Conscience is an aptitude, faculty, intuition or judgment that assists in distinguishing right from wrong. Moral judgment may derive from values or norms (principles and rules). In psychological terms conscience is often described as leading to feelings of remorse when a human commits actions that go against his/her moral values and to feelings of rectitude or integrity when actions conform to such norms. The extent to which conscience informs moral judgment before an action and whether such moral judgments are or should be based in reason has occasioned debate through much of the history of Western philosophy.
Religious views of conscience usually see it as linked to a morality inherent in all humans, to a beneficent universe and/or to divinity. The diverse ritualistic, mythical, doctrinal, legal, institutional and material features of religion may not necessarily cohere with experiential, emotive, spiritual or contemplative considerations about the origin and operation of conscience. Common secular or scientific views regard the capacity for conscience as probably genetically determined, with its subject probably learned or imprinted (like language) as part of a culture.
Commonly used metaphors for conscience include the "voice within", the "inner light". or even Socrates' reliance on what the Greeks called his "daimōnic sign", an averting (ἀποτρεπτικός apotreptikos) inner voice Socrates heard only when he was about to make a mistake. Conscience, as is detailed in sections below, is a concept in national and international law, is increasingly conceived of as applying to the world as a whole, has motivated numerous notable acts for the public good and been the subject of many prominent examples of literature, music and film.
- 1 Religious, secular and philosophical views about conscience
- 2 Religious views
- 3 Secular views
- 4 Philosophical views
- 5 Conscientious acts and the law
- 6 World conscience
- 7 Notable examples of modern acts based on conscience
- 8 Conscience in literature, art, film, and music
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Religious, secular and philosophical views about conscience
In the literary traditions of the Upanishads, Brahma Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita, conscience is the label given to attributes composing knowledge about good and evil, that a soul acquires from the completion of acts and consequent accretion of karma over many lifetimes. According to Adi Shankara in his Vekachudamani morally right action (characterised as humbly and compassionately performing the primary duty of good to others without expectation of material or spiritual reward), helps "purify the heart" and provide mental tranquility but it alone does not give us "direct perception of the Reality". This knowledge requires discrimination between the eternal and non-eternal and eventually a realization in contemplation that the true self merges in a universe of pure consciousness.
In the Zoroastrian faith, after death a soul must face judgment at the Bridge of the Separator; there, evil people are tormented by prior denial of their own higher nature, or conscience, and "to all time will they be guests for the House of the Lie." The Chinese concept of Ren, indicates that conscience, along with social etiquette and correct relationships, assist humans to follow The Way (Tao) a mode of life reflecting the implicit human capacity for goodness and harmony.
Conscience also features prominently in Buddhism. In the Pali scriptures, for example, Buddha links the positive aspect of conscience to a pure heart and a calm, well-directed mind. It is regarded as a spiritual power, and one of the “Guardians of the World”. The Buddha also associated conscience with compassion for those who must endure cravings and suffering in the world until right conduct culminates in right mindfulness and right contemplation. Santideva (685–763 CE) wrote in the Bodhicaryavatara (which he composed and delivered in the great northern Indian Buddhist university of Nalanda) of the spiritual importance of perfecting virtues such as generosity, forbearance and training the awareness to be like a "block of wood" when attracted by vices such as pride or lust; so one can continue advancing towards right understanding in meditative absorption. Conscience thus manifests in Buddhism as unselfish love for all living beings which gradually intensifies and awakens to a purer awareness where the mind withdraws from sensory interests and becomes aware of itself as a single whole.
The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius wrote in his Meditations that conscience was the human capacity to live by rational principles that were congruent with the true, tranquil and harmonious nature of our mind and thereby that of the Universe: "To move from one unselfish action to another with God in mind. Only there, delight and stillness ... the only rewards of our existence here are an unstained character and unselfish acts."
The Islamic concept of Taqwa is closely related to conscience. In the Qur’ān verses 2:197 & 22:37 Taqwa refers to "right conduct" or "piety", "guarding of oneself" or "guarding against evil". Qur’ān verse 47:17 says that God is the ultimate source of the believer's taqwā which is not simply the product of individual will but requires inspiration from God. In Qur’ān verses 91:7–8, God the Almighty talks about how He has perfected the soul, the conscience and has taught it the wrong (fujūr) and right (taqwā). Hence, the awareness of vice and virtue is inherent in the soul, allowing it to be tested fairly in the life of this world and tried, held accountable on the day of judgment for responsibilities to God and all humans.
Qur’ān verse 49:13 states: "O humankind! We have created you out of male and female and constituted you into different groups and societies, so that you may come to know each other-the noblest of you, in the sight of God, are the ones possessing taqwā." In Islam, according to eminent theologians such as Al-Ghazali, although events are ordained (and written by God in al-Lawh al-Mahfūz, the Preserved Tablet), humans possess free will to choose between wrong and right, and are thus responsible for their actions; the conscience being a dynamic personal connection to God enhanced by knowledge and practise of the Five Pillars of Islam, deeds of piety, repentance, self-discipline and prayer; and disintegrated and metaphorically covered in blackness through sinful acts. Marshall Hodgson wrote the three-volume work: The Venture of Islam: Conscience and History in a World Civilization.
In the Protestant Christian tradition, Martin Luther insisted in the Diet of Worms that his conscience was captive to the Word of God, and it was neither safe nor right to go against conscience. To Luther, conscience falls within the ethical, rather than the religious, sphere. John Calvin saw conscience as a battleground: "[...] the enemies who rise up in our conscience against his Kingdom and hinder his decrees prove that God's throne is not firmly established therein". Many Christians regard following one's conscience as important as, or even more important than, obeying human authority. A fundamentalist Christian view of conscience might be: 'God gave us our conscience so we would know when we break His Law; the guilt we feel when we do something wrong tells us that we need to repent.' This can sometimes (as with the conflict between William Tyndale and Thomas More over the translation of the Bible into English) lead to moral quandaries: "Do I unreservedly obey my Church/priest/military/political leader or do I follow my own inner feeling of right and wrong as instructed by prayer and a personal reading of scripture?" Some contemporary Christian churches and religious groups hold the moral teachings of the Ten Commandments or of Jesus as the highest authority in any situation, regardless of the extent to which it involves responsibilities in law. In the Gospel of John (7:53–8:11) (King James Version) Jesus challenges those accusing a woman of adultery stating: "'He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.' And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one" (see Jesus and the woman taken in adultery). In the Gospel of Luke (10: 25–37) Jesus tells the story of how a despised and heretical Samaritan (see Parable of the Good Samaritan) who (out of compassion and conscience) helps an injured stranger beside a road, qualifies better for eternal life by loving his neighbor, than a priest who passes by on the other side.
This dilemma of obedience in conscience to divine or state law, was demonstrated dramatically in Antigone's defiance of King Creon's order against burying her brother an alleged traitor, appealing to the "unwritten law" and to a "longer allegiance to the dead than to the living".
Catholic theology sees conscience as the last practical "judgment of reason which at the appropriate moment enjoins [a person] to do good and to avoid evil". Thus, conscience is not like the will, nor a habit like prudence, but "the interior space in which we can listen to and hear the truth, the good, the voice of God. It is the inner place of our relationship with Him, who speaks to our heart and helps us to discern, to understand the path we ought to take, and once the decision is made, to move forward, to remain faithful" In terms of logic, conscience can be viewed as the practical conclusion of a moral syllogism whose major premise is an objective norm and whose minor premise is a particular case or situation to which the norm is applied. Thus, Catholics are taught to carefully educate themselves as to revealed norms and norms derived therefrom, so as to form a correct conscience. Catholics are also to examine their conscience daily and with special care before confession. Catholic teaching holds that, "Man has the right to act according to his conscience and in freedom so as personally to make moral decisions. He must not be forced to act contrary to his conscience. Nor must he be prevented from acting according to his conscience, especially in religious matters". This right of conscience does not allow one to arbitrarily disagree with Church teaching and claim that one is acting in accordance with conscience. A sincere conscience presumes one is diligently seeking moral truth from authentic sources, that is, seeking to conform oneself to that moral truth by listening to the authority established by Christ to teach it. Nevertheless, despite one's best effort, "[i]t can happen that moral conscience remains in ignorance and makes erroneous judgments about acts to be performed or already committed ... This ignorance can often be imputed to personal responsibility ... In such cases, the person is culpable for the wrong he commits." Some Catholics appeal to conscience in order to justify dissent, not on the level of conscience properly understood, but on the level of the principles and norms which are supposed to inform conscience. For example, some priests make on the use of the so-called internal forum solution (which is not sanctioned by the Magisterium) to justify actions or lifestyles incompatible with Church teaching, such as Christ's prohibition of remarriage after divorce or sexual activity outside marriage. The Catholic Church has warned that "rejection of the Church's authority and her teaching ... can be at the source of errors in judgment in moral conduct".
Judaism arguably does not require uncompromising obedience to religious authority; the case has been made that throughout Jewish history rabbis have circumvented laws they found unconscionable, such as capital punishment. Similarly, although an occupation with national destiny has been central to the Jewish faith (see Zionism) many scholars (including Moses Mendelssohn) stated that conscience as a personal revelation of scriptural truth was an important adjunct to the Talmudic tradition. The concept of inner light in the Religious Society of Friends or Quakers is associated with conscience. Freemasonry describes itself as providing an adjunct to religion and key symbols found in a Freemason Lodge are the square and compasses explained as providing lessons that Masons should "square their actions by the square of conscience", learn to "circumscribe their desires and keep their passions within due bounds toward all mankind." The historian Manning Clark viewed conscience as one of the comforters that religion placed between man and death but also a crucial part of the quest for grace encouraged by the Book of Job and the Book of Ecclesiastes, leading us to be paradoxically closest to the truth when we suspect that what matters most in life ("being there when everyone suddenly understands what it has all been for") . Leo Tolstoy, after a decade studying the issue (1877–1887), held that the only power capable of resisting the evil associated with materialism and the drive for social power of religious institutions, was the capacity of humans to reach an individual spiritual truth through reason and conscience. Many prominent religious works about conscience also have a significant philosophical component: examples are the works of Al-Ghazali, Avicenna, Aquinas, Joseph Butler and Dietrich Bonhoeffer (all discussed in the philosophical views section).
The secular approach to conscience includes psychological, physiological, sociological, humanitarian and authoritarian views. Lawrence Kohlberg considered critical conscience to be an important psychological stage in the proper moral development of humans, associated with the capacity to rationally weigh principles of responsibility, being best encouraged in the very young by linkage with humorous personifications (such as Jiminy Cricket) and later in adolescents by debates about individually pertinent moral dilemmas. Erik Erikson placed the development of conscience in the 'pre-schooler' phase of his eight stages of normal human personality development. The psychologist Martha Stout terms conscience "an intervening sense of obligation based in our emotional attachments." Thus a good conscience is associated with feelings of integrity, psychological wholeness and peacefulness and is often described using adjectives such as "quiet", "clear" and "easy".
Sigmund Freud regarded conscience as originating psychologically from the growth of civilisation, which periodically frustrated the external expression of aggression: this destructive impulse being forced to seek an alternative, healthy outlet, directed its energy as a superego against the person's own "ego" or selfishness (often taking its cue in this regard from parents during childhood). According to Freud, the consequence of not obeying our conscience is guilt, which can be a factor in the development of neurosis; Freud claimed that both the cultural and individual super-ego set up strict ideal demands with regard to the moral aspects of certain decisions, disobedience to which provokes a 'fear of conscience'.
Antonio Damasio considers conscience an aspect of extended consciousness beyond survival-related dispositions and incorporating the search for truth and desire to build norms and ideals for behavior. 
Conscience as society-forming instincts
Michel Glautier argues that conscience is one of the instincts and drives which enable people to form societies: groups of humans without these drives or in whom they are insufficient cannot form societies and do not reproduce their kind as successfully as those that do.
Charles Darwin considered that conscience evolved in humans to resolve conflicts between competing natural impulses-some about self-preservation but others about safety of a family or community; the claim of conscience to moral authority emerged from the "greater duration of impression of social instincts" in the struggle for survival. In such a view, behavior destructive to a person's society (either to its structures or to the persons it comprises) is bad or "evil". Thus, conscience can be viewed as an outcome of those biological drives that prompt humans to avoid provoking fear or contempt in others; being experienced as guilt and shame in differing ways from society to society and person to person. A requirement of conscience in this view is the capacity to see ourselves from the point of view of another person. Persons unable to do this (psychopaths, sociopaths, narcissists) therefore often act in ways which are "evil".
Fundamental in this view of conscience is that humans consider some "other" as being in a social relationship. Thus, nationalism is invoked in conscience to quell tribal conflict and the notion of a Brotherhood of Man is invoked to quell national conflicts. Yet such crowd drives may not only overwhelm but redefine individual conscience. Friedrich Nietzsche stated: "communal solidarity is annihilated by the highest and strongest drives that, when they break out passionately, whip the individual far past the average low level of the 'herd-conscience.' Jeremy Bentham noted that: "fanaticism never sleeps ... it is never stopped by conscience; for it has pressed conscience into its service." Hannah Arendt in her study of the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem, notes that the accused, as with almost all his fellow Germans, had lost track of his conscience to the point where they hardly remembered it; this wasn't caused by familiarity with atrocities or by psychologically redirecting any resultant natural pity to themselves for having to bear such an unpleasant duty, so much as by the fact that anyone whose conscience did develop doubts could see no one who shared them: "Eichmann did not need to close his ears to the voice of conscience ... not because he had none, but because his conscience spoke with a "respectable voice", with the voice of the respectable society around him".
