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What is a conscience? — 4 Comments

  1. Thanks for this article, Joyce. I especially like the quote from Gary T. Meadors. Lots of food for thought there.

    It never ceases to amaze me how different people live by different moral codes. There is no consensus, so people have much to discuss and disagree on.

    But I think that if you find a person who lives by SOME kind of moral code, there is a place where we can meet somewhere in the middle. Through discussion and empathizing, we can see each other’s perspective.

    On the other hand, there are those who are empty of values so they have no code to live by at all. With these people, no amount of talking will make any difference. The worst part of dealing with these twisted people is that the only thing that matters to them is winning through deceit. They will pretend to see your perspective, pretend to care about what you care about. Then they betray.

  2. Sky, I think there are some cultures (the RADICAL Muslim one for example) that there is NO “middle ground” or a way in which we can come to a middle ground. Prejudice against anyone that is strong, be it prejudice against Christians, or Muslims or blacks or whites or any race, religion or national origin is not FACT based, but emotionally based. Children are taught so that the “other” is demonized so that with a CLEAR conscience we can hurt them.

    Just as my conscience is clear and clean when I set a mouse trap to kill mice in my barn, there are people whose religious teaching would say that I am evil, or because I eat meat I am evil. Some of those people are radical and feel like they can hurt me because I eat meat or kill mice, PETA for example I consider a very radical animals rights group….but I also know that some of the things that they crow FOUL over are valid. Just recently there were videos of Tyson food’s pig farms mistreating pigs by workers. I know that happens and I am totally against it and think these people should be prosecuted for animal cruelty. I’m not against raising pigs to eat but I do not want them tortured or abused before they are HUMANELY and without pain dispatched so they can be processed as meat.

    Each of us may hold some generally different views on what is “right and wrong” but at the same time, we can not harm each other because of our different views because we have EMPATHY for other people and even empathy for the humane care and treatment of animals intended for food.

    I always went to the butcher with my cattle and stood there while they were shot, to make sure that they were not afraid. With me there talking softly to them they didn’t fear what was happening, being put in a chute as they had been put in a chute for vaccines etc. I would also not let the butcher use an electric prod to get them to move through the chute faster…give them time and they will go on their own.

    Where you said above:
    QUOTE Skylar

    On the other hand, there are those who are empty of values so they have no code to live by at all. With these people, no amount of talking will make any difference. The worst part of dealing with these twisted people is that the only thing that matters to them is winning through deceit. They will pretend to see your perspective, pretend to care about what you care about. Then they betray.

    I totally and completely agree with you there…and that’s where people along the psychopathic continuum lie, without a moral code, without empathy and without conscience. Scarry folks.

  3. Joyce & Sky, I’ve heard the word, “continuum” quite a bit, lately, in session and in reading about emotional healing and disorders, etc. I think that this is a very important concept to understand: there are levels to everything, including psychopathy. The one common thread in the fabric of the disordered is precisely what Sky wrote, above: “They will pretend to see your perspective, pretend to care about what you care about. Then they betray.” It’s all an illusion of what they believe to be “normal” behavior, and not everyone who is clearly toxic and/or disordered is a serial killer. MOST of these people never are charged with a crime and commit their “murders” by destroying people’s souls.

  4. Yes, everything is on a continuum, or a bell curve….and conscience is one of those things as well…some people have “too much” conscience because they blame themselves for everything that goes wrong in the world, others, like Psychopaths, have little conscience and blame everything they do that goes wrong on others, not ever feeling any sense of remorse or guilt or learning from their mistakes.

    Conscience is partly innate in humans and partly taught. Just as the radical Muslims were taught that they did a GOOD thing by blowing up the twin towers, and most other people in the world thought it was a cowardly inhumane thing to do.

    Most psychopaths though are on the LOW end of the empathy scale with even a few of them having “zero” empathy. Those are your Hitlers, your Chairman Mao’s, Stalins, your Ted Bundys, etc.

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