Conscience

Katie Browell
Mind Map by Katie Browell, updated more than 1 year ago
Katie Browell
Created by Katie Browell about 5 years ago
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A2 Ethics Conscience Religious and Secular Theories - Work in Progress!!!

Resource summary

Conscience
1 Secular
1.1 Freud
1.1.1 Conscience is a construction of the mind that sought to make sense of disorder and to deal with the conflict that guilt brought.
1.1.1.1 During our early upbringing we accept certain values and beliefs about morality and society, which may at some stage be rejected by our moral reasoning. However these early formed values and beliefs still continue to influence our morality through the conscience that seeks to deal with the conflict that the early beliefs and the later beliefs bring.
1.1.1.1.1 Id
1.1.1.1.1.1 part of the conscience personality that is driven by impulses to seek pleasure and satisfaction
1.1.1.1.2 Ego
1.1.1.1.2.1 part of the personality that experiences and reacts to the world, as well as meditating between the drives of the id and the superego
1.1.1.1.3 Superego
1.1.1.1.3.1 part of the personality that seeks to censor and restrain the ego. Often associated with feelings of guilt.
1.1.1.1.4 He believed that feelings of guilt was intrinsically linked to the third stage if his theory of psycho-sexual development and the development of what is referred to as the Oedipus Complex. This is the theory that all young boys are sexually attracted to their mother and resent their father, who they believe will castrate them out of revenge for these feelings.
1.1.1.1.4.1 He taught that these feelings are eventually repressed into the unconscious and then form the basis for neuroses that lead to the concept of guilt, as illustrated by the Superego
1.1.1.1.4.1.1 Freud believed that in religious people this was in response to ideas about God and the values of the Bible. In non-religious people a response to another source of external authority, like government, family or societal values.
1.1.2 Our experiences make us who we are, they decide our path. there can be no definitive moral code of conduct or absolute moral law as our own individual consciences are shapes by our own experiences . This is why there are so many ethical codes within societies; they are a part of these external constructs of authority that are determined by our individual experiences.
1.2 Fromm
1.2.1 Our moral centre came from those around us who exert their authority over us - parents, teachers, religion, leaders - and over time these authorities involve reward and punishment for our actions, and over time these authorities that we have internalises become central to our understanding of morality.
1.2.1.1 Authoritarian conscience - the guilty conscience is a result of displeasing those in authority, therefore we fear some sort of rejection from them. A good authoritarian conscience provides a sense of security and well-being, as it provides a structure that we can work within to ensure both society and we are moral.
1.2.1.1.1 A negative authoritarian conscience can be seen from Fromms own experiences in Nazi Germany. The German people would feel guilt is they disobeyed their government and this weakened their power and make them submissive to the demands of the Nazi party. The Government manipulated their weakened consciences to make them feel guilty about helping or support Jews during the 1930's, and it is suggested that this may be a reason why so many Germans were willing to participate in the atrocities of the Holocaust.
1.2.1.2 Humanistic conscience - our conscience enabled us to assess our success as a human by evaluating our behaviour. In this way we moderate our behaviour according to the examples of others, by developing our integrity and honesty to become moral people. This approach has many similarities with the ideas of virtue.
1.2.1.2.1 This approach to conscience is very different from the ideas of the authoritarian conscience as it seeks to understand humanity and morality from a much more positive and hopefully angle. It is sometimes referred to by Fromm as the 'real conscience' and is 'a reaction of ourselves to ourselves; the voice of our true selves' that guides us to achieve out potential.
1.3 Piaget
1.3.1 Before the age of ten children take their morality from their parents/carers (heteronymous morality), but that after this stage their own moral reasoning becomes more prominent due to increasing awareness of morality and society around them (autonomous morality)