An interesting area of research in this context concerns the similarities between our relationships and those of animals, whether animals in human society (pets, working animals, even animals grown for food) or in the wild. One idea is that as people or animals perceive a social relationship as important to preserve, their conscience begins to respect that former "other", and urge actions that protect it. Similarly, in complex territorial and cooperative breeding bird communities (such as the Australian magpie) that have a high degree of etiquettes, rules, hierarchies, play, songs and negotiations, rule-breaking seems tolerated on occasions not obviously related to survival of the individual or group; behaviour often appearing to exhibit a touching gentleness and tenderness.
Evolutionary biology and physics
In his book The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins states that he agrees with Robert Hinde's Why Good is Good, Michael Shermer's The Science of Good and Evil, Robert Buckman's Can We Be Good Without God? and Marc Hauser's Moral Minds, that our sense of right and wrong can be derived from our Darwinian past. Christopher Hitchens in God is Not Great has argued that "Modern vernacular describes conscience – not too badly – as whatever it is that makes us behave well when nobody is looking ... Those who believe that the existence of conscience is a proof of a godly design are advancing an argument that simply cannot be disproved because there is no evidence for or against it." Charles Lineweaver has argued that our "ideas of "good" and "evil", and our consciences that we rely on to help us make moral decisions (like Pinnochio’s Jiminy Cricket), are features of consciousness that have evolved under selection pressure, just like skin color, intestinal pH and fingernail growth rates."
Neuroscience and artificial conscience
Numerous case studies of brain damage have shown that damage to areas of the brain (such as the anterior prefrontal cortex) results in the reduction or elimination of inhibitions, with a corresponding radical change in behaviour. When the damage occurs to adults, they may still be able to perform moral reasoning; but when it occurs to children, they may never develop that ability.
Attempts have been made by neuroscientists to locate the free will necessary for what is termed the 'veto' of conscience over unconscious mental processes (see Neuroscience of free will and Benjamin Libet) in a scientifically measurable awareness of an intention to carry out an act occurring 350–400 microseconds after the electrical discharge known as the 'readiness potential.'
The word "conscience" derives etymologically from the Latin conscientia, meaning "privity of knowledge" or "with-knowledge". The English word implies internal awareness of a moral standard in the mind concerning the quality of one's motives, as well as a consciousness of our own actions. Thus conscience considered philosophically may be first, and perhaps most commonly, a largely unexamined "gut feeling" or "vague sense of guilt" about what ought to be or should have been done. Conscience in this sense is not necessarily the product of a process of rational consideration of the moral features of a situation (or the applicable normative principles, rules or laws) and can arise from parental, peer group, religious, state or corporate indoctrination, which may or may not be presently consciously acceptable to the person ("traditional conscience"). Conscience may be defined as the practical reason employed when applying moral convictions to a situation ("critical conscience"). In purportedly morally mature mystical people who have developed this capacity through daily contemplation or meditation combined with selfless service to others, critical conscience can be aided by a "spark" of intuitive insight or revelation (called marifa in Islamic Sufi philosophy and synderesis in medieval Christian scholastic moral philosophy). Conscience is accompanied in each case by an internal awareness of 'inner light' and approbation or 'inner darkness' and condemnation as well as a resulting conviction of right or duty either followed or declined.
Medieval philosophical views
- Nafs Ammarah (12:53) which "exhorts one to freely indulge in gratifying passions and instigates to do evil"
- Nafs Lawammah (75:2) which is "the conscience that directs man towards right or wrong"
- Nafs Mutmainnah (89:27) which is "a self that reaches the ultimate peace"
The medieval Persian philosopher and physician Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi believed in a close relationship between conscience or spiritual integrity and physical health; rather than being self-indulgent, man should pursue knowledge, use his intellect and apply justice in his life. The medieval Islamic philosopher Avicenna, whilst imprisoned in the castle of Fardajan near Hamadhan, wrote his famous isolated-but-awake "Floating Man" sensory deprivation thought experiment to explore the ideas of human self-awareness and the substantiality of the soul; his hypothesis being that it is through intelligence, particularly the active intellect, that God communicates truth to the human mind or conscience. According to the Islamic Sufis conscience allows Allah to guide people to the marifa, the peace or "light upon light" experienced where a Muslim's prayers lead to a melting away of the self in the inner knowledge of God; this foreshadowing the eternal Paradise depicted in the Qur’ān.
Some medieval Christian scholastics such as Bonaventure made a distinction between conscience as a rational faculty of the mind (practical reason) and inner awareness, an intuitive "spark" to do good, called synderesis arising from a remnant appreciation of absolute good and when consciously denied (for example to perform an evil act), becoming a source of inner torment. Early modern theologians such as William Perkins and William Ames developed a syllogistic understanding of the conscience, where God's law made the first term, the act to be judged the second and the action of the conscience (as a rational faculty) produced the judgement. By debating test cases applying such understanding conscience was trained and refined (i.e. casuistry).
In the 13th century, St. Thomas Aquinas regarded conscience as the application of moral knowledge to a particular case (S.T. I, q. 79, a. 13). Thus, conscience was considered an act or judgment of practical reason that began with synderesis, the structured development of our innate remnant awareness of absolute good (which he categorised as involving the five primary precepts proposed in his theory of Natural Law) into an acquired habit of applying moral principles. According to Singer, Aquinas held that conscience, or conscientia was an imperfect process of judgment applied to activity because knowledge of the natural law (and all acts of natural virtue implicit therein) was obscured in most people by education and custom that promoted selfishness rather than fellow-feeling (Summa Theologiae, I–II, I). Aquinas also discussed conscience in relation to the virtue of prudence to explain why some people appear to be less "morally enlightened" than others, their weak will being incapable of adequately balancing their own needs with those of others.
Aquinas reasoned that acting contrary to conscience is an evil action but an errant conscience is only blameworthy if it is the result of culpable or vincible ignorance of factors that one has a duty to have knowledge of. Aquinas also argued that conscience should be educated to act towards real goods (from God) which encouraged human flourishing, rather than the apparent goods of sensory pleasures. In his Commentary on Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics Aquinas claimed it was weak will that allowed a non-virtuous man to choose a principle allowing pleasure ahead of one requiring moral constraint.
Thomas A Kempis in the medieval contemplative classic The Imitation of Christ (ca 1418) stated that the glory of a good man is the witness of a good conscience. "Preserve a quiet conscience and you will always have joy. A quiet conscience can endure much, and remains joyful in all trouble, but an evil conscience is always fearful and uneasy." The anonymous medieval author of the Christian mystical work The Cloud of Unknowing similarly expressed the view that in profound and prolonged contemplation a soul dries up the "root and ground" of the sin that is always there, even after one's confession and however busy one is in holy things: "therefore, whoever would work at becoming a contemplative must first cleanse his [or her] conscience." The medieval Flemish mystic John of Ruysbroeck likewise held that true conscience has four aspects that are necessary to render a man just in the active and contemplative life: "a free spirit, attracting itself through love"; "an intellect enlightened by grace", "a delight yielding propension or inclination" and "an outflowing losing of oneself in the abyss of ... that eternal object which is the highest and chief blessedness ... those lofty amongst men, are absorbed in it, and immersed in a certain boundless thing."
Modern philosophical ideas
Benedict de Spinoza in his Ethics, published after his death in 1677, argued that most people, even those that consider themselves to exercise free will, make moral decisions on the basis of imperfect sensory information, inadequate understanding of their mind and will, as well as emotions which are both outcomes of their contingent physical existence and forms of thought defective from being chiefly impelled by self-preservation. The solution, according to Spinoza, was to gradually increase the capacity of our reason to change the forms of thought produced by emotions and to fall in love with viewing problems requiring moral decision from the perspective of eternity. Thus, living a life of peaceful conscience means to Spinoza that reason is used to generate adequate ideas where the mind increasingly sees the world and its conflicts, our desires and passions sub specie aeternitatis, that is without reference to time. Hegel's obscure and mystical Philosophy of Mind held that the absolute right of freedom of conscience facilitates human understanding of an all-embracing unity, an absolute which was rational, real and true. Nevertheless, Hegel thought that a functioning State would always be tempted not to recognize conscience in its form of subjective knowledge, just as similar non-objective opinions are generally rejected in science. A similar idealist notion was expressed in the writings of Joseph Butler who argued that conscience is God-given, should always be obeyed, is intuitive, and should be considered the "constitutional monarch" and the "universal moral faculty": "conscience does not only offer itself to show us the way we should walk in, but it likewise carries its own authority with it." Butler advanced ethical speculation by referring to a duality of regulative principles in human nature: first,"self-love" (seeking individual happiness) and second, "benevolence" (compassion and seeking good for another) in conscience (also linked to the agape of situational ethics). Conscience tended to be more authoritative in questions of moral judgment, thought Butler, because it was more likely to be clear and certain (whereas calculations of self-interest tended to probable and changing conclusions). John Selden in his Table Talk expressed the view that an awake but excessively scrupulous or ill-trained conscience could hinder resolve and practical action; it being "like a horse that is not well wayed, he starts at every bird that flies out of the hedge".
As the sacred texts of ancient Hindu and Buddhist philosophy became available in German translations in the 18th and 19th centuries, they influenced philosophers such as Schopenhauer to hold that in a healthy mind only deeds oppress our conscience, not wishes and thoughts; "for it is only our deeds that hold us up to the mirror of our will"; the good conscience, thought Schopenhauer, we experience after every disinterested deed arises from direct recognition of our own inner being in the phenomenon of another, it affords us the verification "that our true self exists not only in our own person, this particular manifestation, but in everything that lives. By this the heart feels itself enlarged, as by egotism it is contracted."
Immanuel Kant, a central figure of the Age of Enlightenment, likewise claimed that two things filled his mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the oftener and more steadily they were reflected on: "the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me ... the latter begins from my invisible self, my personality, and exhibits me in a world which has true infinity but which I recognise myself as existing in a universal and necessary (and not only, as in the first case, contingent) connection." The 'universal connection' referred to here is Kant's categorical imperative: "act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law." Kant considered critical conscience to be an internal court in which our thoughts accuse or excuse one another; he acknowledged that morally mature people do often describe contentment or peace in the soul after following conscience to perform a duty, but argued that for such acts to produce virtue their primary motivation should simply be duty, not expectation of any such bliss. Rousseau expressed a similar view that conscience somehow connected man to a greater metaphysical unity. John Plamenatz in his critical examination of Rousseau's work considered that conscience was there defined as the feeling that urges us, in spite of contrary passions, towards two harmonies: the one within our minds and between our passions, and the other within society and between its members; "the weakest can appeal to it in the strongest, and the appeal, though often unsuccessful, is always disturbing. However, corrupted by power or wealth we may be, either as possessors of them or as victims, there is something in us serving to remind us that this corruption is against nature."
Other philosophers expressed a more sceptical and pragmatic view of the operation of "conscience" in society. John Locke in his Essays on the Law of Nature argued that the widespread fact of human conscience allowed a philosopher to infer the necessary existence of objective moral laws that occasionally might contradict those of the state. Locke highlighted the metaethics problem of whether accepting a statement like "follow your conscience" supports subjectivist or objectivist conceptions of conscience as a guide in concrete morality, or as a spontaneous revelation of eternal and immutable principles to the individual: "if conscience be a proof of innate principles, contraries may be innate principles; since some men with the same bent of conscience prosecute what others avoid." Thomas Hobbes likewise pragmatically noted that opinions formed on the basis of conscience with full and honest conviction, nevertheless should always be accepted with humility as potentially erroneous and not necessarily indicating absolute knowledge or truth. William Godwin expressed the view that conscience was a memorable consequence of the "perception by men of every creed when the descend into the scene of busy life" that they possess free will. Adam Smith considered that it was only by developing a critical conscience that we can ever see what relates to ourselves in its proper shape and dimensions; or that we can ever make any proper comparison between our own interests and those of other people. John Stuart Mill believed that idealism about the role of conscience in government should be tempered with a practical realisation that few men in society are capable of directing their minds or purposes towards distant or unobvious interests, of disinterested regard for others, and especially for what comes after them, for the idea of posterity, of their country, or of humanity, whether grounded on sympathy or on a conscientious feeling. Mill held that certain amount of conscience, and of disinterested public spirit, may fairly be calculated on in the citizens of any community ripe for representative government, but that "it would be ridiculous to expect such a degree of it, combined with such intellectual discernment, as would be proof against any plausible fallacy tending to make that which was for their class interest appear the dictate of justice and of the general good."
Josiah Royce (1855–1916) built on the transcendental idealism view of conscience, viewing it as the ideal of life which constitutes our moral personality, our plan of being ourself, of making common sense ethical decisions. But, he thought, this was only true insofar as our conscience also required loyalty to "a mysterious higher or deeper self." In the modern Christian tradition this approach achieved expression with Dietrich Bonhoeffer who stated during his imprisonment by the Nazis in World War II that conscience for him was more than practical reason, indeed it came from a "depth which lies beyond a man's own will and his own reason and it makes itself heard as the call of human existence to unity with itself." For Bonhoeffer a guilty conscience arose as an indictment of the loss of this unity and as a warning against the loss of one's self; primarily, he thought, it is directed not towards a particular kind of doing but towards a particular mode of being. It protests against a doing which imperils the unity of this being with itself. Conscience for Bonhoeffer did not, like shame, embrace or pass judgment on the morality of the whole of its owner's life; it reacted only to certain definite actions: "it recalls what is long past and represents this disunion as something which is already accomplished and irreparable". The man with a conscience, he believed, fights a lonely battle against the "overwhelming forces of inescapable situations" which demand moral decisions despite the likelihood of adverse consequences.Simon Soloveychik has similarly claimed that the truth distributed in the world, as the statement about human dignity, as the affirmation of the line between good and evil, lives in people as conscience.
