Conscience is an inner voice that occasionally accuses and oppresses man, often leading him to act in such a way that is unprofitable or unpleasant in acting as a moral code from which to live by. It is often debated whether such a sense of right and wrong is inborn or developed through one's environment, possibly being taught or learned through life's experiences. Most cultures have moral codes that they live by. Even the most primitive tribes discern right from wrong and can sense what is good and what is evil. The same subtle voice that seems to guilt man into shame when he commits evil, leaves him feeling proud when he acts suitably.
When writing a philosophy research paper on "conscience", you may want to overview the following topics or ideas:
- Is the word "conscience" definable?
- Is there are particular structure or place in the brain responsible for the conscience?
- Is conscience nature or nurture?
- What are some psychological disorders associated with the lack of a conscience?
Principles of Conscience
There are general principles that govern individual societies where specific standards are decided through courts of law when there is an occasional discrepancy. These were originally set up by the founding fathers of our nation. When the founding fathers of the United States Constitution came together to pen basic guide lines that would provide fundamental legal protection and individual rights for their newly formed country, they had the responsibility of outlining America's moral code. While some of this code was borrowed from the Greeks, Romans and English, much thought and introspection of conscience went into the making of such a constitution. America's new leaders were forced to use a system of checks and balances governed by their own consciences. Because democracy was so new to government, forefathers relied on their inner sense of right and wrong, evil and good to determine a the moral standards for the United States.
Conscience and Politics
It is the responsibility of modern day politicians to continue with the same sense of conscienceness as the founding fathers, when running their government. They must make proper legislative decisions based on a moral code of law, insuring that all Americans are treated fairly and just. The leader's conscience needs to be the guiding factor when it is he who makes critical judgments that affect those who elected him. Voters can only hope that their candidate has the moral conscience to make choices for the good of the majority. In the resent scandal of President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, the certainly is no law that dictates that the President of the United States can't have an affair in the oval office. However, it would have behooved the President to have his conscience guide him to serve as a better role model and leader of the nation. The issue larger than simple morality, it is a scandal that has embarrassed the nation and added credence to foreign opinion that America lacks self-discipline and is loosing respect at the foundation of their once power driven image, Washington.