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Flashcards in Conscience Deck (8)
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1

Aquinas' theological approach to the conscience

- Did not think that the conscience was an independent special faculty or power capable of telling people what is right and wrong
- Thought reason us what separates us from other animals
- Believed reason is a gift from God
- Within each person there is a principle called synderesis which encourages us to do good
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2

Aquinas and ignorance

Two kinds

Vincible
- lack of knowledge which is the reason the person could have done something about

Invincible
- Sometimes people act in good faith and follow their consciences but they get things wrong because of ignorance of facts

3

Criticisms of Aquinas

- does not take into account the extent to which our moral reasoning is influenced by our upbringing
- Some disagree that the conscience is the human mind making moral decisions, it comes from God (Augustine, Joseph Butler)

4

Freud

- believed it is not rational decision-making but comes from an inner unconscious part of our minds shaped by our upbringing
- minds have several layers
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5

Freud - three aspects of human personality

the ego
- manages and guides the id
- learns from parents and society

the id
- powerful part of our personalities from birth
- leads us to seek pleasure

the super ego
- where mind stores moral teaching and social rules received during upbringing

6

Erich Fromm

- developed Freud
- immature and mature conscience

7

Criticisms of Freud

- does not consider possibility of there being any relation between the conscience and God
- Puts too great an emphasis on human sexuality as underpinning every aspect of psychology

8

Comparing

Aquinas
- sees conscience as the activity of a God given reason

Freud
- does not include God

Aquinas
- sees wrongdoing as sin

Freid
- does not have an idea of right and wrong as absolute values