Critically Asses the Claim That Conscience Has Ultimate Moral Authority

Topics: Morality, Kohlberg's stages of moral development, Lawrence Kohlberg Pages: 4 (1275 words) Published: February 12, 2013
Critically assess the claim the claim that the conscience has ultimate moral authority Thobeka Kellett

Conscience is said to be a voice or feeling that dictates a persons moral decisions this feeling of a sense of right and wrong has no definite definition and its argued among psychologists, philosophers and religious believers what the true origin of this feeling is. Some psychologists argue that we are born with this and this part of our personality is created by our social surroundings and as we grow up what our society dictates to be right or wrong becomes hardwired into our brains and that forms our conscience. Some religious believers see the conscience as having a metaphysical origin such as a God, some argue that conscience has total authority and that we should in some respects not be blame for our actions because it’s a fault or difference in our conscience while others argue that we are totally responsible for our actions and conscience does not have ultimate moral authority.

Thomas Aquinas a Christian who thought that conscience did not have ultimate authority, saw the conscience as right intent. He saw conscience almost as a voice helping us distinguish between right and wrong, he thought that we, as Humans, naturally try to avoid evil or bad he called this Synderesis this means recta ratio or right reason. Aquinas split the conscience into two parts the Conscientia (Conscience) and Synderesis he saw the ability to tell right from wrong and right reason as the most vital parts of moral decision making. Aquinas did not think that the decisions made by the conscience where always correct this depended on the quality of your conscience. This theory explains the origin of conscience and explains how our conscience can be misunderstood or misused, but this theory does not satisfy religious believers & if its God given why is it fallible?

Cardinal Newman, a Christian intuitionist, agreed with the fundamental principles of Aquinas’s work but...
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