicate to them, not as a theoretical and indifferent truth, but as the essential truth that by some mysterious affinity is suitable for them, to the point that it alone is capable of ensuring them salvation. In the process, Henry inevitably argues against the concept of truth that dominates modern thought and determines, in its multiple implications, the world in which we live. Henry argues that Christ undoes “the truth of the world,” that He is an access to the infinity of self-love, to a radical subjectivity that admits no outside, to the immanence of affective life found beyond the despair fatally attached to all objectifying thought. The Kingdom of God accomplishes itself in the here and now through the love of Christ in what Henry calls “the auto-affection of Life.” In this condition, he argues, all problems of lack, ambivalence, and false projection are resolved. (shrink)
One understanding of conscience dominates bioethical discussion about conscience. On this view, to have a conscience is to be compelled to act in accordance with one’s own moral values for the sake of one’s “integrity,” where integrity is understood as inner or psychological unity. Conscience is deemed valuable because it promotes this quality. In this paper, I describe the dominant view, attempt to show that it is flawed, and sketch a positive alternative to it. In my (...) opinion, conscience often fails to promote inner unity (regardless of the degree of inner unity we have in mind); acting with a conscience leaves many people broken rather than unified. A better view about the value of conscience is that having a conscience encourages morally responsible agency. My goal is to prove that this alternative explains better what it means to value conscience in health care and the extent to which we ought to value it. (shrink)
Common experiences of mothering offer profound critiques of maternal ethical norms found in both Christianity and Islam. The familiar responsibilities of caring for children, assumed by the majority of Christian and Muslim women, provide the basis for reassessing sacrificial and selfless love, protesting unjust religious and political systems, and dismantling romanticized notions of childcare. As a distinctive category of women's experience, motherhood may offer valuable perspectives necessary for remedying injustices that afflict mothers and children in particular, as well as (...) for developing cross-cultural understandings of justice in general. (shrink)
A RECENT BIOGRAPHY of Marcus Loane, evangelical Anglican Archbishop of Sydney in the 1960s, records that as a student at Moore Theological College he would read during lectures to avoid having to listen to the liberal Principal. When you are committed to a closed system of thought, you can't be too careful when it comes to letting ideas in from the outside. But what about the ideas already inside? How does the Sydney Anglican interpretation of Christianity compare to what (...) Jesus said? (shrink)
This article considers the difficult question of whether there are any reasons for theocratic religious devotees to affirm liberalism and liberal institutions. Swaine argues not only that there are reasons for theocrats to affirm liberalism, but that theocrats are committed rationally to three normative principles of liberty of conscience, as well. Swaine subsequently discusses three institutional and strategic implications of his arguments. First, he outlines an option of semisovereignty for theocratic communities in liberal democracies, and explains why an appropriate (...) valuation of liberty of conscience may justify a standard of that kind. Second, he addresses the question of permissible government aid for religion and symbolic endorsement of religious groups. Third, Swaine considers innovations and new approaches that could be employed internationally to better display liberal government's affirmation of religiosity, to promote liberty of conscience, and to help improve relations between liberal and theocratic parties around the globe. (shrink)
Inequities in health and health care are one of the greatest challenges facing the international community today. This problem raises serious questions for health care planners, politicians and ethicists alike. The major world religions can play an important role in this discussion. Therefore, interreligious dialogue on this topic between ethicists and health care professionals is of increasing relevance and urgency. This article gives an overview on the positions of Islam and Christianity on equity and the distribution of resources in (...) health care. It has been written in close collaboration and constant dialogue between the two authors coming from the two religions. Although there is no specific concept for the modern term equity in either of the two religions, several areas of agreement have been identified: All human beings share the same values and status, which constitutes the basis for an equitable distribution of rights and benefits. Special provisions need to be made for the most needy and disadvantaged. The obligation to provide equitable health services extends beyond national and religious boundaries. Several areas require intensified research and further dialogue: the relationship between the individual and the community interms of rights and responsibilities, how to operationalize the moral duty to decrease global inequalities in health, and the understanding and interpretation of human rights in regard to social services. (shrink)
Mamardašvili did not develop a systematic philosophy that treats separately the various traditional disciplines of philosophy such as epistemology, logic, ethics, aesthetics etc. On the contrary, isolated from the direct influences of other currents of thought that might otherwise have given his own a different direction, Mamardašvili concentrated his attention on the very act of thought, the vitality of which had been undermined in philosophical understandings, including both Hegelian-Marxist attempts to situate the subject in history and re-appropriations of the Cartesian (...) cogito. In this paper I will outline the most pertinent elements of Mamardašvili’s attempt to find a unified subject of knowledge and action and attempt to show how in his view consciousness and conscience are indissoluble. (shrink)
The widespread emergence of innumerable technologies within health care has complicated the choices facing caregivers and their patients. The escalation of knowledge and technical innovation has been accompanied by an erosion of moral and ethical consensus among health providers that is reflected in the abandonment of the Hippocratic Oath as the immutable bedrock of medical ethics. Ethical conflicts arise when the values of health professionals collide with the expressed wishes of patients or the dictates of regulatory bodies and administrators. Increasing (...) attempts by groups outside of the medical profession to limit freedom of conscience for health providers has raised concern and consternation among some health professionals. The personal and professional impact of health professionals surrendering freedom of conscience and participating in actions they deem malevolent or unethical has not been adequately studied and may not be inconsequential when considering the recognized impact of other circumstances of coerced complicity. We argue that the distinction between the two ways that freedom of conscience is exercised (avoiding a perceived evil and seeking a perceived good) provides a rational basis for a principled limitation of this fundamental freedom. (shrink)
Through an exchange that is both intimate and enlightening, Vattimo and Girard share their unparalleled insight into the relationships among religion, modernity, and the role of Christianity, especially as it exists in our multicultural ...
Normal 0 21 false false false ES X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 The present text shows the sense of the interpretation of Saint Paul and Saint Augustine that Heidegger carry out in his early Freiburg lectures. Concretly, I will point out the reason why Heidegger recovers some aspects of the christianity for his philosophical project and also to show which are the concrete elements that Saint Paul’s Epistles and Saint Augustine’s Confessions contribute to him. In this way, we will be able (...) to appreciate, among other things, the importance granted by Heidegger to the accentuation of the self-world ( Selbstwelt ) and the temporality who is typical of the Christian experience of live. (shrink)
The conception of conscience that dominates discussions in bioethics focuses narrowly on private regulation of behaviour resulting from explicit attitudes. It neglects to mention implicit attitudes and the role of social feedback in becoming aware of one's implicit attitudes. But if conscience is a way of ensuring that a person's behaviour is in line with her moral values, it must be responsive to all aspects of the mind that influence behaviour. There is a wealth of recent psychological work (...) demonstrating the influence of implicit attitudes on behaviour. A necessary part of having a well-functioning conscience must thus be awareness and regulation of one's implicit attitudes in addition to one's explicit attitudes; this cannot be done by an individual in isolation. On my revised conception of conscience, heeding social feedback, being emotionally self-aware and engaging in self-monitoring are important for the possession of a well-functioning conscience. Health professionals may need specific training to help them develop and maintain a well-functioning conscience, which should involve cultivation of awareness of implicit attitudes, emphasis on social feedback and techniques to enable better control over them. (shrink)