I tend to believe some of the developmental psychologists theories about conscientiousness and the development of conscience.
In that sense it is true that some people do not develop beyond simply internalising the traditions of their families, although I do think its possible to develop beyond that to more universal principles.
What makes something universal? Well, I personally would suggest it is to do with the complex working of empathy and sympathy in a healthy, adjusted and adaptive individual who has some measure of emotional and social intelligence and intellect. Its just possible that as a result of trauma, developmental deficits or adversity that a lot of people dont reach that point but from the diversity which exists, combined with authorities society muddles through.
I take it as what's been said by a number of you already. Lets throw it in a pot and mix it up.
Originally Posted by InsatiableCuriosity
For me, conscience is the instinctive feeling that something is humane or not, fair or not, just or not, kind or not, and I more closely equate it to the concept of soul than anything.
and throw in some of this...
Originally Posted by Beat
Your conscience is the subconscious that you've been conditioned towards and acclimated to, given your upbringing and the culture/society that one is accustomed to (basically what you've just said yourself). There's nothing supernatural about one's conscience, as some like to believe; and it never takes the form of a cricket on your shoulder (strictly in my own observation ).
Originally Posted by ragashree
It's predicated on linking accumulated personal experience to your perception of social norms so far as I can see. Do you really think everyone else operates preferentially in that way?
This is more of philosophic approach than a literal one. This is another one of those conversations that tend to spring up at one or two in the morning when the shift gets boring.
To start with, let's get rolling with a quote from Socrates "Before we begin talking, we must decide what we're going to talk about."
It all started with this simple , unassuming question: "What is a conscience?"
You would not believe the chaos that ensued.
After I stepped back and took a close look, I realized that our consciences tended to follow what was morally good for a particular society, as well as what our parents tell us is right. For instance, it is highly barbaric for a man in Western society to keep his wife locked away or beat her for simply glancing at another man. However, in Islamic areas, this is the traditions that they have followed for centuries.
So, by their morality, they have done nothing wrong.
I believe what most people call their "conscience" is simply a collection of what society, and your parents, have told you. Since I come from an extremely conservative home, sex outside of marriage is highly frowned upon and believed to be a sin.
But for someone from a more liberal household, sex outside of marriage is nothing wrong.
I think you'll find FPs slightly more free from such external influences in regard to conscience.
But sure, we are shaped by our surroundings. That is true for every aspect of our personalities though, not just our conscience. And you can hold extremely different views from your parents or even your friends - it is possible.
which is easier to live with? cutting the throat of one the night before s/he kills ten? or allowing it to happen because you won't take a life?
from there, imagine what made that decision.
or, the day after ten were spared/ten died and one was spared, imagine the repercussions. not to society but to one's self
everyone uses every function about evenly. take NE for example. if there are those who don't use it much, then why are there such massive amounts of people constantly flowing through Wallmart with 20 items or less?
Your conscience is the subconscious that you've been conditioned towards and acclimated to, given your upbringing and the culture/society that one is accustomed to....
I agree that this is where it starts, but I think it can (and often does) evolve over time, as you are exposed to new/other ideas.
One might reject some of the values of their native culture and/or adopt the values of another culture later in life.
(The Hero's Journey, anyone?)
Also, I think it's important to note that (at least in theory) people have different personalities, and therefore are not just carbon copies of their parents or mindless drones programmed to believe whatever they're told by society at large.