Reply To: "the good"

#1308

Luke, I agree with most of this.  In fact, your arguement is many times better than mine.  However, you say early on that

“Every human has a conscience, and through this, they can discern what is right and what is wrong, and they can make this decision knowing wholeheartedly that what they are doing is either wrong or right.”

In this I dissagree.  A conscience is developed as you grow.  A large part of that comes when your parents tell you what to do, what not to do, and discipline you for messing up.  They tell you what is wrong and right.  I believe that every human is born with a sense that there are things that are ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, or ‘good’ and ‘evil’, but unless one is raised in a Christian home, then he will think that self-preservation defines right and good.  Growing up in the wild with no humans around to influence him, a man would define good as what he wants and bad as what opposes is will.

There are assassins who kill without a thought, drug lords whose conscience doesn’t quiver as they sell substances that will ruin the lives of every customer, and power thirsty rulers who would obliterate a nation and cry with joy as it smokes.  I watched a documentary about missionaries who went to some far away places that had good and evil completely backwards –  they praised dishonesty and frowned at the honest man.  When the missionaries told them the story of Jesus’s betrayal the tribe broke out laughing and excited.  In their minds, Judas was the good hero!  Huckleberry Finn in the book of the same name has a guilty conscience because his society shaped his conscience to believe that freeing slaves was evil.  A public schooler in California might have no doubt in his mind that gay marraige is right and good, but we obviously believe it evil.  A conscience is a tool that must be sharpened.  One must not let it be conformed by this world, but transformed by God.

If you had a moral question, would you take the advice of the millenial who just kinda half-heartedly attends church and instead of getting a job spends most of his time with questionable friends or playing videogames?  No.  You would not trust his conscience to come up with the right answer.  Would you ask the contemplative humble monk, the passionate preacher who studies the scriptures vigorously, or the wise grandfather who has walked with God for more than twice the number of years you’ve been alive?  Yes, you would trust the consciences of these men.

 

So, I would say that a conscience is not really a sure compass.  It must be continually sharpened to be of any good, and one must be careful not to let it blunt or bend when it hits bad incluences.