Conscience - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Religion

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 23 pages of information about Conscience.
This section contains 6,697 words
(approx. 23 pages at 300 words per page)
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Conscience

CONSCIENCE, as commonly understood, is the faculty within us that decides on the moral quality of our thoughts, words, and acts. It makes us conscious of the worth of our deeds and gives rise to a pleasurable feeling if they are good and to a painful one if they are evil.

Origin of the Notion

Three articulations of human experience appear to be at the basis of the Western notion of conscience: the Hebrew scriptures, the writings of Cicero, and the writings of Paul.

Hebrew Scriptures

In the Hebrew scriptures God is presented as someone who knows and evaluates our entire being. Psalm 139 develops the theme:

O Lord, thou has searched me and known me! Thou knowest when I sit down and when I rise up; thou discernest my thoughts from afar.… If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of...

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This section contains 6,697 words
(approx. 23 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Conscience Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Religion
Conscience from Encyclopedia of Religion. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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