I had an interesting conversation with my friend Ryan yesterday on the topic of conscience. He mentioned that he believed conscience was something all of us had… just some hear it more or less quietly. He thought it shared common principles.
I disagree. I think conscience has two parts:
- Genetic: this is the amity – enmity theory… basically people will take care of and love people in their “in” group, and not care if bad things happen to those in their “out” group.
- Socially learned: behaviors ranging from cutting someone off in traffic, stealing, caring for the environment, all the way up to things like murder. Each society has different byzantine learned rules. For example in our society is perfectly okay for a military person to kill on command, but not okay for a “unlawful” killing to happen.