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Aquinas and Conscience
Transcript of Aquinas and Conscience
2. Define Conscientia
3. What did Aquinas define conscience as?
4. Give one strength of Aquinas' approach to the conscience.
5. Give one weakness to the approach.
6. How does Aquinas explain bad
actions? Quiz! Imagine you witness a young woman being attacked
in the street. What would you decide to do?
Answer individually, and justify your decision.
Does your decision involve the use of reason? Thomas Aquinas Conscience = 'Right reason'
Conscience --> not an inner voice
--> it is 'reason making right decisions'
--> used correctly it helps us understand
what God sees as right/wrong Synderesis and Conscientia Aquinas believed that the conscience had two parts: Faulty Reasoning Our subconscious urges are to do good. If you follow the moral principles that your conscience gives you then you are doing the right thing.
But if your moral principles are flawed then so is your conscience. Principles may become flawed due to faulty reasoning or weakness of will.
Aquinas uses faulty reasoning to explain 'sin' or performing bad actions. Synderesis -->
the innate 'right reason' that allows us to develop knowledge of some moral principles, guiding towards good and away from evil.
using the synderesis to distinguish between right and wrong in order to make appropriate decisions. Strengths and Weaknesses Strengths Weaknesses - Clear distinction between
the synderesis and the
- Provides us with tools for
making moral decisions.
- Gives some explanation
for 'sin' or bad actions. - Doesn't give a definitive
answer of what to do. Only
leads to the correct path.
- Doesn't address the issue of
those seen to have no
conscience at all.
- Contrasts with Christian
belief in God's divine