Difference Between True Conscience & False Conscience

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    Religious Doctrine

    • Christian leaders argue that the true conscience will always guide individuals to adhere to religious doctrine. If your conscience urges you to do something that goes against the rules and policies of your religious faith, they say that this is false conscience.

    Guilt vs. Frustration

    • Cardinal George Pell argues against those who claim that they could follow their conscience and violate church policies. His claim is that those who would do so would not feel guilt if they were to adhere to church policies instead of following what they claim is their conscience, but they might feel frustration. Frustration indicates that this must be a false conscience that would guide them to go against church policies.

    Recognizing an External Being

    • True conscience is what allows people to recognize that there is an external being or God who guides them to follow certain practices because they are good and right and to avoid other actions because they are bad and wrong. True conscience is what allows individuals to submit to the will of this external being.


    • A false conscience will allow individuals to see an unlawful action or behavior as lawful or to justify an unlawful act, usually for selfish reasons. Christian thinking does not recognize the self as having authority. True conscience recognizes the teachings of the church as having authority. Those who claim autonomy in their actions are following their false conscience and not the true conscience, which will never guide them to commit unlawful acts.

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