As Hannah Arendt pointed out, however, (following the utilitarian John Stuart Mill on this point): a bad conscience does not necessarily signify a bad character; in fact only those who affirm a commitment to applying moral standards will be troubled with remorse, guilt or shame by a bad conscience and their need to regain integrity and wholeness of the self. Representing our soul or true self by analogy as our house, Arendt wrote that "conscience is the anticipation of the fellow who awaits you if and when you come home." Arendt believed that people who are unfamiliar with the process of silent critical reflection about what they say and do will not mind contradicting themselves by an immoral act or crime, since they can "count on its being forgotten the next moment;" bad people are not full of regrets. Arendt also wrote eloquently on the problem of languages distinguishing the word consciousness from conscience. One reason, she held, was that conscience, as we understand it in moral or legal matters, is supposedly always present within us, just like consciousness: "and this conscience is also supposed to tell us what to do and what to repent; before it became the lumen naturale or Kant's practical reason, it was the voice of God."
Albert Einstein, as a self-professed adherent of humanism and rationalism, likewise viewed an enlightened religious person as one whose conscience reflects that he "has, to the best of his ability, liberated himself from the fetters of his selfish desires and is preoccupied with thoughts, feelings and aspirations to which he clings because of their super-personal value." Einstein often referred to the "inner voice" as a source of both moral and physical knowledge: "Quantum mechanics is very impressive. But an inner voice tells me that it is not the real thing. The theory produces a good deal but hardly brings one closer to the secrets of the Old One. I am at all events convinced that He does not play dice."
Simone Weil who fought for the French resistance (the Maquis) argued in her final book The Need for Roots: Prelude to a Declaration of Duties Towards Mankind that for society to become more just and protective of liberty, obligations should take precedence over rights in moral and political philosophy and a spiritual awakening should occur in the conscience of most citizens, so that social obligations are viewed as fundamentally having a transcendent origin and a beneficent impact on human character when fulfilled. Simone Weil also in that work provided a psychological explanation for the mental peace associated with a good conscience: "the liberty of men of goodwill, though limited in the sphere of action, is complete in that of conscience. For, having incorporated the rules into their own being, the prohibited possibilities no longer present themselves to the mind, and have not to be rejected."
Alternatives to such metaphysical and idealist opinions about conscience arose from realist and materialist perspectives such as those of Charles Darwin. Darwin suggested that "any animal whatever, endowed with well-marked social instincts, the parental and filial affections being here included, would inevitably acquire a moral sense or conscience, as soon as its intellectual powers had become as well, or as nearly as well developed, as in man." Émile Durkheim held that the soul and conscience were particular forms of an impersonal principle diffused in the relevant group and communicated by totemic ceremonies. AJ Ayer was a more recent realist who held that the existence of conscience was an empirical question to be answered by sociological research into the moral habits of a given person or group of people, and what causes them to have precisely those habits and feelings. Such an inquiry, he believed, fell wholly within the scope of the existing social sciences. George Edward Moore bridged the idealistic and sociological views of 'critical' and 'traditional' conscience in stating that the idea of abstract 'rightness' and the various degrees of the specific emotion excited by it are what constitute, for many persons, the specifically 'moral sentiment' or conscience. For others, however, an action seems to be properly termed 'internally right', merely because they have previously regarded it as right, the idea of 'rightness' being present in some way to his or her mind, but not necessarily among his or her deliberately constructed motives.
The French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir in A Very Easy Death (Une mort très douce, 1964) reflects within her own conscience about her mother's attempts to develop such a moral sympathy and understanding of others.
Michael Walzer claimed that the growth of religious toleration in Western nations arose amongst other things, from the general recognition that private conscience signified some inner divine presence regardless of the religious faith professed and from the general respectability, piety, self-limitation, and sectarian discipline which marked most of the men who claimed the rights of conscience. Walzer also argued that attempts by courts to define conscience as a merely personal moral code or as sincere belief, risked encouraging an anarchy of moral egotisms, unless such a code and motive was necessarily tempered with shared moral knowledge: derived either from the connection of the individual to a universal spiritual order, or from the common principles and mutual engagements of unselfish people. Ronald Dworkin maintains that constitutional protection of freedom of conscience is central to democracy but creates personal duties to live up to it: "Freedom of conscience presupposes a personal responsibility of reflection, and it loses much of its meaning when that responsibility is ignored. A good life need not be an especially reflective one; most of the best lives are just lived rather than studied. But there are moments that cry out for self-assertion, when a passive bowing to fate or a mechanical decision out of deference or convenience is treachery, because it forfeits dignity for ease." Edward Conze stated it is important for individual and collective moral growth that we recognise the illusion of our conscience being wholly located in our body; indeed both our conscience and wisdom expand when we act in an unselfish way and conversely "repressed compassion results in an unconscious sense of guilt."
The philosopher Peter Singer considers that usually when we describe an action as conscientious in the critical sense we do so in order to deny either that the relevant agent was motivated by selfish desires, like greed or ambition, or that he acted on whim or impulse.
Moral anti-realists debate whether the moral facts necessary to activate conscience supervene on natural facts with a posteriori necessity; or arise a priori because moral facts have a primary intension and naturally identical worlds may be presumed morally identical. It has also been argued that there is a measure of moral luck in how circumstances create the obstacles which conscience must overcome to apply moral principles or human rights and that with the benefit of enforceable property rights and the rule of law, access to universal health care plus the absence of high adult and infant mortality from conditions such as malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and famine, people in relatively prosperous developed countries have been spared pangs of conscience associated with the physical necessity to steal scraps of food, bribe tax inspectors or police officers, and commit murder in guerrilla wars against corrupt government forces or rebel armies. Scrutton has claimed that true understanding of conscience and its relationship with morality has been hampered by an "impetuous" belief that philosophical questions are solved through the analysis of language in an area where clarity threatens vested interests. Susan Sontag similarly argued that it was a symptom of psychological immaturity not to recognise that many morally immature people willingly experience a form of delight, in some an erotic breaking of taboo, when witnessing violence, suffering and pain being inflicted on others. Jonathan Glover wrote that most of us "do not spend our lives on endless landscape gardening of our self" and our conscience is likely shaped not so much by heroic struggles, as by choice of partner, friends and job, as well as where we choose to live. Garrett Hardin in a famous article called tragedy of the commons argued that any instance in which society appeals to an individual exploiting a commons to restrain himself or herself for the general good-by means of his or her conscience- merely sets up a system which, by selectively diverting societal power and physical resources to those lacking in conscience, while fostering guilt (including anxiety about his or her individual contribution to over-population) in people acting upon it, actually works toward the elimination of conscience from the race.
John Ralston Saul expressed the view in The Unconscious Civilization that in contemporary developed nations many people have acquiesced in turning over their sense of right and wrong, their critical conscience, to technical experts; willingly restricting their moral freedom of choice to limited consumer actions ruled by the ideology of the free market, while citizen participation in public affairs is limited to the isolated act of voting and private-interest lobbying turns even elected representatives against the public interest.
Some argue on religious or philosophical grounds that it is blameworthy to act against conscience, even if the judgement of conscience is likely to be erroneous (say because it is inadequately informed about the facts, or prevailing moral (humanist or religious), professional ethical, legal and human rights norms). Failure to acknowledge and accept that conscientious judgements can be seriously mistaken, may only promote situations where one's conscience is manipulated by others to provide unwarranted justifications for non-virtuous and selfish acts; indeed, insofar as it is appealed to as glorifying ideological content, and an associated extreme level of devotion, without adequate constraint of external, altruistic, normative justification, conscience may be considered morally blind and dangerous both to the individual concerned and humanity as a whole. Langston argues that philosophers of virtue ethics have unnecessarily neglected conscience for, once conscience is trained so that the principles and rules it applies are those one would want all others to live by, its practise cultivates and sustains the virtues; indeed, amongst people in what each society considers to be the highest state of moral development there is little disagreement about how to act.Emmanuel Levinas viewed conscience as a revelatory encountering of resistance to our selfish powers, developing morality by calling into question our naive sense of freedom of will to use such powers arbitrarily, or with violence, this process being more severe the more rigorously the goal of our self was to obtain control. In other words, the welcoming of the Other, to Levinas, was the very essence of conscience properly conceived; it encouraged our ego to accept the fallibility of assuming things about other people, that selfish freedom of will "does not have the last word" and that realising this has a transcendent purpose: "I am not alone ... in conscience I have an experience that is not commensurate with any a priori [see a priori and a posteriori] framework-a conceptless experience."
Conscientious acts and the law
English humanist lawyers in the 16th and 17th centuries interpreted conscience as a collection of universal principles given to man by god at creation to be applied by reason; this gradually reforming the medieval Roman law-based system with forms of action, written pleadings, use of juries and patterns of litigation such as Demurrer and Assumpsit that displayed an increased concern for elements of right and wrong on the actual facts. A conscience vote in a parliament allows legislators to vote without restrictions from any political party to which they may belong. In his trial in Jerusalem Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann claimed he was simply following legal orders under paragraph 48 of the German Military Code which provided: "punishability of an action or omission is not excused on the ground that the person considered his behaviour required by his conscience or the prescripts of his religion". The United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR) which is part of international customary law specifically refers to conscience in Articles 1 and 18. Likewise, the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) mentions conscience in Article 18.1.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood— United Nations, Universal Declaration on Human Rights Article 1
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance— United Nations, Universal Declaration on Human Rights Article 18
Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching— United Nations, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Article 18.1
John Rawls in his A Theory of Justice defines a conscientious objector as an individual prepared to undertake, in public (and often despite widespread condemnation), an action of civil disobedience to a legal rule justifying it (also in public) by reference to contrary foundational social virtues (such as justice as liberty or fairness) and the principles of morality and law derived from them. Rawls considered civil disobedience should be viewed as an appeal, warning or admonishment (showing general respect and fidelity to the rule of law by the non-violence and transparency of methods adopted) that a law breaches a community's fundamental virtue of justice. Objections to Rawls' theory include first, its inability to accommodate conscientious objections to the society's basic appreciation of justice or to emerging moral or ethical principles (such as respect for the rights of the natural environment) which are not yet part of it and second, the difficulty of predictably and consistently determining that a majority decision is just or unjust. Conscientious objection (also called conscientious refusal or evasion) to obeying a law, should not arise from unreasoning, naive "traditional conscience", for to do so merely encourages infantile abdication of responsibility to calibrate the law against moral or human rights norms and disrespect for democratic institutions. Instead it should be based on "critical conscience' – seriously thought out, conceptually mature, personal moral or religious beliefs held to be fundamentally incompatible (that is, not merely inconsistent on the basis of selfish desires, whim or impulse), for example, either with all laws requiring conscription for military service, or legal compulsion to fight for or financially support the State in a particular war. A famous example arose when Henry David Thoreau the author of Walden was willingly jailed for refusing to pay a tax because he profoundly disagreed with a government policy and was frustrated by the corruption and injustice of the democratic machinery of the state. A more recent case concerned Kimberly Rivera, a private in the US Army and mother of four children who, having served 3 months in Iraq War decided the conflict was immoral and sought refugee status in Canada in 2012 (see List of Iraq War resisters), but was deported and arrested in the US.
In the Second World War, Great Britain granted conscientious-objection status not just to complete pacifists, but to those who objected to fighting in that particular war; this was done partly out of genuine respect, but also to avoid the disgraceful and futile persecutions of conscientious objectors that occurred during the First World War.
Amnesty International organises campaigns to protect those arrested and or incarcerated as a prisoner of conscience because of their conscientious beliefs, particularly concerning intellectual, political and artistic freedom of expression and association. Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma, was the winner of the 2009 Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award. In legislation, a conscience clause is a provision in a statute that excuses a health professional from complying with the law (for example legalising surgical or pharmaceutical abortion) if it is incompatible with religious or conscientious beliefs. Expressed justifications for refusing to obey laws because of conscience vary. Many conscientious objectors are so for religious reasons—notably, members of the historic peace churches are pacifist by doctrine. Other objections can stem from a deep sense of responsibility toward humanity as a whole, or from the conviction that even acceptance of work under military orders acknowledges the principle of conscription that should be everywhere condemned before the world can ever become safe for real democracy. A conscientious objector, however, does not have a primary aim of changing the law. John Dewey considered that conscientious objectors were often the victims of "moral innocency" and inexpertness in moral training: "the moving force of events is always too much for conscience". The remedy was not to deplore the wickedness of those who manipulate world power, but to connect conscience with forces moving in another direction- to build institutions and social environments predicated on the rule of law, for example, "then will conscience itself have compulsive power instead of being forever the martyred and the coerced." As an example, Albert Einstein who had advocated conscientious objection during the First World War and had been a longterm supporter of War Resisters' International reasoned that "radical pacifism" could not be justified in the face of Nazi rearmament and advocated a world federalist organization with its own professional army. Samuel Johnson pointed out that an appeal to conscience should not allow the law to bring unjust suffering upon another. Conscience, according to Johnson, was nothing more than a conviction felt by ourselves of something to be done or something to be avoided; in questions of simple unperplexed morality, conscience is very often a guide that may be trusted. But before conscience can conclusively determine what morally should be done, he thought that the state of the question should be thoroughly known. "No man's conscience", said Johnson "can tell him the right of another man ... it is a conscience very ill informed that violates the rights of one man, for the convenience of another."
