Archive for the ‘conscience’ Category

A blacksmith brought home a new dog

April 2, 2013

A blacksmith brought home a new dog. The first day the blacksmith was working in his shop he would pound and pound the metal with his hammer. Immediately the dog would bark loudly. Day after day, as he worked with his hammer, his dog would jump up and bark. After a few days, the barking got softer and softer. Then a couple of weeks later the dog stopped barking when the smith started hammering….That is the problem with the lost. They have suppressed the truth of their sins so long that they have become dull towards the hammer of the law written on their hearts. The need a wake-up call through the preaching of the holy law of God.

Michael A. Robinson, God Does Exist!, Author House 2006, p.197

In 1993 a Ku Klux Klansman named Henry Alexander made a confession to his wife.

April 24, 2011

In 1993 a Ku Klux Klansman named Henry Alexander made a confession to his wife. In 1957 he and several other Klansmen had pulled a black truck driver from  his cab, marched him to a deserted bridge high above a swift river, and made him jump, screaming, to his death. Alexander was charged with the crime in 1976-it took nearly twenty years to bring him to trial-pled innocent and was acquitted by a white jury. For thirty-six years he insisted on his innocence, until the day in 1993 when he confessed the truth to his wife. “I don’t even know what God has planned for me. I don’t even know how to pray for myself,” he told her. A few days later, he died.

Alexander’s wife wrote a letter of apology to the black man’s widow, a letter subsequently printed in The New York Times. “Henry lived a lie all his life,- and he made me live it too,” she wrote. For all those years she had believed her husband’s protestations of innocence. He showed no outward sign of remorse until the last days of his life, too late to attempt public restitution. Yet he could not carry the terrible secret of guilt to his grave. After thirty-six years of fierce denial, he still needed the release only forgiveness could provide.

Philip Yancey, What’s so Amazing about Grace?, p.100

I have determined, the Almighty God being my help and shield, yet to suffer, if frail life might continue so long, even till the moss shall grow on mine eye-brows rather than thus to violate my faith and principles

November 23, 2009

I have determined, the Almighty God being my help and shield, yet to suffer, if frail life might continue so long, even till the moss shall grow on mine eye-brows rather than thus to violate my faith and principles.

John Bunyan, A Confession of my Faith, and a Reason of my Practice, in which he gives a defence why he should have stayed in prison rather than conform. Quoted in Faith Cook, Fearless Pilgrim: The Life and Times of John Bunyan, Evangelical Press 2008, p.15

Moral sense innate to all men

September 11, 2009

Man was destined for society. His morality, therefore, was to be formed to this object. He was endowed with a sense of right and wrong merely relative to this. This sense is as much a part of his nature, as the sense of hearing, seeing, feeling; it is the true foundation of morality… The moral sense, or conscience, is as much a part of man as his leg or arm. It is given to all human beings in a stronger or weaker degree, as force of members is given them in a greater or less degree. It may be strengthened by exercise, as may any particular limb of the body. This sense is submitted indeed in some degree to the guidance of reason; but it is a small stock which is required for this: even a less one than what we call Common sense. State a moral case to a ploughman and a professor. The former will decide it as well, and often better than the latter, because he has not been led astray by artificial rules.

Thomas Jefferson to Peter Carr, 1787.

Yet Jefferson sees morality in terms of its benefits to society, primarily it seems here. This is seen to in this quote:

God has formed us moral agents… that we may promote the happiness of those with whom He has placed us in society, by acting honestly towards all, benevolently to those who fall within our way, respecting sacredly their rights, bodily and mental, and cherishing especially their freedom of conscience, as we value our own.

Thomas Jefferson to Miles King, 1814

I sincerely… believe… in the general existence of a moral instinct. I think it the brightest gem with which the human character is studded, and the want of it as more degrading than the most hideous of the bodily deformities.

Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Law, 1814. ME 14:143 similar quotes here

Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing wonder

September 10, 2009

Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing wonder and awe – the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.

Immanuel Kant, Critique of Practical Reason, p.193, 259

Guilty Conscience

August 4, 2009

After her part in the murder of King Duncan, Lady Macbeth cannot quieten her conscience. As she sleep walks, rubbing her hands together in maginary washing, an attendent observes, ‘it si an accustomed action with her, to seem thus washing her hands: I have known her continue in this a quarter of an hour.’

In her sleep Lady Macbeth cries, ‘Out, damned spot! Out I say!…Here’s the smell of the blood still: all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh, oh, oh!

The doctor observes, ‘What a sigh is there! The heart is sorely charged…This disease is beyond my practice.’

M.Green, Jesus Spells Freedom, p.32

Conscience seared

August 4, 2009

Most of you know what it means when a hundred corpses are lying side by side, or five hundred, or a thousand. To have stuck it out, and at the same time – apart from exceptions caused by human weakness – to have remained decent fellows, that is what has made us hard. This is a page of glory in our history which has never been written and is never to be written…We had the moral right, we had the duty to our people, to destroy this people which wanted to destroy us.

Heinrich Himmler, at Posen 4/10/43, in Hitler, Alan Bullock, penguin 1990, p.698

Conscience

August 4, 2009

What’s right is what you feel good after, wrong is what makes you feel bad afterwards.

Ernest Hemingway

So as long as I never feel bad about any course of action I take then I’m always acting right? And why should those feelings be trusted anyway?

Conscience is a Jewish invention. Like circumcision, it mutilates man. There is no such thing as truth; one must distrust mind and conscience.

Adolf Hitler

I guess he was feeling especially guilty that day…