2In Latin… The root meaning of conscience is “with knowledge.” Therefore, conscience refers to an action based on knowledge, or judgment.
33 Dimensions of Conscience Awareness of Right and Wrong - educated and instructed in moral truthsDiscernment - thinking and praying about what is the right thing to do - inward reflectionJudgment - making the rational and right choice - may not always be correct but you learn from mistakes - conscience grows and becomes further informed
4Types of Conscience Lax Conscience Erroneous Conscience When a person does not employ a process of conscientious decision making – not thinking about the morality of actions that he/she performsErroneous ConscienceWhen a person follows a process of conscientious decision making but makes a wrong choice.Informed ConscienceA conscience that is educated and developed through constant use and examination
5Belief, Truth, & Knowledge The Challenge of Skepticism
6BeliefsBeliefs are your map of reality - they are the lenses through which you perceive the world.your beliefs are the most important part about youbeliefs have started wars, bridged communities, ended slavery, and so forth
9Beliefs We all see things differently - especially morality Senses can deceive us and lead us astrayBeliefs + Desires = ActionsProblem: there is such thing as False Beliefwe want our beliefs to be true - connect us to realityPhilosophers have encouraged us to therefore examine our beliefs
10List 5 things that you truly believe about reality/life/the world etc. What do you believe?
12What ifThe universe was created five minutes ago? (five minute hypothesis-Bertrand Russell)This is all a dream? (Descartes)
13Belief Conservationprinciple of inflicting the least damage upon one’s already held framework of beliefsFor any proposition, P: IfTaking a certain cognitive stance toward P (for example, believing it, rejecting it, or withholding judgment) would require rejecting or doubting a vast number of your current beliefs,You have no independent positive reason to reject or doubt all those other beliefs, andYou have no compelling reason to take up that cognitive stance toward P,…then it is more rational for you not to take that cognitive stance toward P.If we believe that the universe began, (with fake fossils and memories etc) 5 minutes ago, we have to throw out many of our other beliefs. (With no proof positive that the universe was actually created five minutes ago) We have not independent reason which tells us to deny all of those beliefs. What if we were to remain unsure? We would have to remain unsure about many of our other previously held beliefs. We have no independent reason to become agnostic towards all of these other beliefs. So it is not rational to take up the belief of the 5 minute hypothesis. (Or the dream hypothesis)
14Knowledge Knowledge is an attainment concept Ex: In basketball we shoot in order to score. Shooting is the activity; Scoring is the attainment intendedIn life, we believe in order to know. Believing is the activity; Knowledge the intended attainmentKnowledge = Properly Justified True BeliefYou cannot know something unless you truly believe it.Belief alone isn’t sufficient for knowledge - you can’t believe something that is false either.
15Truth Truth is our anchor in the world. believing a truth is like hitting the target whereas a falsehood is like missing the markHow do we find truth? With Reason.Reason connects us to reality and as we will see there are two different ways of reasoning - Empiricism & Rationalism
16RelativismThe Philosophy of Relativism claims that all so-called truth is relative - no absolute truthVery seductive because it can often serve as a very persuasive excuse for very bad behaviour
17Skepticism, the foundation of Relativism Skepticism is based on the attitude of doubt.True knowledge is uncertain, therefore there is no absolute truth.Religions (not God) determine right & wrong and all concepts of right & wrong are invented by humans.Better to use inquiry - all questions lead to discovery.“Doubt is the vestibule which all must pass, before they can enter into the temple of truth.”Charles Caleb Colton
18EmpiricismEmpiricists believe that all knowledge is attained through sensory experience.(Think – empirical data)What is the problem with this idea?Things that cannot be experienced by the senses cannot existSenses can be wrong/mislead usThings that cannot be experienced by the senses cannot existSenses can be wrong/mislead us
19Rationalism Belief is inevitable in human life and it is Rational. Rationalists believe that all knowledge is rooted in reason.Rationalist statements are true without the use of senses. (If A is greater than B, and B is greater than C, then A is great than C)Cause and Effect - (yes remember Aquinas) - rock hitting window - we don’t see the cause yet we believe it happened.
20Back to: Belief, Knowledge and Truth We believe that humans have the ability to form their conscience according to moral principles of right and wrong, which will then lead them to make rational reasonable judgments.At the foundation of this is the belief that:We are rational beings.We have the ability to reason.We have the ability to make decisions freely.There is such a thing as right and wrong.We have the ability to know what is right and wrong.It is better to do what is right rather than what is wrong.
21Let’s Practice! all knowledge is rooted in sensory experience. Rationalism ____Skepticism ____Empiricism ____Moral Relativism ____all knowledge is rooted in sensory experience.all knowledge is rooted in reason and cause and effect.a philosophy of doubt.a philosophy which claims there is no absolute truth.
22Why does this all matter? Conscience is formed and developed based on our beliefs.