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Man’s Conscience and Morality

The focus of this paper is on the abstract concept of conscience as the ground of morality of man; explanation is supplemented by the doctrines of St. Thomas Aquinas.

language english
wordcount 7112 (cca 20 pages)
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Table of contents

St. Thomas Aquina’s Explanation of Conscience
Conscience as Viewed in Concrete Terms
Conscience in Dynamic Aspect

Preview of the essay: Man’s Conscience and Morality

Man’s Conscience and Morality The hows and whys moral experiences can be explained and grounded upon certain moral theories. At one point of our lives, we have reflected for ourselves and asked ourselves what is the origin and norm of morality. What is the standard or measure that makes a good act good and a bad act bad? Why ultimately man ought to be good? In other words, what ultimately is the ground of morality?

We can divide our answers into three parts. Each of them eventually says the same thing. They differ from each other only in emphasis. The norm and ground of morality is, first of all, conscience. Secondly, it is the personal nature of man. Thirdly, it is the natural law. The first we shall deal with in this essay.

St. Thomas Aquina’s Explanation of Conscience  
We shall use “conscience” here basically in the sense of St. Thomas Aquinas, but with some modification. Aquinas used the term conscience, first of all, to signify the act of intellectual judgment by which we apply the general principles of morality to the particular situation. In a given situation, man ...

... more responsive to the good.

Fourth, morality is not primarily theoretical knowledge of the good in full possession of itself and of the good, but practical knowledge which is always ahead of itself in anticipation of the good the ought to be. Hence it has to trust that which is still to be, that which the future is. That future is not merely the logical unfolding or projection of our own intellect and will, but that which eventually lies beyond our total grasp, constantly opening us and drawing us out of ourselves toward the absolute good.

Fifth, morality is primarily action; it is the doing, the realization of the good which is not yet. Hence, it is not the mere conformity to ready- made and establish rules and requirements, the little do’s and the don’t of life. It is essentially the doing of that is emergently new and creative, in view of bringing being to term and fulfillment, as demanded by the very exigency of man’s being as rational will.
Essay is in categories


Humanistic Studies
Benjamin I.

Knowledge of morality and conscience is good to one's body and mind. Reading good literature to overcome it is highly suggested.

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