Civil disobedience as non-violent protest or civil resistance are also acts of conscience, but are designed by those who undertake them chiefly to change, by appealing to the majority and democratic processes, laws or government policies perceived to be incoherent with fundamental social virtues and principles (such as justice, equality or respect for intrinsic human dignity). Civil disobedience, in a properly functioning democracy, allows a minority who feel strongly that a law infringes their sense of justice (but have no capacity to obtain legislative amendments or a referendum on the issue) to make a potentially apathetic or uninformed majority take account of the intensity of opposing views. A notable example of civil resistance or satyagraha ("satya" in sanskrit means "truth and compassion", "agraha" means "firmness of will") involved Mahatma Gandhi making salt in India when that act was prohibited by a British statute, in order to create moral pressure for law reform. Rosa Parks similarly acted on conscience in 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama refusing a legal order to give up her seat to make room for a white passenger; her action (and the similar earlier act of 15-year-old Claudette Colvin) leading to the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Rachel Corrie was a US citizen allegedly killed by a bulldozer operated by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) while involved in direct action (based on the non-violent principles of Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi) to prevent demolition of the home of local Palestinian pharmacist Samir Nasrallah. Al Gore has argued "If you're a young person looking at the future of this planet and looking at what is being done right now, and not done, I believe we have reached the stage where it is time for civil disobedience to prevent the construction of new coal plants that do not have carbon capture and sequestration." In 2011, NASA climate scientist James E. Hansen, environmental leader Phil Radford and Professor Bill McKibben were arrested for opposing a tar sands oil pipeline and Canadian renewable energy professor Mark Jaccard was arrested for opposing mountain-top coal mining; in his book Storms of my Grandchildren Hansen calls for similar civil resistance on a global scale to help replace the 'business-as-usual' Kyoto Protocol cap and trade system, with a progressive carbon tax at emission source on the oil, gas and coal industries – revenue being paid as dividends to low carbon footprint families.
Notable historical examples of conscientious noncompliance in a different professional context included the manipulation of the visa process in 1939 by Japanese Consul-General Chiune Sugihara in Kaunas (the temporary capital of Lithuania between Germany and the Soviet Union) and by Raoul Wallenberg in Hungary 1n 1944 to allow Jews to escape almost certain death. Ho Feng-Shan the Chinese Consul-General in Vienna in 1939, defied orders from the Chinese ambassador in Berlin to issue Jews with visas for Shanghai. John Rabe a German member of the Nazi Party likewise saved thousands of Chinese from massacre by the Japanese military at Nanking. The White Rose German student movement against the Nazis declared in their 4th leaflet: "We will not be silent. We are your bad conscience. The White Rose will not leave you in peace!" Conscientious noncompliance may be the only practical option for citizens wishing to affirm the existence of an international moral order or 'core' historical rights (such as the right to life, right to a fair trial and freedom of opinion) in states where non-violent protest or civil disobedience are met with prolonged arbitrary detention, torture, forced disappearance, murder or persecution. The controversial Milgram experiment into obedience by Stanley Milgram showed that many people lack the psychological resources to openly resist authority, even when they are directed to act callously and inhumanely against an innocent victim.
World conscience is the universalist idea that with ready global communication, all people on earth will no longer be morally estranged from one another, whether it be culturally, ethnically, or geographically; instead they will conceive ethics from the utopian point of view of the universe, eternity or infinity, rather than have their duties and obligations defined by forces arising solely within the restrictive boundaries of 'blood and territory.'
Often this derives from a spiritual or natural law perspective, that for world peace to be achieved, conscience, properly understood, should be generally considered as not necessarily linked (often destructively) to fundamentalist religious ideologies, but as an aspect of universal consciousness, access to which is the common heritage of humanity. Thinking predicated on the development of world conscience is common to members of the Global Ecovillage Network such as the Findhorn Foundation, international conservation organisations like Fauna and Flora International, as well as performers of world music such as Alan Stivell. Non-government organizations, particularly through their work in agenda-setting, policy-making and implementation of human rights-related policy, have been referred to as the conscience of the world
Edward O Wilson has developed the idea of consilience to encourage coherence of global moral and scientific knowledge supporting the premise that "only unified learning, universally shared, makes accurate foresight and wise choice possible". Thus, world conscience is a concept that overlaps with the Gaia hypothesis in advocating a balance of moral, legal, scientific and economic solutions to modern transnational problems such as global poverty and climate change, through strategies such as environmental ethics, climate ethics, natural conservation, ecology, cosmopolitanism, sustainability and sustainable development, biosequestration and legal protection of the biosphere and biodiversity. The NGO 350.org, for example, seeks to attract world conscience to the problems associated with elevation in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations.
The Green party politician Bob Brown (who was arrested by the Tasmanian state police for a conscientious act of civil disobedience during the Franklin Dam protest) expresses world conscience in these terms: "the universe, through us, is evolving towards experiencing, understanding and making choices about its future'; one example of policy outcomes from such thinking being a global tax (see Tobin tax) to alleviate global poverty and protect the biosphere, amounting to 1/10 of 1% placed on the worldwide speculative currency market. Such an approach sees world conscience best expressing itself through political reforms promoting democratically based globalisation or planetary democracy (for example internet voting for global governance organisations (see world government) based on the model of "one person, one vote, one value") which gradually will replace contemporary market-based globalisation.
The American cardiologist Bernard Lown and the Russian cardiologist Yevgeniy Chazov were motivated in conscience through studying the catastrophic public health consequences of nuclear war in establishing International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985 and continues to work to "heal an ailing planet".
Worldwide expressions of conscience contributed to the decision of the French government to halt atmospheric nuclear tests at Mururoa in the Pacific in 1974 after 41 such explosions (although below-ground nuclear tests continued there into the 1990s).
A challenge to world conscience was provided by an influential 1968 article by Garrett Hardin that critically analyzed the dilemma in which multiple individuals, acting independently after rationally consulting self-interest (and, he claimed, the apparently low 'survival-of-the-fittest' value of conscience-led actions) ultimately destroy a shared limited resource, even though each acknowledges such an outcome is not in anyone's long-term interest. Hardin's conclusion that commons areas are practicably achievable only in conditions of low population density (and so their continuance requires state restriction on the freedom to breed), created controversy additionally through his direct deprecation of the role of conscience in achieving individual decisions, policies and laws that facilitate global justice and peace, as well as sustainability and sustainable development of world commons areas, for example including those officially designated such under United Nations treaties (see common heritage of humanity). Areas designated common heritage of humanity under international law include the Moon, Outer Space, deep sea bed, Antarctica, the world cultural and natural heritage (see World Heritage Convention) and the human genome. It will be a significant challenge for world conscience that as world oil, coal, mineral, timber, agricultural and water reserves are depleted, there will be increasing pressure to commercially exploit common heritage of mankind areas.
The philosopher Peter Singer has argued that the United Nations Millennium Development Goals represent the emergence of an ethics based not on national boundaries but on the idea of one world. Ninian Smart has similarly predicted that the increase in global travel and communication will gradually draw the world's religions towards a pluralistic and transcendental humanism characterized by an "open spirit" of empathy and compassion.
Noam Chomsky has argued that forces opposing the development of such a world conscience include free market ideologies that valorise corporate greed in nominal electoral democracies where advertising, shopping malls and indebtedness, shape citizens into apathetic consumers in relation to information and access necessary for democratic participation. John Passmore has argued that mystical considerations about the global expansion of all human consciousness, should take into account that if as a species we do become something much superior to what we are now, it will be as a consequence of conscience not only implanting a goal of moral perfectibility, but assisting us to remain periodically anxious, passionate and discontented, for these are necessary components of care and compassion. The Committee on Conscience of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum has targeted genocides such as those in Rwanda, Bosnia, Darfur, the Congo and Chechnya as challenges to the world's conscience. Oscar Arias Sanchez has criticised global arms industry spending as a failure of conscience by nation states: "When a country decides to invest in arms, rather than in education, housing, the environment, and health services for its people, it is depriving a whole generation of its right to prosperity and happiness. We have produced one firearm for every ten inhabitants of this planet, and yet we have not bothered to end hunger when such a feat is well within our reach. This is not a necessary or inevitable state of affairs. It is a deliberate choice" (see Campaign Against Arms Trade). US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, after meeting with the 14th Dalai Lama during the 2008 violent protests in Tibet and aftermath said: "The situation in Tibet is a challenge to the conscience of the world." Nelson Mandela, through his example and words, has been described as having shaped the conscience of the world.
The Right Livelihood Award is awarded yearly in Sweden to those people, mostly strongly motivated by conscience, who have made exemplary practical contributions to resolving the great challenges facing our planet and its people. In 2009, for example, along with Catherine Hamlin (obstetric fistula and see fistula foundation)), David Suzuki (promoting awareness of climate change) and Alyn Ware (nuclear disarmament), René Ngongo shared the Right Livelihood Award "for his courage in confronting the forces that are destroying the Congo Basin's rainforests and building political support for their conservation and sustainable use". Avaaz is one of the largest global on-line organizations launched in January 2007 to promote conscience-driven activism on issues such as climate change, human rights, animal rights, corruption, poverty, and conflict, thus "closing the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want".
Notable examples of modern acts based on conscience
In a notable contemporary act of conscience, Christian bushwalker Brenda Hean protested against the flooding of Lake Pedder despite threats and that ultimately lead to her death. Another was the campaign by Ken Saro-Wiwa against oil extraction by multinational corporations in Nigeria that led to his execution. So too was the act by the Tank Man, or the Unknown Rebel photographed holding his shopping bag in the path of tanks during the protests at Beijing's Tiananmen Square on 5 June 1989. The actions of United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld to try and achieve peace in the Congo despite the (eventuating) threat to his life, were strongly motivated by conscience as is reflected in his diary, Vägmärken (Markings). Another example involved the actions of Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson, Jr to try and prevent the My Lai Massacre in the Vietnam War. Evan Pederick voluntarily confessed and was convicted of the Sydney Hilton bombing stating that his conscience could not tolerate the guilt and that "I guess I was quite unique in the prison system in that I had to keep proving my guilt, whereas everyone else said they were innocent." Vasili Arkhipov was a Russian naval officer on out-of-radio-contact Soviet submarine B-59 being depth-charged by US warships during the Cuban Missile Crisis whose dissent when two other officers decided to launch a nuclear torpedo (unanimous agreement to launch was required) may have averted a nuclear war. In 1963 Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc performed a famous act of self-immolation to protest against alleged persecution of his faith by the Vietnamese Ngo Dinh Diem regime.
Conscience played a major role in the actions by anaesthetist Stephen Bolsin to whistleblow (see list of whistleblowers) on incompetent paediatric cardiac surgeons at the Bristol Royal Infirmary. Jeffrey Wigand was motivated by conscience to expose the Big Tobacco scandal, revealing that executives of the companies knew that cigarettes were addictive and approved the addition of carcinogenic ingredients to the cigarettes. David Graham, a Food and Drug Administration employee, was motivated by conscience to whistleblow that the arthritis pain-reliever Vioxx increased the risk of cardiovascular deaths although the manufacturer suppressed this information. Rick Piltz from the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, blew the whistle on a White House official who ignored majority scientific opinion to edit a climate change report ("Our Changing Planet") to reflect the Bush administration's view that the problem was unlikely to exist." Muntadhar al-Zaidi, an Iraqi journalist, was imprisoned and allegedly tortured for his act of conscience in throwing his shoes at George W. Bush. Mordechai Vanunu an Israeli former nuclear technician, acted on conscience to reveal details of Israel's nuclear weapons program to the British press in 1986; was kidnapped by Israeli agents, transported to Israel, convicted of treason and spent 18 years in prison, including more than 11 years in solitary confinement.
At the awards ceremony for the 200 metres at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City John Carlos, Tommie Smith and Peter Norman ignored death threats and official warnings to take part in an anti-racism protest that destroyed their respective careers. W. Mark Felt an agent of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation who retired in 1973 as the Bureau's Associate Director, acted on conscience to provide reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein with information that resulted in the Watergate scandal. Conscience was a major factor in US Public Health Service officer Peter Buxtun revealing the Tuskegee syphilis experiment to the public. The 2008 attack by the Israeli military on civilian areas of Palestinian Gaza was described as a "stain on the world's conscience". Conscience was a major factor in the refusal of Aung San Suu Kyi to leave Burma despite house arrest and persecution by the military dictatorship in that country. Conscience was a factor in Peter Galbraith's criticism of fraud in the 2009 Afghanistan election despite it costing him his United Nations job. Conscience motivated Bunnatine Greenhouse to expose irregularities in the contracting of the Halliburton company for work in Iraq. Naji al-Ali a popular cartoon artist in the Arab world, loved for his defense of the ordinary people, and for his criticism of repression and despotism by both the Israeli military and Yasser Arafat's PLO, was murdered for refusing to compromise with his conscience. The journalist Anna Politkovskaya provided (prior to her murder) an example of conscience in her opposition to the Second Chechen War and then-Russian President Vladimir Putin. Conscience motivated the Russian human-rights activist Natalia Estemirova, who was abducted and murdered in Grozny, Chechnya in 2009. The Death of Neda Agha-Soltan arose from conscience-driven protests against the 2009 Iranian presidential election. Female Muslim lawyer Shirin Ebadi (winner of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize) has been described as the 'conscience of the Islamic Republic' for her work in protecting the human rights of women and children in Iran. The human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, often referred to as the 'conscience of China' and who had previously been arrested and allegedly tortured by the Chinese regime for defending members of the Falun Gong, was abducted by Chinese security agents on 4 February 2009 and has not been seen since. 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo in his final statement before being sentenced by a closed Chinese court to over a decade in jail as a political prisoner of conscience stated: "For hatred is corrosive of a person’s wisdom and conscience; the mentality of enmity can poison a nation’s spirit." Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer in Russia, was arrested, held without trial for almost a year and died in custody, as a result of exposing corruption. On 6 October 2001 Laura Whittle was a naval gunner on HMAS Adelaide (FFG 01) under orders to implement a new border protection policy when they encountered the SIEV-4 (Suspected Illegal Entry Vessel-4) refugee boat in choppy seas. After being ordered to fire warning shots from her 50 calibre machinegun to make the boat turn back she saw it beginning to break up and sink with a father on board holding out his young daughter that she might be saved (see Children Overboard Affair). Whittle jumped without a life vest 12 metres into the sea to help save the refugees from drowning thinking "this isn't right; this isn't how things should be." In February 2012 journalist Marie Colvin was deliberately targeted and killed by the Syrian Army in Homs during the 2011–2012 Syrian uprising and Siege of Homs, after she decided to stay at the "epicentre of the storm" in order to "expose what is happening." In October 2012 the Taliban organised the attempted murder of Malala Yousafzai a teenage girl who had been campaigning, despite their threats, for female education in Pakistan. In December 2012 the 2012 Delhi gang rape case was said to have stirred the collective conscience of India to civil disobedience and public protest at the lack of legal action against rapists in that country (see Rape in India) In June 2013 Edward Snowden revealed details of a US National Security Agency internet and electronic communication PRISM (surveillance program) because of a conscience-felt obligation to the freedom of humanity greater than obedience to the laws that bound his employment.
