Critically assess the claim that conscience

The English word "conscious" originally derived from the Latin conscius con- "together" and scio "to know"but the Latin word did not have the same meaning as our word—it meant "knowing with", in other words "having joint or common knowledge with another". This phrase had the figurative meaning of "knowing that one knows", as the modern English word "conscious" does.

Critically assess the claim that conscience

IS conscience the voice of reason? He believed that conscience was more a faculty of reflection as oppose to a voice or an inner guide. He believed that through reason and the application of conscience, the most fundamental moral principles can be established primary precepts Although there are various different secular and religious ideas as to what conscience is, but I shall be arguing how Aquinas view of conscience is more agreeable than these other views.


Aquinas splits conscience into two halves: Synderesis, which is an innate knowledge of human knowledge and primary precepts through practical reasoning and Conscientia, which is the application of synderesis through the secondary precepts.

Therefore, your conscience is the power of moral reasoning, balanced with prudence, which is the virtue of right reasoning this is agreeable because it means that each human is morally responsible for their own actions, and that each human has the capacity to develop their morality through reasoning, which is a faculty shared by all of usAn alternative religious view would be that of Butlers, who said that conscience is the voice of God in man.

Ultimately, Butler is saying that your conscience can act as your moral judge, and it is always right, as it is assigned to us by the author of our nature so therefore is infallible.

According to Butler, your conscience was the highest authority in this world had it strength, as it has right; had it power, as it has manifest authority, it would absolutely govern the world. However, I feel this view to be less agreeable than Aquinas view.

For one, it absolutely removes all moral responsibility from the decision maker. To what extent is it actually your decision if it has already been made for you by another party?

What would be the purpose of Christ and his teachings, if all we need do is follow our conscience, and not think for ourselves? A vincible action is when we have good intentions, and do what we think is good, but if we had thought about the decision and thought rationally and applied reason, we would have come to a different conclusion.


This is the way conscience can be deceived with Aquinas. Our conscience can lead us to the wrong conclusions if we havent effectively applied conscientia. However, it is our misguided reasoning that leads to vincible errors; synderesis still stands true and infallible, regardless of how we apply it.

Newman offers a similar view to Butler, in the sense that he believes that conscience is intuitive, and is the voice of God. It is not reason, it is not a feeling of guilt and it is separate from our will and personal desires.

It is a power implanted in us before the ability to reason. He disagrees with Aquinas on the idea on the rule of synderesis. The conscience is not a list of commandments or laws to follow, it is a clear indication as to what is right.

A big flaw with this theory is that there appears to be people in this world with no conscience; psychopaths. Are these people forgotten by God?

Aquinas conscience allows for everyone to develop a conscience, so long as they have the capacity to reason. These theories rely on conscience being innate, and not learned. However there are some secular theories to suggest that conscience is a learned faculty, which is a result of our upbringing and environment.

Freud suggests that the conscience is just the guilt we feel when we defy our superego, by acting contrary to the moral and ethical values that we have internalised from society and our parents. It is part of our unconscious mind, and therefore separate from reason.

A positive of Freuds theory is that it is based on research and evidence. He believes that conscience is a part of personality development, and because it is independent of religion, every person can be held morally accountable for their actions.

However, a lot of Freuds work has been criticized and discredited. He believes the superego is developed during the phallic stage of childhood which occurs between year olds.

However, it seems that most children this age cannot express any sexual desires or interests, which raises speculations as to the soundness of Freuds theory of conscience. Freuds view of conscience fails to discredit the claim that conscience is the voice of reason.

He argues that a religious conscience is unhealthy for proper psychological mental development, however looking at examples of religious figures in the past such as Mother Teresa and MLK would suggest otherwise.

In Freuds theory, people are also morally accountable, to an extent. Seeing as your super-ego is a product of your upbringing and society you are raised in, according to Freuds theory, you might only ever be able to act according to the particular set of moral values you were brought up with. Therefore, a child brought up in a religious extremist environment may never break out of that paradigm of morality.

He believes that the conscience is just moral sense and is developed alongside other cognitive attributes. He believed that we are led to develop moral sense through conditioning of praise and punishment. Piaget believes that an 11 year old can have a fully developed conscience, seeing as they seem to certain perceptions such as motive, intention and so forth.

Critically assess the claim that conscience

Piagets theory is also based on psychological evidence and observation, which might add to its validity.Critically assess Wittgenstein's belief that language games allow religious statements to have meaning 2. Conversion experiences are the .

Exam practice

May 31,  · 1) Critically assess the claims that Ayer provides to religious language 2) "Miracles are nothing more than a matter of interpretation".

Discuss 3) "Religious experiences are not proof of the divine". Discuss 4) Critically assess the claim that monism provides a better approach than dualism Ethics 1) 'Freud provides the best .

“I’m just so grateful without your site I would have crumbled this year” SC (Teacher) “Very helpful and concise.” Sam (Student) “This is a functional book that explains all the concepts very clearly without any waffle. 2 ‘It is obvious that morality is relative.’ Critically assess this claim.

[25] The arguments for relativism might include descriptive/cultural relativism, i.e. the view that cultural diversity is ‘obvious’, which implies that morality is conceptually relative as the basis of . Critically assess the claim that conscience is the voice of reason. [35] The origin of the conscience is much debated by both secular and religious beliefs.

One may insist that the conscience is the voice of reason and this can be supported by Aquinas’ belief in . Critically assess the claim that conscience is the voice of reason (35) There are a number of views on whether conscience is the voice of reason and where this voice comes from; is it .

Ethics A2 OCR past paper questions