1.3.1.1 This development is essentially due to a child's cognitive development. Piagets approach suggest that the development of conscience is something that is learned from external sourcesbut is also naturally occurring.
1.4 Kohlberg
1.5 McManara
2 Religious
2.1 Aquinas
2.1.1 He did not believe that consciencewas an inner voice telling us whats right and wrong, but he beleived it was 'reason making right decisions' and if used correctly helps us understand what God see's and good and right
2.1.1.1 His beleif is that people try to do good and avoid evil, the Synderesis rule. In all siutuation our subcounsious actions are to do good, however he said that due to faultly reasioning or weakness of will some people perfom bad actions thinking that they are doing good, and therefore commit sinful acts.
2.1.1.1.1 The idea of faulty reqasoning is how Aquinas explains when people do things that are vewied as wrong, bad or sinful. He used the example of a man who slept with another mans wife and claimed he was doing this on faultly reasoning and therefore evil. However if the man did it beacuse he bleived that she was his own wife and that she wanted him, then he is free form any fauilt. He is also free from fault if he could not have been expdected to know otherwise.
2.1.1.2 He did not always believe that the conscience was correct, if your prinicples are flawed or incorrect then your conscience may be too
2.1.2 Synderesis - the innate 'right reason' that gives knowledge of the basic prinicples of morality
2.1.2.1 Conscientia - using the princples of synderesis, this is the ethical judgment which leads to a specific aciton
2.1.3 tl;dr Conscience is reasoning used correctly to find out what God see's as good. Not a voice inside us
2.1.4 Rational
2.2 Bulter
2.2.1 Conscience is the final moral decision maker. The evidence for conscience is our abailtiy to reason and rationalise, which seperates humans from animals.
2.2.1.1 Conscience can determine and judge the rightness or wrongness of different actions and thoughts, held a powerful postion in human decsion mamking as it 'magisterailly exerts itslef' spontaneouly 'without being consulted'
2.2.1.1.1 Therefore there is something autheorative and automatic for Butler about conscience.
2.2.1.1.1.1 Bulter did not see mistakes made by conscious as an serious problem as he belevied that in any moral dilema most people will see intuitively what is the right thing to do. Hoever he see's it as wicked to blind ones conscience to the way to right and wrong. People can easily convince themselves that all sorts of wrong actions are right, and this corruption of conscience by self depiction is worse than evil action which results from it.
2.2.1.1.1.1.1 The consequences of an action is not what makes it right or wrong, as that has already happened
2.2.1.1.1.1.1.1 The purpose of conscience is to guide a person into a way of life that will make him happy
2.2.1.1.1.1.1.2 Conscience will harmonise self love and beneolvence - this may take some sorting out, and so in moral dilemmas we may be uncertain what to do
2.2.1.1.1.1.1.3 Conscience controls human nature
2.2.1.2 'Had it strength, as it has right; had it power as it has manifest authority, it would absoultely govern the world'
2.2.2 Conscience
2.2.2.1 Principle of relfection
2.2.2.1.1 Makes us approve or disaprove of our actions
2.2.2.2 Self-love and benelovence
2.2.2.2.1 impluses (selflove -wanting the wellbeing of self or englighted self interest, not selfishness) (wanting the wellbeiong of other)
2.2.2.3 Basic drives
2.2.2.3.1 Drives us without thought of consequenes
2.2.2.4 God given uin order fore us to lead a proper healthly life
2.2.3 Intuitive
2.3 Newman
2.3.1 When someone is following their conscience they are, to an extent, following a divine law as given by God.
2.3.1.1 He bleieved when our conscience speaks to us it is God's voice giving us moral direction.
2.3.1.2 Conscience does not create truth but dectects truth that already exists
2.3.1.3 It is the responiblilty of a person to intuitively decide what truth God is guiding them towards
2.3.1.4 A law that speak to the human heart
2.3.1.5 The guilt and shame that is felt when someone makes an incorrect choice by ignoring conscience is the consequence of not obeying God.
2.3.2 Intuitive
2.4 St Paul
2.5 Augustine
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