Conscience in literature, art, film, and music
The ancient epic of the Indian subcontinent, the Mahabharata of Vyasa, contains two pivotal moments of conscience. The first occurs when the warrior Arjuna being overcome with compassion against killing his opposing relatives in war, receives counsel (see Bhagavad-Gita) from Krishna about his spiritual duty ("work as though you are performing a sacrifice for the general good"). The second, at the end of the saga, is when king Yudhishthira having alone survived the moral tests of life, is offered eternal bliss, only to refuse it because a faithful dog is prevented from coming with him by purported divine rules and laws. The French author Montaigne (1533–1592) in one of the most celebrated of his essays ("On experience") expressed the benefits of living with a clear conscience: "Our duty is to compose our character, not to compose books, to win not battles and provinces, but order and tranquillity in our conduct. Our great and glorious masterpiece is to live properly". In his famous Japanese travel journal Oku no Hosomichi (Narrow Road to the Deep North) composed of mixed haiku poetry and prose, Matsuo Basho (1644–94) in attempting to describe the eternal in this perishable world is often moved in conscience; for example by a thicket of summer grass being all that remains of the dreams and ambitions of ancient warriors. Chaucer's "Franklin's Tale" in The Canterbury Tales recounts how a young suitor releases a wife from a rash promise because of the respect in his conscience for the freedom to be truthful, gentle and generous.
The critic A. C. Bradley discusses the central problem of Shakespeare's tragic character Hamlet as one where conscience in the form of moral scruples deters the young Prince with his "great anxiety to do right" from obeying his father's hell-bound ghost and murdering the usurping King ("is't not perfect conscience to quit him with this arm?" (v.ii.67)).
Bradley develops a theory about Hamlet's moral agony relating to a conflict between "traditional" and "critical" conscience: "The conventional moral ideas of his time, which he shared with the Ghost, told him plainly that he ought to avenge his father; but a deeper conscience in him, which was in advance of his time, contended with these explicit conventional ideas. It is because this deeper conscience remains below the surface that he fails to recognise it, and fancies he is hindered by cowardice or sloth or passion or what not; but it emerges into light in that speech to Horatio. And it is just because he has this nobler moral nature in him that we admire and love him". The opening words of Shakespeare's Sonnet 94 ("They that have pow'r to hurt, and will do none") have been admired as a description of conscience. So has John Donne's commencement of his poem s:Goodfriday, 1613. Riding Westward: "Let man's soul be a sphere, and then, in this, Th' intelligence that moves, devotion is;"
Anton Chekhov in his plays The Seagull, Uncle Vanya and Three Sisters describes the tortured emotional states of doctors who at some point in their careers have turned their back on conscience. In his short stories, Chekhov also explored how people misunderstood the voice of a tortured conscience. A promiscuous student, for example, in The Fit describes it as a "dull pain, indefinite, vague; it was like anguish and the most acute fear and despair ... in his breast, under the heart" and the young doctor examining the misunderstood agony of compassion experienced by the factory owner's daughter in From a Case Book calls it an "unknown, mysterious power ... in fact close at hand and watching him." Characteristically, Chekhov's own conscience drove him on the long journey to Sakhalin to record and alleviate the harsh conditions of the prisoners at that remote outpost. As Irina Ratushinskaya writes in the introduction to that work: "Abandoning everything, he travelled to the distant island of Sakhalin, the most feared place of exile and forced labour in Russia at that time. One cannot help but wonder why? Simply, because the lot of the people there was a bitter one, because nobody really knew about the lives and deaths of the exiles, because he felt that they stood in greater need of help that anyone else. A strange reason, maybe, but not for a writer who was the epitome of all the best traditions of a Russian man of letters. Russian literature has always focused on questions of conscience and was, therefore, a powerful force in the moulding of public opinion."
E. H. Carr writes of Dostoevsky's character the young student Raskolnikov in the novel Crime and Punishment who decides to murder a 'vile and loathsome' old woman money lender on the principle of transcending conventional morals: "the sequel reveals to us not the pangs of a stricken conscience (which a less subtle writer would have given us) but the tragic and fruitless struggle of a powerful intellect to maintain a conviction which is incompatible with the essential nature of man."
Hermann Hesse wrote his Siddhartha to describe how a young man in the time of the Buddha follows his conscience on a journey to discover a transcendent inner space where all things could be unified and simply understood, ending up discovering that personal truth through selfless service as a ferryman. J. R. R. Tolkien in his epic The Lord of the Rings describes how only the hobbit Frodo is pure enough in conscience to carry the ring of power through war-torn Middle-earth to destruction in the Cracks of Doom, Frodo determining at the end to journey without weapons, and being saved from failure by his earlier decision to spare the life of the creature Gollum. Conor Cruise O'Brien wrote that Albert Camus was the writer most representative of the Western consciousness and conscience in its relation to the non-Western world. Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird portrays Atticus Finch (played by Gregory Peck in the classic film from the book (see To Kill a Mockingbird (film))) as a lawyer true to his conscience who sets an example to his children and community.
The Robert Bolt play A Man For All Seasons focuses on the conscience of Catholic lawyer Thomas More in his struggle with King Henry VIII ("the loyal subject is more bounden to be loyal to his conscience than to any other thing"). George Orwell wrote his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four on the isolated island of Jura, Scotland to describe how a man (Winston Smith) attempts to develop critical conscience in a totalitarian state which watches every action of the people and manipulates their thinking with a mixture of propaganda, endless war and thought control through language control (double think and newspeak) to the point where prisoners look up to and even love their torturers. In the Ministry of Love, Winston's torturer (O'Brien) states: "You are imagining that there is something called human nature which will be outraged by what we do and will turn against us. But we create human nature. Men are infinitely malleable".
A tapestry copy of Picasso's Guernica depicting a massacre of innocent women and children during the Spanish civil war is displayed on the wall of the United Nations building in New York City, at the entrance to the Security Council room, demonstrably as a spur to the conscience of representatives from the nation states. Albert Tucker painted Man's Head to capture the moral disintegration, and lack of conscience, of a man convicted of kicking a dog to death.
The impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh wrote in a letter to his brother Theo in 1878 that "one must never let the fire in one's soul die, for the time will inevitably come when it will be needed. And he who chooses poverty for himself and loves it possesses a great treasure and will hear the voice of his conscience address him every more clearly. He who hears that voice, which is God's greatest gift, in his innermost being and follows it, finds in it a friend at last, and he is never alone! ... That is what all great men have acknowledged in their works, all those who have thought a little more deeply and searched and worked and loved a little more than the rest, who have plumbed the depths of the sea of life."
The 1957 Ingmar Bergman film Seventh Seal portrays the journey of a medieval knight (Max von Sydow) returning disillusioned from the crusades ("what is going to happen to those of us who want to believe, but aren't able to?") across a plague-ridden landscape, undertaking a game of chess with the personification of Death until he can perform one meaningful altruistic act of conscience (overturning the chess board to distract Death long enough for a family of jugglers to escape in their wagon).
The 1942 Casablanca centers on the development of conscience in the cynical American Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) in the face of oppression by the Nazis and the example of the resistance leader Victor Laszlo.
The David Lean and Robert Bolt screenplay for Doctor Zhivago (an adaptation of Boris Pasternak's novel) focuses strongly on the conscience of a doctor-poet in the midst of the Russian Revolution (in the end "the walls of his heart were like paper").
The 1982 Ridley Scott film Blade Runner focuses on the struggles of conscience between and within a bounty hunter (Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford)) and a renegade replicant android (Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer)) in a future society which refuses to accept that forms of artificial intelligence can have aspects of being such as conscience.
Johann Sebastian Bach wrote his last great choral composition the Mass in B minor (BWV 232) to express the alternating emotions of loneliness, despair, joy and rapture that arise as conscience reflects on a departed human life. Here JS Bach's use of counterpoint and contrapuntal settings, his dynamic discourse of melodically and rhythmically distinct voices seeking forgiveness of sins ("Qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis") evokes a spiraling moral conversation of all humanity expressing his belief that "with devotional music, God is always present in his grace".
Ludwig van Beethoven's meditations on illness, conscience and mortality in the Late String Quartets led to his dedicating the third movement of String Quartet in A Minor (1825) Op. 132 (see String Quartet No. 15) as a "Hymn of Thanksgiving to God of a convalescent". John Lennon's work "Imagine" owes much of its popular appeal to its evocation of conscience against the atrocities created by war, religious fundamentalism and politics. The Beatles George Harrison-written track "The Inner Light" sets to Indian raga music a verse from the Tao Te Ching that "without going out of your door you can know the ways of heaven'. In the 1986 movie The Mission the guilty conscience and penance of the slave trader Mendoza is made more poignant by the haunting oboe music of Ennio Morricone ("On Earth as it is in Heaven") The song Sweet Lullaby by Deep Forest is based on a traditional Baegu lullaby from the Solomon Islands called "Rorogwela" in which a young orphan is comforted as an act of conscience by his older brother. The Dream Academy song 'Forest Fire' provided an early warning of the moral dangers of our 'black cloud' 'bringing down a different kind of weather ... letting the sunshine in, that's how the end begins."
The American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) presents the Conscience-in-Media Award to journalists whom the society deems worthy of recognition for demonstrating "singular commitment to the highest principles of journalism at notable personal cost or sacrifice".
The Ambassador of Conscience Award, Amnesty International's most prestigious human rights award, takes its inspiration from a poem written by Irish Nobel prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney called "The Republic of Conscience." Winners of the award have included: Malala Yousafzai, singer and social justice activist Harry Belafonte, musician Peter Gabriel (2008), Nelson Mandela (2006), the Irish rock band U2 (2005), Mary Robinson and Hilda Morales Trujillo (a Guatemalan women's rights activist) (2004) and the author and public intellectual Václav Havel (2003).
- An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, chapter XXVII: "Of Identity and Diversity"
- Conscientious objector
- Evolutionary ethics
- Evolution of morality
- Free will
- Inner light
- Jiminy Cricket, symbol of conscience in Pinocchio (1940 film)
- List of nonviolence scholars and leaders
- Mind–body problem
- Moral value
- Outline of self
- Philosophy of mind
- Rationality and power
- Social conscience
- May, L. (1983). "On Conscience". American Philosophical Quarterly. 20: 57–67.
- Langston, Douglas C. Conscience and Other Virtues. From Bonaventure to MacIntyre. The Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park, Pennsylvania, 2001. ISBN 0-271-02070-9 p. 176
- Ninian Smart. The World's Religions: Old Traditions and Modern Transformations. Cambridge University Press. 1989. pp. 10–21.
- Peter Winch. Moral Integrity. Basil Blackwell. Oxford. 1968
- Rosemary Moore. The Light in Their Consciences: The Early Quakers in Britain 1646–1666. Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park, PA. 2000. ISBN 978-0-271-01988-8,
- United Nations. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, G.A. res. 217A (III), U.N. Doc A/810 at 71 (1948). http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/ accessed 22 October 2009.
- Booth K, Dunne T and Cox M (eds). How Might We Live? Global Ethics in the New Century. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge 2001 p. 1.
- Amnesty International. Ambassador of Conscience Award. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
- Wayne C Booth. The Company We Keep: An Ethics of Fiction. University of California Press. Berkeley. 1988. p.11 and Ch2.
- Ninian Smart. The World's Religions: Old Traditions and Modern Transformations. Cambridge University Press. 1989. p. 382
- Shankara. Crest-Jewel of Discrimination (Veka-Chudamani) (trans Prabhavananda S and Isherwood C). Vedanta Press, Hollywood. 1978. pp. 34–36 and 136–137.
- Shankara. Crest-Jewel of Discrimination (Veka-Chudamani) (trans Prabhavananda S and Isherwood C). Vedanta Press, Hollywood. 1978. p. 119.
- John B Noss. Man's Religions. Macmillan. New York. 1968. p. 477.
- AS Cua. Moral Vision and Tradition: Essays in Chinese Ethics. Catholic University of America Press. Washington. 1998.
- Jayne Hoose (ed) Conscience in World Religions. University of Notre Dame Press. 1990.
