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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Did God give us our conscience or did we steal it?

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philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
Humans are distinct from animals because of their higher degree of conscience, but it all flows from the same source. The same loving God created all forms of life. Why should we humans be separately or specially created? (and please do not respond by saying 'because Genesis says so.')


Humans are different to other sentient creatures in that they were expressly created in the image and likeness of God. This is plainly seen in that the creation of the human race is a specific creation after God had pronounced his approval for the animals (Gen 1:25ff) No other creature was ever 'built' to this specification to bear the image and likeness of God. To make this so man had to be a moral agent, hence conscience.

BTW does your particular view of reincarnation include inter-species migrations in the oriental sense, or is it just that the same person keeps coming back until they get it right?


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Ron Bailey

 2005/8/8 17:17Profile
PTywama3
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Joined: 2005/3/1
Posts: 156
Tacoma, WA

 A thought on dogs.

I have to say that I think we're a little to black and white on the issue of animals. Do animals have a conscience? The simple answer is no, because a conscience is not limited to simple questions. It is also most definitely not limited to past events.

Animals do express remorse - which is something I hinted at earlier. Conscience, at a weak glance, can be summed up with emotion after the fact. Animals have emotions. Ever slight a cat? Ever tease a dog? Yes, animals have emotion - but that is not a signifying factor of conscience. Our conscience doesn't always seem to be separate of our emotions, but it is most definitely not the same thing.


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David Reynolds

 2005/8/9 0:20Profile
JohnnyAnt
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Joined: 2005/8/9
Posts: 7
Calhoun, Missouri

 Re: Did God give us our conscience or did we steal it?

Really it is all about how you define conscience. Do you define as the knowledge of good and evil, or do you define really what I take it to be laid out in the word to be, and that is that conscience is a judge of right and wrong. If conscience is the knowledge of good and evil then you could say that we stole it, because there was not a full knowledge of sin as long as Adam and Eve were in the presence of God before sin. But if conscience is the ability to judge what is right and wrong, then Adam and Eve had a conscience because they knew that eating from the tree was wrong.

Romans 2:15 states in KJV: "Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;"

If you look at the verse and break it down. The law that was written in their hearts outlines what is right and wrong, and the conscience is the judge and witness to what is right and wrong when confronted. The conscience does not need a full knowledge of good and evil, the purpose of the law is to outline that. The purpose of the conscience is judge something on being good or evil.


To say that we stole conscience I think is really an interesting point but out of line. We are born with a conscience and a knowledge of what is right and wrong. Adam and Eve both knew what they did was wrong, and this is evident in Gen. 3:8. They hid from the presence of God because they knew they had sinned.

When looking at conscience you really have to ask yourself what you are using as a standard of right and wrong. If you are looking at it in the literal sense of what is right and wrong according to God, then they already knew it was wrong to eat of the tree before they did, showing the evidence of conscience. But if you look at the standard of right and wrong according to world's principles. Then you can say that it is through reason, logic, and experience that people build upon or change their conscience. The second is not our true "conscience" though because we come to a realization of our sins before we become born again. Therefore saying that Rom 2:15 is only concerning those that are born again, really doesnt fit. I believe that people drown out their conscience and almost not hear it, but this is by the choice of free will, not because they were not born with a conscience.

Adam and Eve reasoned through logic that it would be ok to eat from the fruit of the tree. Even though the law upon their hearts and God had stated it was wrong. If they had not realized that it was wrong they would not have hid, and tried to place the blame onto others.

I understand where the question comes from. Because it was not until Adam and Eve ate from the tree that there was sin in the world. They were innocent, there was no knowlegde of sin. Really a more interesting argument is that the conscience is not necessary while in the presence of God because sin can not exist in the presence of God.


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Johnny Antwiler II

 2005/8/9 14:36Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Hi Johnny,

Quote:
Really a more interesting argument is that the conscience is not necessary while in the presence of God [u]because sin can not exist in the presence of God[/u].



At least not for long. ;-)

God Bless,

-Robert


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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/8/9 16:31Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

saw this Oswald Chambers comment and thought about this thread..."A conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men." Acts 24:16

God's commands are given to the life of His Son in us, consequently to the human nature in which His Son has been formed, His commands are difficult, but immediately we obey they become divinely easy.

Conscience is that faculty in me which attaches itself to the highest that I know, and tells me what the highest I know demands that I do. It is the eye of the soul which looks out either towards God or towards what it regards as the highest, and therefore conscience records differently in different people. If I am in the habit of steadily facing myself with God, my conscience will always introduce God's perfect law and indicate what I should do. The point is, will I obey? I have to make an effort to keep my conscience so sensitive that I walk without offence. I should be living in such perfect sympathy with God's Son, that in every circumstance the spirit of my mind is renewed, and I "make out" at once "what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

God always educates us down to the scruple. Is my ear so keen to hear the tiniest whisper of the Spirit that I know what I should do? "Grieve not the Holy Spirit." He does not come with a voice like thunder; His voice is so gentle that it is easy to ignore it. The one thing that keeps the conscience sensitive to Him is the continual habit of being open to God on the inside. When there is any debate, quit. "Why shouldn't I do this?" You are on the wrong track. There is no debate possible when conscience speaks. At your peril, you allow one thing to obscure your inner communion with God. Drop it, whatever it is, and see that you keep your inner vision clear.
My Utmost for His Highest: May 13th


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Ron Bailey

 2005/8/31 7:35Profile





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