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Conscience Should not be Involved in Decision Making

Uploaded by xsparklyvix on Sep 05, 2005

‘Conscience should be given no part to play in Decision Making’
Discuss

Conscience is defined as ‘the faculty, power, or inward principle which decides as to the character of one's own actions, purposes, and affections, warning against and condemning that which is wrong, and approving and prompting to that which is right’. Conscience can prompt different people in quite different directions, depending on their beliefs. One person can feel a moral duty to go to war whilst another can feel a moral duty to avoid war under any circumstances. There are 2 main types of conscience the ‘judicial conscience’ and the ‘legislative conscience’. Judicial conscience is evaluating and critically analysing our past actions or those of others. For example, One would use their judicial conscience when judging if in a certain situation at work they should have dismissed a member of staff regardless of their situation. Legislative Conscience is when one uses prescriptive judgement in order to decide how something needs to be done in the future. For example, one would dwell on their conscience to decide whether to seek revenge on another or to forget the incident.
In order to answer this question I will aim to explore the works of key thinkers in the field who proposed theories on Conscience in order to determine my own opinion. The philosophers I will analyse can be divided into two categories, relativist and absolutist. An absolutist philosopher believes that there is one set of absolute truths upon which all decisions are made e.g. Plato. This view in ethics is also referred to as deontological. A deontological view is ruled based and takes a morality and classifies it as either definitely wrong or right. A relativist believes that that truths are dependent upon (relating to) the situations we find ourselves in e.g. Aristotle. A relativist also can often be classified as a consequentialist. A consequentialist argues that what ultimately matters is the consequences that result from choosing one action or policy rather than the alternative.
The philosophers that I will analyse are Plato, Aquinas, Hutcheson, Schleirmacher and Butler who relate to conscience through their absolutist ethic. The view on consciousness introduced by Aristotle, Nietzsche, Freud, Jung, Hegel, Piaget and Moore are relativist.
Plato (427BC - 347BC) was the first philosopher to introduce the concept of consciousness. Plato, a student of Socrates, believed that there were some ‘absolute unchanging truths’ defining...

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Uploaded by:   xsparklyvix

Date:   09/05/2005

Category:   Philosophy

Length:   21 pages (4,626 words)

Views:   12557

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