- Ninian Smart. The Religious Experience of Mankind. Fontana. 1971 p. 118.
- Santideva. The Bodhicaryavatara. trans Crosby K and Skilton A. Oxford University Press, Oxford. 1995. pp. 38, 98
- Lama Anagarika Govinda in Jeffery Paine (ed) Adventures with the Buddha: A Buddhism Reader. WW Norton. London. pp. 92–93.
- Ajahn Thate. Steps Along the Path. Thanissaro Bhikkhu (trans) Theravada Library 1994. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai/thate/stepsalong.html (last accessed 11 May 2013)
- Marcus Aurelius. Meditations. Gregory Hays (trans). Weidenfeld and & Nicholson. London. 2003 pp. 70 and 75.
- Sachiko Murata and William C. Chittick. The Vision of Islam. I. B. Tauris. 2000. ISBN 1-86064-022-2 pp. 282–285
- Ames Ambros and Stephan Procházka. A Concise Dictionary of Koranic Arabic. Reichert Verlag 2004. ISBN 3-89500-400-6 p. 294.
- Azim Nanji. 'Islamic Ethics' in Singer P (ed). A Companion to Ethics. Blackwell, Oxford 1995. p. 108.
- John B Noss. Man's Religions. The Macmillan Company, New York. 1968 Ch 16 pp. 758–759
- Marshall G. S. Hodgson. The Venture of Islam, Volume 1: The Classical Age of Islam. University of Chicago Press. 1975 ISBN 978-0-226-34686-1. Winner of Ralph Waldo Emerson Prize.
- Tillich, Paul (1963). Morality and Beyond. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers. p. 69.
- Calvin, Institutes of the Christian religion, Book 2, chapter 8, quoted in:Wogaman, J. Pilip (1993). Christian ethics: a historical introduction. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster/John Knox Press. pp. 119, 340. ISBN 0-664-25163-3.
[...] the enemies who rise up in our conscience against his Kingdom and hinder his decrees prove that God's throne is not firmly established therein.
- Ninian Smart. The World's Religions: Old Traditions and Modern Transformations. Cambridge University Press. 1989. p. 376
- Ninian Smart. The World's Religions: Old Traditions and Modern Transformations. Cambridge University Press. 1989. p. 364
- Brian Moynahan. William Tyndale: If God Spare My Life. Abacus. London. 2003 pp. 249–250
- Ninian Smart. The World's Religions: Old Traditions and Modern Transformations. Cambridge University Press. 1989. p. 353
- Guthrie D, Motyer JA, Stibbs AM, Wiseman DLJ (eds). New Bible Commentary 3rd ed. Inter-Varsity Press, Leicester. 1989. p. 905.
- Robert Graves. The Greek Myths: 2 (London: Penguin, 1960). p. 380
- Catechism of the Catholic Church – English translation (U.S.A., 2nd edition) (English translation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church: Modifications from the Editio Typica, copyright 1997, United States Catholic Conference, Inc. — Libreria Editrice Vaticana) (Glossary and Index Analyticus, copyright 2000, U.S. Catholic Conference, Inc.). ISBN 1-57455-110-8 paragraph 1778
- Pope Francis "Jesus Always Invites Us. He Does Not Impose." Sunday, June 30, 2013 Whispers From The Loggia http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com.au/2013/06/jesus-always-invites-us-he-does-not.html (accessed 11 Dec 2013)
- Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1782
- Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1790–1791 Thus, if one realizes one may have made a mistaken judgment, one's conscience is said to be vincibly erroneous and it is not a valid norm for action. One must first remove the source of error and do one's best to achieve a correct judgment. If, however, one is not aware of one's error or if, despite an honest and diligent effort one cannot remove the error by study or seeking advice, then one's conscience may be said to be invincibly erroneous. It binds since one has subjective certainty that one is correct. The act resulting from acting on the invincibly erroneous conscience is not good in itself, yet this deformed act or material sin against God's right order and the objective norm is not imputed to the person. The formal obedience given to such a judgment of conscience is good.
- Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1792
- Harold H Schulweis. Conscience: The Duty to Obey and the Duty to Disobey. Jewish Lights Publishing. 2008.
- Ninian Smart. The Religious Experience of Mankind. Collins. NY. 1969 pp. 395–400.
- Levi Meier (Ed.) Conscience and Autonomy within Judaism: A Special Issue of the Journal of Psychology and Judaism. Springer-Verlag. New York ISBN 978-0-89885-364-3.
- Gilkes, Peter (July 2004). "Masonic ritual: Spoilt for choice". Masonic Quarterly Magazine (10). Retrieved 7 May 2007.
- Manning Clark. The Quest for Grace. Penguin Books, Ringwood. 1991 p. 220.
- Aylmer Maude. Introduction to Leo Tolstoy. On Life and Essays on Religion (A Maude trans) Oxford University Press. London. 1950 (repr) pxv.
- Najm, Sami M. (1966). "The Place and Function of Doubt in the Philosophies of Descartes and Al-Ghazali". Philosophy East and West. 16 (3–4): 133–41. doi:10.2307/1397536.
- Nader El-Bizri. "Avicenna's De Anima between Aristotle and Husserl" in Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka (ed) The Passions of the Soul in the Metamorphosis of Becoming. Kluwer Academic Publishers. Dordrecht 2003 pp. 67–89.
- Henry Sidgwick. Outlines of the History of Ethics. Macmillan. London. 1960 pp. 145 and 150.
- Rurak, James (1980). "Butler's Analogy: A Still Interesting Synthesis of Reason and Revelation," Anglican Theological Review 62 (October) pp. 365–381
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Ethics. Eberhard Bethge (ed.) Neville Horton Smith (trans.) Collins. London 1963 p. 24
- Lawrence Kohlberg. "Conscience as principled responsibility: on the philosophy of stage six" in Zecha G and Weingartner P (Eds). Conscience: An Interdisciplinary View. D. Reidel, Dordrecht. 1987 ISBN 90-277-2452-0 pp. 3–15.
- Wurgaft, LD. (1976). "Erik Erikson: from Luther to Gandhi". Psychoanalytic review. 63 (2): 209–33. PMID 788015.
- Martha Stout. The Sociopath Next Door: The Ruthless Versus The Rest of Us. Broadway Books. ISBN 0-7679-1581-X. ISBN 978-0-7679-1581-6. 2005.
- Childress JF. Appeals to Conscience. Ethics 1979; 89: 315–335.
- Erich Fromm. Greatness and Limitations of Freud's Thought. Jonathan Cape, London. 1980. pp. 126–127.
- Sigmund Freud. "The Cultural Super-Ego" in P Singer (ed). Ethics. Oxford University Press. NY 1994
- Damasio, Antonio (1999). The Feeling of What Happens. Harcourt. ISBN 0-15-100369-6.
- Michel Glautier. The Social Conscience. Shepheard-Walwyn, London. 2007. ISBN 978-0-85683-248-2
- Compare Rachels, James (1990). Created from animals: the moral implications of Darwinism. Oxford paperbacks. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 160–162, 245. ISBN 978-0-19-217775-9.
- Milton Wessel. Science and Conscience. Columbia University Press, New York 1980
- D'Arcy, Eric. Conscience and Its Right to Freedom. Sheed and Ward, New York 1961.
- Eva Fogelman. Conscience & courage: rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust. New York: Anchor Books, c1994
- George Kateb. Hannah Arendt: politics, conscience, evil. Martin Robertson, Oxford. 1984.
- Friedrich Nietzsche "The Origins of Herd Morality" in P Singer (ed). Ethics. Oxford University Press. NY 1994
- Jeremy Bentham. Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation. (Burns JH and Hart HLA eds), Athlone Press. London. 1970 Ch 12 p. 156n.
- Hannah Arendt. Eichmann in Jerusalem. Penguin Books, New York. 1994 ISBN 0-14-018765-0. pp. 95, 103, 106, 116, 126.
- Anonymous. "Wild Justice and Fair Play: Animal Origins of Social Morality" (PDF). Retrieved 16 January 2007.
- Linden, Eugene (2000). The Parrot's Lament: And Other True Tales of Animal Intrigue, Intelligence, and Ingenuity. New York: Plume. ISBN 0-452-28068-0.
- Von Kreisler, Kristin (1999). The Compassion of Animals: True Stories of Animal Courage and Kindness. Rocklin, Calif.: Prima. ISBN 0-7615-1808-8.
- Gisela Kaplan. Australian Magpie: Biology and Behaviour of an Unusual Songbird. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood. 2004. pp. 83, 124.
- Susan Greenfield. The Quest For Identity in the 21st Century. Sceptre. London. 2008 p. 223.
- Richard Dawkins. The God Delusion. Bantam Press. London 2006 p. 215.
- C. Hitchens. God is Not Great. Allen & Unwin NY (2007) p 309.
- Increasingly Overlapping Magisteria of Science and Religion Lineweaver C.H., 2008, in ``Divine Action and Natural Selection: Questions of science and faith in biological evolution edt. R. Gordon & J. Seckbach, World Scientific, Singapore pp 171–181. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/summary?doi=10.1.1.69.7149 (accessed 30 December 2012)
- Tranel, D. 'Acquired sociopathy': the development of sociopathic behavior following focal brain damage. Prog. Exp. Pers. Psychopathol. Res. 1994; 285–311.
- Greene, J. D., Nystrom, L. E., Engell, A. D., Darley, J. M. & Cohen, J. D. The neural bases of cognitive conflict and control in moral judgment. Neuron 2004; 44, 389–400.
- Jorge Moll, Roland Zahn, Ricardo de Oliveira-Souza, Frank Krueger & Jordan Grafman. The Neural Basis of Human Moral Cognition. Vision Circle 10 October 2005 accessed 18 October 2009.
- Libet B, Freeman A and Sutherland K (eds). The Volitional Brain: Towards a Neuroscience of Free Will. Imprint Academic. Thorverton. 2000.
- AC Grayling. "Do We Have a Veto?" Times Literary Supplement. 2000; 5076 (14 July): 4.
- Batthyany, Alexander: Mental Causation and Free Will after Libet and Soon: Reclaiming Conscious Agency. In Batthyany und Avshalom Elitzur. Irreducibly Conscious. Selected Papers on Consciousness, Universitätsverlag Winter Heidelberg 2009, p.135ff
- Pitrat, Jacques (2009). Artificial Beings: The Conscience of a Conscious Machine). Wiley. ISBN 978-1-84821-101-8.
- Oxford English Dictionary, second edition, 1989.
- Little, W, Fowler HW, Coulson J, Onions CT. The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary On Historical Principles. 3rd ed. Vol 1 Clarendon Pres. Oxford. 1992. pp. 402–403.
- Peter Singer. Practical Ethics. 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 1993 pp. 292–295.
- Peter Singer. Democracy and Disobedience. Clarendon Press. Oxford. 1973. p. 94
- Ninian Smart. The Religious Experience of Mankind. Collins. New York 1969 pp. 511–512.
- Langston, Douglas C. Conscience and Other Virtues: From Bonaventure to MacIntyre. The Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park, Pennsylvania, 2001. ISBN 0-271-02070-9 p. 34
- Campbell Garnett A. "Conscience and Conscientiousness" in Feinberg J (ed) Moral Concepts. Oxford University Press, Oxford. 1969 pp. 80–92
- A.J. Arberry (transl.). The spiritual Physik of Rhazes (London, John Murray 1950).
- Ninian Smart. The Religious Experience of Mankind. Collins. New York. 1969. pp. 511–512
- Ceri Sullivan. The Rhetoric of the Conscience in Donne, Herbert, and Vaughan. Oxford University Press, Oxford. 2008 ISBN 978-0-19-954784-5
- Thomas Aquinas. "Of the Natural Law" in P Singer (ed). Ethics. Oxford University Press. NY 1994 pp. 247–249.
- Saarinen, R. Weakness of the Will in Medieval Thought From Augustine to Buridan. Brill, Leiden. 1994
- Brain Davies. The Thought of Thomas Aquinas. Clarendon Press. Oxford. 1992
- Thomas A Kempis. "The Imitation of Christ". Leo Sherley-Price (trans) Penguin Books. London. 1965 Bk II, ch. 6 On The Joys of a Good Conscience. p. 74.
- Anonymous. The Cloud of Unknowing. Clifton Wolters (trans.) Penguin Books. London 1965 ch. 28 p. 88
- John of Ruysbroeck. The Kingdom of the Lovers of God. Kegan Paul. London. 1919. ch. III pp. 14–15 and ch XLIII p. 214
- Spinoza. Ethics. Everyman's Library JM Dent, London. 1948. Part 2 proposition 35. Part 3 proposition 11.
- Spinoza. Ethics. Everyman's Library JM Dent, London. 1948. Part 4 proposition 59, Part 5 proposition 30
- Roger Scruton. "Spinoza" in Raphael F and Monk R (eds). The Great Philosophers. Weidenfeld & Nicholson. London. 2000. p. 141.
- Richard L Gregory. The Oxford Companion to the Mind. Oxford University Press. Oxford. 1987 p. 308.
- Georg Hegel. Philosophy of Right. Knox TM trans, Clarendon Press, Oxford. 1942. para137.
- Joseph Butler "Sermons" in The Works of Joseph Butler. (Gladstone WE ed), Clarendon Press, Oxford. 1896, Vol II p. 71.
- Henry Sidgwick. Outlines of the History of Ethics. Macmillan, London. 1960 pp. 196–197.
- John Selden. Table Talk. Garnett R, Valee L and Brandl A (eds) The Book of Literature: A Comprehensive Anthology. The Grolier Society. Toronto. 1923. Vol 14. p. 67.
