Conscience Flashcards Preview

Ethics 7 > Conscience > Flashcards

Flashcards in Conscience Deck (44)
Loading flashcards...

Define 'ratio'

The term used by Aquinas to describe reason which is placed in every person as a result of imago dei


Define 'synderesis'

A term by Aquinas which means to pursue good and avoid evil and the rule which all precepts must follow


Define 'Id'

For Freud, this is the part of the mind that has instinctive impulses that seek satisfaction in pleasure


Define 'super-ego'

Freud uses this term to describe part of the mind which contradicts the id and uses internalised ideals from parents and society to make the ego behave morally


Define 'ego'

Freud uses this term to describe the mediation between the id and the superego


Define 'conscientia'

The name given by Aquinas to the process whereby a person makes moral judgements


Define 'vincible ignorance'

How Aquinas describes a lack of knowledge for which a person is responsible and can be blamed


Define 'invincible ignorance'

How Aquinas describes a lack of knowledge for which a person cannot be held responsible


Quote Romans 7:19

"For I do not do the good I want to do but the evil I do not want to do - this I keep on doing"


What did St. Jerome believe was the 'spark of conscience'?

The power to distinguish between good and evil so does it matter if we do not follow our conscience? E.g. Quakers refused to fight in the war. Conscience can be disruptive but also a compelling dimension of human experience linked to moral integrity


How did Aquinas' ideas of the conscience differ?

Common belief was that conscience is a special part of our mind that tells us right from wrong, he thought to understand conscience you have to understand reason


How did Aquinas believe that humans are distinguished from animals?

Imagination, morals and intellectual ability to create ideas, pictures, music and machines, sophistication and skill


How did Augustine's views differ from Aquinas?

Augustine thought that reason, intellect and mine were all one power in humans but Aquinas distinguishes ratio separately as the distinguishing feature from animals as a divine gift from God


Why is ratio different from comprehension?

Ratio is progressive and has some sort of direction linked to judgement as working things out


Aquinas was inspired by (1) which suggests that we can move from the knowledge of (2) to knowledge of (3) Ratio connects us to (4) and the divine

1 - Paul's letter to the Romans
2 - this world
3 - the eternal world
4 - the eternal realm


How does ratio relate to morality?

- Morality is not simply doing what is right or wrong
- Hannah Arendt: when the norms of society become profoundly immoral you must reject them
- Ratio reaches beyond what is socially acceptable to a higher morality


What does Aquinas believe sensuality was?

It is something in us that tempts us towards evil which is what was in the Garden of Eden which is present alongside synderesis


Why was Aquinas optimistic about the presence of both synderesis and sensuality despite possible conflict?

He had a positive view of people and their capability to move towards good and away from evil, synderesis is a habit or learning not a power that people can use ratio to cultivate the habit of synderesis


What did Aquinas believe conscientia was?

An act within a human person (a pronouncement of the mind) arising when knowledge gained from the application of ratio to synderesis is applied to something we do. Conscience is reason making right decisions


Aquinas is clear that conscience is (1) even when it (2) so to go against reason is (3), Paul says (4)

1 - binding
2 - mistaken
3 - always wrong
4 - "Everything that does not come from faith is sin"


For Aquinas coming from (1) means coming from conscience which means coming from (2) which makes Aquinas sound like a (3) but he is not saying (4)

1 - faith
2 - application of ratio
3 - relativist
4 - whatever you feel good is in fact good


Aquinas is not relativist when talking about the application of ratio so how is he absolutist?

Human beings should do what they think is right and they can determine this using ratio, people make mistakes because ratio acknowledges knowledge and knowledge can be incomplete


"Conscience is the aboriginal (1)... I shall drink... to the (2) first and to the (3) afterwards" - (4)

1 - Vicar of Christ
2 - Conscience
3 - Pope
4 - Cardinal John Henry Newman


Why was Cardinal Newman suggesting he should drink to the conscience as a higher status than the Pope?

Not out of disrespect but because conscience is more important than anything else, you should not surrender your moral duty to anyone else, you cannot evade your duty by pleading happiness to do so


Describe 'conscientia in operation'

Practising good (synderesis) then reason (ratio) will help you act and if you gather knowledge to help you then your actions can be blameworthy (invincible ignorance) even if your knowledge is incomplete


Aquinas' theological approach to conscience is (1) and challenges the (2) telling us what to do. Instead (3) are the essential components of moral decision making

1 - provocative
2 - intuitive moral voice
3 - ratio, synderesis and conscientia


Why is Aquinas' approach criticised?

Fails to take into account the social, political, environmental and economic pressures that affect moral decision making as well as the feelings of shame and guilt being a misplaced sense of duty are just some influencing factors


Name two of Freud's books

'An outline of Psychoanalysis' 1940
'The Ego and the Id' 1923


What does Freud believe conscience is based on?

Conscience is not based on rational decision making, it is a product of psychological factors that influence human beings in ways that may or may not be healthy


Describe Freud's theory of psychosexual development

Psychological development takes place takes place in a series of fixed stages and each stage is associated with a part of libido