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conscince.pdf - III. THE DESIRE FOR HAPPINESS AND THE MORAL...

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21III. THE DESIRE FOR HAPPINESS AND THE MORAL LIFETheme 8. The moral conscienceAs we have been seeing, universal moral knowledge is a form of wisdom thatmoves us to evaluate specific situations in which good and evil are at stake.Moral Law indicates a body of truths that should be followed in our humanacts.However, our human acts are always single and specific. There is a greatdistance between the universal moral law and specific human acts.In order to discover the morality of these acts the person must apply the lawto each of the acts, keeping in mind the particular circumstances.The conscience exists at this level, as the mediator between the general lawand a specific action.We all have the experience that we always evaluate our actions in order toascertain whether they are right or wrong; this is part of the mechanisminvolved when a human being takes a decisionThis judgment or evaluation is carried about by the individual person himself,starting off from the objective moral law as he knows it.No one else can make this judgment for the person, it is up to he himself.The judgment involves comparing the act with the moral law and one’s finalgoal.This judgment is the moral conscience itself.In this moral experience, the person realizes whether the act is good, andshould be done, or otherwise. The act itself is seen to be worthy or not.“Each person has the experience that he himself is something good, but not ina definitive way, rather, that he is a good which is still in project form. Thehuman being lives not with the satisfaction of what he already is, but rather inthe hope of that which he ought to become, in tension towards a plenitude thathe still does not possess. The ethical dimension that characterizes all thehuman being’s acts shows that his life is a path towards his own fulfillment asa person. The conscience is precisely the light that orients and guides him
22along this path, warning him of which acts help him to achieve his dignityand which acts destroy it”1.The faculty through which we come to know the morality of our actions is theintellect. However, the conscience is an act of the intellect whereby we judgespecific acts as good or bad according to whether they correspond to our finalgoal or not.“The moral conscience is the first act in which knowledge of the requirementsof the virtues and norms becomes personalized, is applied to one’s ownsituation and is seen as measuring our behaviour”2.This judgment of our conscience is the proximate and immediate norm thatguides our actions because no law can be a rule for our conduct except when aperson applies it to himself in his activity.The conscience always only indicates the morality of specific acts.

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Term
Summer
Professor
DR. AMULEGA
Tags
moral conscience

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