- Arthur Schopenhauer. The World as Will and Idea. Vol 1. Routledge and Kegan Paul. London. 1948. pp. 387, 482. "I believe that the influence of the Sanskrit literature will penetrate not less deeply than did the revival of Greek literature in the 15th century." p xiii.
- Kant I. "The Noble Descent of Duty" in P Singer (ed). Ethics. Oxford University Press. NY 1994 p. 41.
- Kant I. "The Categorical Imperative" in P Singer (ed). Ethics. Oxford University Press. NY 1994 p. 274.
- Kant I. "The Doctrine of Virtue" in Metaphyics and Morals. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge. 1991. pp. 183 and 233–234.
- John Plamenatz. Man and Society. Vol 1. Longmans. London. 1963 p. 383.
- Hill T Jr "Four Conceptions of Conscience" in Shapiro I and Adams R. Integrity and Conscience. New York University Press, New York 1998 p. 31.
- Roger Woolhouse. Locke: A Biography. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 2007. p. 53.
- John Locke. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Dover Publications. New York. 1959. ISBN 0-486-20530-4. Vol 1. ch II. pp. 71-72fn1.
- Thomas Hobbes. Leviathan (Molesworth W ed) J Bohn. London, 1837 Pt 2. Ch 29 p. 311.
- William Godwin. Enquiry Concerning Political Justice. Codell Carter K (ed), Clarendon Press. Oxford. 1971 Appendix III 'Thoughts on Man' Essay XI 'Of Self Love and Benevolence' p. 338.
- Adam Smith. The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Part III, section ii, Ch III in Rogers K (ed) Self Interest: An Anthology of Philosophical Perspectives. Routledge. London. 1997 p. 151.
- John Stuart Mill. "Considerations on Representative Government". Ch VI. In Rogers K (ed) Self Interest: An Anthology of Philosophical Perspectives. Routledge. London. 1997 pp. 193–194
- John K Roth (ed). The Philosophy of Josiah Royce. Thomas Y Crowell Co. New York. 1971 pp. 302–315.
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Ethics. (Eberhard Bethge (ed) Neville Horton Smith (trans) Collins. London 1963 p. 242
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Ethics. (Eberhard Bethge (ed) Neville Horton Smith (trans) Collins. London 1963 p. 66
- Simon Soloveychik. Parenting For Everyone. Ch 12 "A Chapter on Conscience". 1986. Retrieved 23 October 2009.
- Hannah Arendt. Crises of the Republic. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. New York. 1972 p. 62.
- John Stuart Mill. "Utilitarianism" and "On Liberty" in Collected Works. University of Toronto Press. Toronto. 1969 Vols 10 and 18. Ch 3. pp. 228–229 and 263.
- Hannah Arendt. The Life of the Mind. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, New York. 1978. p. 191.
- Hannah Arendt. The Life of the Mind. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, New York. 1978. p. 190.
- Einstein, A. (1940). "Science and religion". Nature. 146 (3706): 605–607. Bibcode:1940Natur.146..605E. doi:10.1038/146605a0.
- Quoted in Gino Segre. Faust in Copenhagen: A Struggle for the Soul of Physics and the Birth of the Nuclear Age. Pimlico. London 2007. p. 144.
- Simone Weil. The Need For Roots: Prelude to a Declaration of Duties Towards Mankind. Routledge & Kegan Paul. London. 1952 (repr 2003). ISBN 0-415-27101-0 pp. 13 et seq.
- Hellman, John. Simone Weil: An Introduction to Her Thought. Wilfrid Laurier, University Press, Waterloo, Ontario. 1982.
- Simone Weil. The Need For Roots: Prelude to a Declaration of Duties Towards Mankind. Routledge & Kegan Paul. London. 1952 (repr 2003). ISBN 0-415-27101-0 p. 13.
- Charles Darwin. "The Origin of the Moral Sense" in P Singer (ed). Ethics. Oxford University Press. NY 1994 p. 44.
- Émile Durkheim. The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life. The Free Press. New York. 1965 p. 299.
- AJ Ayer. "Ethics for Logical Positivists" in P Singer (ed). Ethics. Oxford University Press. NY 1994 p. 151.
- GE Moore. Principia Ethica. Cambridge University Press. London. 1968 pp. 178–179.
- Simone de Beauvoir. A Very Easy Death. Penguin Books. London. 1982. ISBN 0-14-002967-2. p. 60
- Michael Walzer. Obligations: Essays on Disobedience, War and Citizenship. Clarion-Simon and Schuster. New York. 1970. p. 124.
- Michael Walzer. Obligations: Essays on Disobedience, War and Citizenship. Clarion-Simon and Schuster. New York. 1970. p. 131
- Ronald Dworkin. Life's Dominion. Harper Collins, London 1995. pp. 239–240
- Edward Conze. Buddhism: Its Essence and development. Harper Torchbooks. New York. 1959. pp. 20 and 46
- Peter Singer. Democracy and Disobedience. Clarendon Press. Oxford. 1973. p. 94.
- David Chalmers. The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory. Oxford University Press. Oxford. 1996 pp. 83–84
- Nicholas Fearn. Philosophy: The Latest Answers to the Oldest Questions. Atlantic Books. London. 2005. pp. 176–177.
- Roger Scrutton. Modern Philosophy: An Introduction and Survey. Mandarin. London. 1994. p. 271
- Susan Sontag. Regarding the Pain of Others. Hamish Hamilton, London. 2003. ISBN 0-241-14207-5 pp. 87 and 102.
- Jonathan Glover. I: The Philosophy and Psychology of Personal Identity. Penguin Books, London. 1988. p. 132.
- Garrett Hardin, "The Tragedy of the Commons", Science, Vol. 162, No. 3859 (13 December 1968), pp. 1243–1248. Also available here and here.
- Scott James Shackelford. 2008. "The Tragedy of the Common Heritage of Mankind". Retrieved 30 October 2009.
- John Ralston Saul. The Unconscious Civilisation. Massey Lectures Series. Anansi Pres, Toronto. 1995. ISBN 0-88784-586-X pp. 17, 81 and 172.
- Alan Donagan. The Theory of Morality. University of Chicago Press, Chicago. 1977. pp. 131–138.
- Beauchamp TL and Childress JF. Principles of Biomedical Ethics. 4th ed. Oxford University Press, New York. 1994 pp. 478–479.
- Emmanuel Levinas. Totality and Infinity: An Essay on Exteriority. Lingis A (trans) Duquesne University Press, Pittsburgh, PA 1998. pp. 84, 100–101
- Knafla LA. Conscience in the English Common Law Tradition. University of Toronto Law Journal 1976;26:1–16
- Jeremy Lee. Conscience Voting. Veritas Pub. Co. Morley, W.A. 1981.
- Hannah Arendt. Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. Penguin Books, New York. 1963. ISBN 0-14-018765-0. p. 293.
- International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2200A [XX1]. 16 December 1966 U.N.T.S. No. 14668, vol 999 (1976), p. 171.
- Emily Miles. A Conscientious Objector's Guide to the UN Human Rights System. Quaker United Nations Office, Geneva & CONCODOC, London. 2000. Retrieved 22 October 2009.
- John Rawls. A Theory of Justice. Oxford University Press. London 1971. pp. 368–370
- Peter Singer. Democracy and Disobedience. Clarendon Press. Oxford. 1973. pp. 86–91
- Peter Singer. Democracy and Disobedience. Clarendon Press. Oxford. 1973 pp. 94–99.
- Spitz, D. (1954). "Democracy and the problem of 'civil disobedience'". American Political Science Review. 48 (2): 386–403. doi:10.2307/1951202.
- Henry David Thoreau. Civil Disobedience. 1848. reprinted Signet Classic, New York. 1960 pp. 228, 229, 236.
- Luis Martinez. Army deserter arrested at Border" opposed Iraq war. ABC News 12 Sep 2012 http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/09/army-deserter-arrested-at-border-opposed-iraq-war/ (accessed 29 Dec 2012)
- Hayes D. Challenge of Conscience: The Story of the Conscientious Objectors. Allen & Unwin. London 1949.
- For example see Jan Brabec, Václav Havel, Ivan Lamper, David Nemec, Petr Placak, Joska Skalnik et al. "Prisoners of Conscience". New York Review of Books. 1989; 36 (1) 2 February. Retrieved 18 October 2009.
- Katherine White. Crisis of Conscience: Reconciling Religious Health Care Providers' Beliefs and Patients' Rights. Stanford Law Review 1999; 51: 1703–1724.
- Howard Moore. Plowing My Own Furrow. Syracuse University Press. 1993 ISBN 0-8156-0276-6 p. 208.
- Dykhuizen, George. The Life and Mind of John Dewey. Southern Illinois University Press. London. 1978. p. 165
- Walter Isaacson. Einstein: His Life and Universe. Simon and Schuster. New York. 2008. p. 414.
- James Boswell. Life of Johnson. Oxford University Press. London. 1927 Vol. I 1709–1776. p. 505.
- John Rawls. A Theory of Justice. Oxford University Press. London 1971. pp. 364–365.
- Peter Singer. Democracy and Disobedience. Clarendon Press. Oxford. 1973 p. 85.
- Bondurant, Joan V. Conquest of Violence: The Gandhian Philosophy of Conflict. Princeton UP, 1988 ISBN 0-691-02281-X
- Brinkley, Douglas (2000). Rosa Parks. Penguin Lives. New York: Viking. ISBN 0-670-89160-6.
- Greg Myre. "Israeli Army Bulldozer Kills American Protesting in Gaza". New York Times, 17 March 2003. Retrieved 20 October 2009.
- Michelle Nichols. "Gore urges civil disobedience to stop coal plants". Reuters. Wed, 24 September 2008. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
- Jeff Goodell. NASA Scientist Hansen arrested at Tar Sands protest – a grim sign of the times Rolling Stone-Politics 31 August 2011 http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/national-affairs/nasa-scientist-hansen-arrested-at-tar-sands-protest-a-grim-sign-of-the-times-20110831 (accessed 29 Nov 2012)
- Bill McKibben. The keystone pipeline revolt: why mass arrests are just the beginning. Rolling Stone. 28 September 2011. http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-keystone-pipeline-revolt-why-mass-arrests-are-just-the-beginning-20110928 (accessed 29 Dec 2012)
- Anti-coal protestors arrested in Little Rock. CBC news Mat y 6 2012 http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/05/05/bc-jaccard-coal-protest.html (accessed 29 December 2012)
- James Randerson NASA climate expert makes personal appeal to Obama. The Guardian, Friday 2 January 2009 http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/jan/02/obama-climate-change-james-hansen accessed 10 December 2009
- James Hansen. Tell Barack Obama the Truth — The Whole Truth. http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/20081229_Obama_revised.pdf accessed 10 December 2009.
- Keith Kloor. The Eye of the Storm. Nature Reports Climate Change 26 November 2009 http://www.nature.com/climate/2009/0912/full/climate.2009.124.html accessed 11 December 2009.
- "The Wallenberg Effect". The Journal of Leadership Studies. Retrieved 2007-02-15.
- Lee, Dom; Mochizuki, Ken. Passage to Freedom: The Sugihara Story. New York: Lee & Low Books. 2003. ISBN 1-58430-157-0
- University of Minnesota. Center from Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Retrieved 18 October 2009.
- Erwin Wickert (editor). The Good German of Nanjing: The Diaries of John Rabe. Knopf. 1998. ISBN 0-375-40211-X
- Holocaust Education and Archive Research Team http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/revolt/wrleaflets.html accessed 12 May 2012
- Sohn, LB (1982). "The new international law: Protection of the rights of individuals rather than states". American University Law Review. 32: 1.
- S Milgram. Obedience to Authority. New York. 1974.
- Bede Griffiths. A New Vision of Reality: Western Science, Eastern Mysticism and Christian Faith. Fount. London. 1992. p. 276.
- William Thompson. Passages About the Earth: An Exploration of the New Planetary Culture. Rider and Co. London. 1974. Ch 7. 'To Findhorn and Lindisfarne' pp. 150–183.
- P willets 'Introduction' in P. Willetts (ed) The Conscience of the World. The Influence of Non-Governmental Organizations in the UN System. Hurst & Co, London (1996) p11.
- Edward O Wilson. Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge. Abacus. London. 2003 ISBN 0-349-11112-X p. 332.
- EF Schumacher. Small is Beautiful: A Study of Economics as if People Mattered. Abacus London. 1974. p. 112.
- Edward Goldsmith. The Way. Shambhala, Boston. 1993. p. 64.
- James Lovelock. Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth. Oxford University Press, Oxford. 1979 p. 123.
- Geoff Davies. Economia: New Economic Systems to Empower People and Support the Living World. ABC Books. Sydney. 2004. pp. 202–203.
- Cabrera, Luis. Political Theory of Global Justice: A Cosmopolitan Case for the World State. London, Routledge. 2006.
- McKibben, Bill (15 May 2009). "Can 350.org save the world? – Los Angeles Times". Latimes.com. Retrieved 2009-09-18.
- Bill McKibben Why 350 is the most important number on the planet The Guardian 26 Sept 2009 http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/sep/26/350-carbon-atmosphere-copenhagen-mckibben (accessed 19 June 2013)
- Editorial. "Microcredit Movement Tackling Poverty one Tiny Loan at a Time". San Francisco Chronicle. 3 October 2007. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
- Bob Brown. Memo For a Saner World. Penguin Books. Melbourne. 2004. pp. 12–13.
- James Norman. Bob Brown: Gentle Revolutionary. Allen & Unwin. Sydney. 2004. p. 180.
