‘Conscience Is the Voice of God’ Discuss. Essay

1164 Words Dec 1st, 2014 5 Pages
‘Conscience is the voice of god’ Discuss.

Most people would agree that conscience is the reasoned voice inside us that guides and tells us what we should and shouldn’t do. However peoples views on the origins of conscience can differ a lot; whether people belief its Gods doing or whether it’s innate or even whether it is acquired. In this essay I will be showing the viewpoints of various philosophers with their beliefs on whether conscience is or isn’t the voice of God. Ultimately I believe that conscience is not the voice of God.

John Henry Newman believed that conscience was the voice of God, and that following the suggestions of your conscience gives the same significance as to follow God’s laws and values. Newman used
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He believed conscience can make mistakes if it not provided with all necessary information when making decisions. Aquinas said that conscience, when correctly applied, will lead us to discover the natural moral law within human nature. Reason moves from knowledge of very general precepts to more specific secondary precepts. Developing our conscience is about acquiring, through repeated actions, for example, an honest person becomes honest through continuously repeating honest actions as Aquinas believed that practice makes it perfect. Aquinas said that most people would generally say conscience is separated: moral codes are set by God and humans work out how to follow them. Although this would seem to suggest conscience is the voice of God, Aquinas relied on reason that God was discussing conscience.
Another philosopher who believed that conscience was the voice of God was Joseph Butler, an Anglican Bishop. For Butler there are two basic principles of human influence: self-love and benevolence. Conscience is the balancing force of these two influences; It directs us towards the interests of others and away from ourselves. Like Aquinas, Butler argued that we have been made in the image of God with the ability to reason. Conscience is based on moral reason - a component of the conscious mind. It is innately God-given and gives us the capacity to make our own decisions based on Gods influence on our

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