C. Ethics

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INTRODUCTION

The conscience is a highly misunderstood concept today. Obey your conscience can be defined or illustrated as “an act of the intellect judging that an action must be performed as an obligatory or must be omitted as sinful, or maybe performed as lawful or is advisable as the better course of action” .What this statement is trying to drive at is that there is an inner feeling as to the goodness or otherwise of one's behavior (my conscience is clear; has a guilty conscience) or inner voice deep within man calling man to love and do what is good and to avoid what is evil thus it is the judgement that one gives of oneself with regard to one's way of acting. God's law written into a person's very heart. Conscience is a judgement about right and wrong, good and bad, perfect and imperfect.

Conscience has a three functions in our lives. First, it points us to what we ought to do. It is an interior sense of oughtness, which points us to our obligations, urges us to do what is right and tries to restrain us from doing what is wrong. I am sure all of you have heard your conscience functioning in this way. Many have claimed to hear it so many times. When no one else is with us, we hear this thundering voice within us, this interior sense of oughtness.

Second, conscience has a judicial function. It passes judgment on our thoughts, plans, actions, conduct, and attitudes. It is the indicator that measures the degree of agreement between our conduct and God’s standard. Although it is blurred and imperfect due to man’s fall, when conscience speaks to us in this way, it is as though a person detached from us is speaking, accusing us when we do wrong and acquitting us when doing what is morally right.

Third, conscience has an executive function. We have all experienced this aspect of conscience as well. When we violate the dictates of our conscience, we experience certain punishment automatically: anxiety, fear, guilt, estrangement, internal conflict,...
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