- Nick Lewer. Physicians and the Peace Movement. Frank Cass, London. 1992. pp. 78–80 and 107.
- Danielsson, Bengt. Moruroa, Mon Amour. Penguin Books Australia, Ringwood, Vic. 1977. ISBN 0-14-004461-2
- Axelrod, Robert. (1984). The Evolution of Cooperation. New York: Basic Books, ISBN 0-465-02121-2
- Kemal Baslar. The Concept of the Common Heritage of Mankind in International Law. Martinus Nijhoff. 1998. ISBN 978-90-411-0505-9
- Joyner, Christopher C. (1986). "Legal Implications of the Concept of the Common Heritage of Mankind". International and Comparative Law Quarterly. 35: 190. doi:10.1093/iclqaj/35.1.190.
- Peter Singer. One World: The Ethics of Globalisation. Text Publishing. Melbourne. 2002 p. 213.
- Ninian Smart. Beyond Ideology: Religion and the Future of Western Civilisation. Collins, London. 1981. p. 313.
- RW McChesney. "Introduction to Noam Chomsky". Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order. Seven Stories Press. New York. 1999. pp. 9–11.
- John Passmore. The Perfectibility of Man. Duckworth, London. 1972. pp. 324–327.
- US Holocaust Memorial Museum. Retrieved 18 October 2009.
- Anonymous. "The Global Arms Trade: Strengthening International Regulations. Interview with Oscar Arias Sanchez". Harvard International Review. 1 July 2008. Retrieved 10 February 2010
- Jonathan Allen. "Tibet challenges world conscience, U.S. Speaker says". Reuters. Fri, 21 March 2008. Retrieved 18 October 2009.
- Zakaria. CNN. How Mandela Shaped the Conscience of the World 9 Dec 2013. http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2013/12/09/how-mandela-shaped-the-conscience-of-the-world/
- Right Livelihood Award. Retrieved 18 October 2009.
- Greenpeace. Press Release. 13 October 2009. Retrieved 13 October 2009.
- Mu Xuequan. "Alternative Nobel awards go to Congo, New Zealand, Australia". www.chinaview.cn 2009-10-13 22:35:19. Retrieved 18 October 2009
- Pilkington, Ed (2 March 2012). "Avaaz faces questions over role at centre of Syrian protest movement". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
- Dick Jones. "The Pedder Tragedy" in Roger Green: Battle for The Franklin. Fontana. ACF. Sydney 1981 p. 53
- Chinua Achebe, G.F. Michelsen, Ben Okri, Harold Pinter, Norman Rush, Susan Sontag et al. "The Case of Ken Saro-Wiwa". New York Review of Books. Volume 42, Number 7 · 20 April 1995 accessed 17 October 2009.
- Pico Iyer. "The Unknown Rebel: with a single act of defiance, a lone Chinese hero revived the world's image of courage". Time. 13 April 1998. Retrieved 23 October 2009.
- Henry P Van Dusen. Dag Hammarskjöld: A Biographical Interpretation of Markings. Faber and Faber London. 1967
- Trent Angers. The Forgotten Hero of My Lai: The Hugh Thompson Story. Acadian House Publishing, 1999
- Ben Hills. The Hilton Fiasco. SMH 12 February 1998, p.11 http://www.benhills.com/articles/articles/SCM38a.html (Retrieved 6 September 2010)
- Marion Lloyd. Soviets close to using A-bomb in 1962 crisis forum told. Boston Globe 13 October 2002 p A20 http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/cold-war/sovietsbomb.htm accessed 5 Nov 2012
- Sanburn, Josh (20 January 2011). "A Brief History of Self-Immolation". TIME INC.Network.
- Smith, Richard (1998). "All changed, changed utterly". British Medical Journal. 316 (7149): 1917–8. doi:10.1136/bmj.316.7149.1917. PMC . PMID 9641922.
- Marie Brenner. "The Man Who Knew Too Much". Vanity Fair. May 1996.
- "Whistler-Blower Guardians Say FDA Officials Tried to Undermine Critic". San Francisco Chronicle. 24 November 2004
- Andrew Revkin. "Bush Aide Softened Greenhouse Gas Links to Global Warming". New York Times. 8 June 2005. Retrieved 18 October 2009.
- Waleed Ibrahim. Iraqi Shoe-Throwing Reporter Becomes the Talk of Iraq. Mon 15 December 2008 http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE4BE28Q20081215 accessed 17 September 2010
- Gilling, Tom and John McKnight. Trial and Error – Mordechai Vanunu and Israel's Nuclear Bomb. 1991 Monarch Publications. ISBN 1-85424-129-X
- Hurst, Mike (7 October 2006). "Peter Norman's Olympic statement". The Courier-Mail. Archived from the original on 19 November 2009. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
- Simon Burnton. 50 Stunning Olympic Moments. No13: Tommie Smith and John Carlos Salute. The Guardian. 8 February 2012. http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/2012/feb/08/olympic-moments-tommie-smith-john-carlos accessed 30 October 2012
- Felt, W. Mark. The FBI Pyramid: From the Inside. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1979. (ISBN 0-399-11904-3)
- Jones JH. "The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment" in Emanuel EJ et al. The Oxford Textbook of Clinical Research Ethics. Oxford University Press. Oxford. 2008. pp. 86–96 at 94.
- Martin Khor. "Gaza, under attack again, a stain on world's conscience". Third World Network. Tuesday, 4 March 2008. Retrieved 18 October 2009.
- Stewart, Whitney (1997). Aung San Suu Kyi: fearless voice of Burma. Twenty-First Century Books. ISBN 978-0-8225-4931-4.
- James Bone. "Sacked envoy Peter Galbraith accuses UN of 'cover-up' on Afghan vote fraud". The Times. 1 October 2009.
- Neely Tucker. "A Web of Truth. Whistle-Blower or Troublemaker, Bunny Greenhouse Isn't Backing Down". Washington Post. Wednesday, 19 October 2005
- "On This Day 1950–2005, 22 July, 1987: Cartoonist shot in London street". BBC.
- Politkovskaya, Anna (2003) A Small Corner of Hell: Dispatches from Chechnya, translated by Alexander Burry and Tatiana Tulchinsky, The University of Chicago Press, 2003, ISBN 0-226-67432-0
- Natalya Estemirova: "I'm sure that human rights defenders are murdered on authorities' blessing", Vyacheslav Feraposhkin, Caucasian Knot, Memorial, 15 July 2009
- Tait, Robert and Weaver, Matthew (22 June 2009). "How Neda Soltani became the face of Iran's struggle". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 October 2009.
- Scott MacLeod. "Shirin Ebadi: For Islam and Humanity". Time. 26 April 2004. Retrieved 28 November 2009
- Yu Xiao. "Looking for China's conscience": Gao Zhiseng. Epoch Times. 21 October 2009. Retrieved 29 January 2010
- McKey, Robert (8 October 2010) Jailed Chinese Dissident's 'Final Statement', New York Times accessed 8 November 2010
- Margarette Driscoll (14 November 2010). "Dying in agony: his reward for solving a $230 million fraud". The Sunday Times. http://www.justiceforsergei.com/download.php?id=16 (accessed 29 Dec 2012)
- David Leser. Children Overboard. Two Women, Two Stories. WW 2007; August: pp76-82 http://davidleser.com/slippages/uploads/download/file/df-9-128-18.pdf (Retrieved 26 July 2011).
- Brian Flynn. Marie Colvin. The Sun 23 February 2012. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4147793/Killed-war-reporter-Marie-Colvin-Theyre-killing-with-impunity-here-I-need-to-be-at-the-epicentre-of-the-storm.html accessed 27 February 2012
- Malala Yousafzai, the girl shot by the Taliban becomes a global icon. The Atlantic 12 October 2012 http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/10/malala-yousafzai-the-girl-shot-by-the-taliban-becomes-a-global-icon/263527/ accessed 13 October 2012
- IANS (24 December 2012). "Government waging 'war' against people: Arvind Kejriwal". CNN-IBN. Retrieved 24 December 2012.
- Linda Heard. India's Collective Conscience is Finally Stirred Arab News 1 January 2013 http://www.arabnews.com/india%E2%80%99s-collective-conscience-finally-stirred (accessed 2 Jan 2013)
- Edward Snowden. The Guardian 8 June 2013 http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/09/edward-snowden-nsa-whistleblower-surveillance (accessed 11 June 2013)
- Edward Snowden. Hufff Post Media 10 June 2013 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/10/edward-snowden-basic-liberties_n_3414824.html (accessed 11 June 2013)
- Vyasa (Kamala Subramaniam abr.). Mahabharata. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bombay. 1989. pp. 430–432
- Vyasa (Kamala Subramaniam abr.). Mahabharata. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bombay. 1989. p. 742.
- Michel de Montaigne. Essays. Cohen JM (trans.) Penguin Books. Ringwood. 1984. p. 397.
- Matsuo Basho. (Yuasa N (trans.) Narrow Road to the Deep North. Penguin Books, Harmondsworth. 1966. p. 118.
- Geoffrey Chaucer. The Franklin's Prologue and Tale (Spearing AC intro.) Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 1997. p. 42.
- AC Bradley. Shakespearean Tragedy: Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth. Macmillan and Co. London. 1937. pp. 97–101
- AC Bradley. Shakespearean Tragedy: Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth. Macmillan and Co. London. 1937 p. 99.
- Manning Clark. A Discovery of Australia: 1976 Boyer Lectures. Australian Broadcasting Commission, Sydney. 1976. p. 37.
- Joan Bennett. Five Metaphysical Poets. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 1971. p. 33.
- Stephen Grecco. "A physician healing himself: Chekhov's treatment of doctors in the major plays" in ER Peschel (ed). Medicine and Literature (1980) pp. 3–10.
- Anton Chekhov. Selected Stories (J Coulson, trans.) Oxford University Press. London. 1963 p. 249.
- Anton Chekhov. The Island: A Journey to Sakhalin (L and M Terpak trans) Century. London 1987 p ix.
- EH Carr. Dostoevsky. 1821–1881. Unwin Books. London. 1962 pp. 147–152.
- Ralph Freedman. Hermann Hesse: Pilgrim of Crisis. Jonathan Cape, London 1978. pp. 233–237.
- Paul Kocher. Master of Middle Earth: The Achievement of JRR Tolkien. Thames and Hudson, London. 1973. p. 120.
- Conor Cruise O'Brien. Camus. Fontana/Collins. London 1970 p 84.
- At Your Library 'To Kill a Mockingbird http://atyourlibrary.org/culture/kill-mockingbird-world-needs-him-now-atticus-finch-continues-inspire accessed 3 November 2012
- Robert Bolt. A Man For All Seasons: A Play of Sir Thomas More. Heinemann. London 1961 p. 92.
- Michael Shelden. Orwell: The Authorised Biography. Heinemann, London. 1991. ISBN 0-434-69517-3 pp. 469–473.
- George Orwell. Nineteen Eighty-Four. Penguin Books, Ringwood. 1974. p. 214-215, 216
- Arnheim, Rudolf. The Genesis of a Painting: Picasso's Guernica. London: University of California Press. 1973. ISBN 978-0-520-25007-9
- Albert Tucker. Man's Head. National Gallery of Australia. Accn No: NGA 82.384. Retrieved 23 July 2009.
- The Letters of Vincent van Gogh. Ronald de Leeuw selected and ed, Arnold Pomerans trans. Penguin Books, London. 1997. ISBN 0-14-044674-5. p. 54.
- Ingmar Burgman. The Seventh Seal. Touchstone. New York. 1960 p. 146
- Aljean Harmetz. Round Up the Usual Suspects: The Making of Casablanca. Weidenfeld and Nicolson. London. 1992.
- Robert Bolt. Doctor Zhivago (screenplay). Collins and Harvill Press. London. 1965 p. 217
- Joseph Francavilla "The Android as Doppelganger" in Judith B. Kerman (ed). Retrofitting Blade Runner: Issues in Ridley Scott's Blade Runner and Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Bowling Green State University Popular Press. Bowling Green, Ohio. 1991 p. 4 at 6.
- J.S. Bach. Messe H-Moll/Mass in B minor BWV 232. Balthasar-Neumann-Choir. Freiburger Barockorchester. Thomas Hengelbrock. BMG Music. 1997.
- Christoph Wolff. Johann Sebastian Bach: The Learned Musician. Oxford University Press. Oxford. 2000. pp. 8, 339, 438–442.
- JWN Sullivan. Beethoven: His Spiritual Development. George Allen & Unwin, London. 1964 p. 120.
- Ludwig van Beethoven. The Late Quartets Vol II. String Quartet in A minor, Op. 132. Quartetto Italiano. Phillips Classics Productions 1996.
- Ben Urish and Kenneth G. Bielen. The Words and Music of John Lennon. Greenwood Publishing Group. 2007 pp. 99–100.
- George Harrison. I, Me, Mine. Chronicle Books. 2007. ISBN 0-8118-3793-9 p. 118.
- James Schofield Saeger. The Mission and Historical Missions: Film and the Writing of History. The Americas. 1995; 51(3):393–415.
- Al Weisel, "Deep Forest's Lush Lullaby," Rolling Stone, 21 April 1994, 26
- Dream Academy. 'Forest Fire'. Lyrics http://www.lyricstime.com/the-dream-academy-forest-fire-lyrics.html (accessed 7 December 2012)
- Valk, Elizabeth P. (24 February 1992). "From the Publisher". Time (Time Inc.). Retrieved 20 October 2009.
- Amnesty International http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/amnesty-international-announces-2013-ambassador-conscience-award-2013-09-16 (accessed 31 December 2013)
|Look up conscience in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Conscience|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Conscience.|