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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
Member



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

 Re:

Quote:
In essence, its still a bit more complex than we wish to give it credit as I'm reading things now.


Yes, it is 'complex' and that was what I wanted to draw our attention to, but its operation is wonderfully 'simple'. We 'know' when it is at work even if we can't quite nail down how it is doing what it is doing.

There is a classic book on the conscience written by O Hallesby. Its chapters include
1. What is conscience?
2. How conscience functions
3. The judgment of conscience
4. The conscience of fallen man
5. Conscience and the word of God
6. The Awakening of conscience
7. Conscience and our old nature
8. Conscience and grace
9. Conscience and faith
10. Conscience and the new man
11. The degeneration and death of conscience
12. The growth of conscience.

I read it years ago but will try to give it a quick scan in the next few days.


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2005/8/8 4:45Profile
philologos
Member



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

 Re:

I have just read the first two paragraphs of Hallesby on Conscience... Conscience is the simplest and clearest expression of the exalted character and dignity of human life. Here we touch upon something which makes man a man and exalts him above the animals; we come in contact with that element which links him to the eternal.

This makes it imperative for us to 'put off our shoes from our feet', so to speak, and tread carefully upon what is holy and mysterious ground, It also suggests to us that we shall come upon factors outside the scope of human reason alone, which will raise problems that are difficult to think through and even more difficult to express.

...sounds as if we are on the right track?

edit: I am thoroughly enjoying [url=http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0851112307/qid=1123497971/sr=8-6/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i4_xgl14/104-9062140-9000739?v=glance&s=books&n=507846]O Hallesby on Conscience[/url] I would heartily recommend this book.


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Ron Bailey

 2005/8/8 5:05Profile









 Re:

Quote: "Here we touch upon something which makes man a man and exalts him above the animals."

I wouldn't hang too much on this as there is plenty of evidence that at least some animals -- primates, dolphins, even birds -- have a conscience, can reason, solve problems and have some sense of right and wrong. (Anyone ever have a dog that expressed remorse for something it did? I have.)

Bub

 2005/8/8 12:50
PreachParsly
Member



Joined: 2005/1/14
Posts: 2164
Arkansas

 Re:

This is a great topic. Very interesting to me.

I have heard that Adam and Eve got their conscience from the tree of knowledge of good and evil (one translation [i cant remember which] even says tree of conscience)

I guess the main question is 'did adam and eve know what was right and wrong before the fall?'

1Ti 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

If Adam was not decieved did he know is was wrong?


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Josh Parsley

 2005/8/8 13:22Profile
philologos
Member



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

 Re:

Quote:
I wouldn't hang too much on this as there is plenty of evidence that at least some animals -- primates, dolphins, even birds -- have a conscience, can reason, solve problems and have some sense of right and wrong. (Anyone ever have a dog that expressed remorse for something it did? I have.)

It all depends on what you mean by conscience, and from the working definitions we have so far no animal has anything like it. Your dog knew it had done something which would incur your displeasure; that is not conscience but training.


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2005/8/8 13:34Profile
PreachParsly
Member



Joined: 2005/1/14
Posts: 2164
Arkansas

 Re:

I agree. Once when I was witnessing to a person, he told me I was no better than his dog. Instead of lifting my leg and marking my territory on him, which would prove I wasn't, I told him I had a conscience and his dog didnt. I still belive that. The person I was witnessing to belived strongly in reincarnation. I think when you begin to say that a dog has a conscience like a human you aren't far from saying a human is just alittle higher up than a dog. I belive God made humans much higher than dogs.


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Josh Parsley

 2005/8/8 14:28Profile









 Re:

Quote: "I think when you begin to say that a dog has a conscience like a human you aren't far from saying a human is just alittle higher up than a dog. I belive God made humans much higher than dogs."

I think that all of life comes from the same wellspring of God. I don't believe dogs or other animals have a conscience in the same degree as humans, but that it derives from the same underlying source of Life. 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.')

Bubbaguy

 2005/8/8 14:41
PreachParsly
Member



Joined: 2005/1/14
Posts: 2164
Arkansas

 Re:

Quote:
Why should we humans be separately or specially created? (and please do not respond by saying 'because Genesis says so.')



Ok I won't say because Genesis says so, but I will say that in Genesis is says that we are created after God's own image. I havent read where animals were created after God's own image.

Edit: then again this means nothing if you don't belive the Biblical account of creation. You would just have to go with your own thought or speculation to create your own thought of what happened "in the begining"


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Josh Parsley

 2005/8/8 15:01Profile









 Re:


I have always interpreted this - that we are created in God's image - as meaning that, like God, we have special powers (abilities) to create (enable) or destroy life. Animals do not have the faculties (opposable thumbs etc.) to fashion sophisticated tools, although some, dolphins for example, have highly complex commmunication systems (language, if you will) and are reputedly nearly as intellegent as humans. You are correct that I don't interpret Genesis literally. I believe it is a representational story that presents many truths about God and man's relationship to Him, but which does not present a scientifically accurate story on the development and progression of life over the ages (nor was it intended to.)

Bub

 2005/8/8 15:55









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

Quote:
You are correct that I don't interpret Genesis literally.

Bubba, here's a specific thought from Paul.

Acts 17:26
And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth,


Here's a general question, since dogs have been mentioned.
Would the difference between training and conscience be that 'training' should produce a reflex response, whereas 'conscience' offers a standard which can be over-ridden, a facutly which is well beyond the reach of a dog?

 2005/8/8 17:12





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