This is Just a Thought…

I am stuck wondering whether conscience can be thought of as a self-formed tradition. To violate one’s conscience seems on the sur-face to very much mirror the identity-scarring we see when societies make scape-goats of egregious norm-violators. Hm…so, a formed tradition will have core values nearer an almost organic centre; the typical society-member naturally shudders when such core values are near to being crossed.

Similarly, are not our own self-images things formed largely as illuminated by our respective pasts? “I know I would never (for I have always managed not to…or I never really considered…)” Is there not a similar physical aversion to violating such images (unless and until core values are reconsidered and reordered) in our very depths? So much of this is surely unconscious, “I am not the sort who…” yet if we examine closely, there are certain central tenets not so easily moved from their defining positions.

A weak conscience is therefore a weakly bordered tradition – one in which the core values have little power to affect one’s decision-making. Hm…does anyone else find this ‘consideration as’ meaningful, I wonder?

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5 responses to “This is Just a Thought…

  1. So, is it possible to label someone else’s conscience weak? When we ourselves do not know which traditions a singular person has held himself/herself to.

  2. As it would be difficult to label a tradition weak for which we have little experience, so too we would need to have enough experience of a person’s decision-making and be ‘close’ enough to make such a judgment.

    It wasn’t my purpose to determine when we could do such things, but I think the parallel remains.

    But…we might judge by our own closest-held traditions that another’s actions don’t match ours at all. That doesn’t mean that we can’t make such judgments, but the way in which we judge them is against closely-held concepts of our own.

    I see traditions of a community as necessarily more complex & dynamic than that of a single person, but the experiment is still on for my mind to see where the distinctions really are.

  3. This idea of conscience as self-knowing in the sense of being averse to seeing myself as ‘the one who did (or is capable of) X’ is still one I’m pondering today.

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