Conscience and Conscientious Objections by A. Schinkel

By A. Schinkel

Judgment of right and wrong, conscientious, objections, anders, shinkel

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I am not the first to remark upon the tendency of concepts of conscience to overemphasize, even absolutize, one aspect of conscience. Erhard Mock, after his study of the history of thought about conscience, states: “Die Beispiele aus der Begriffsgeschichte des Gewissens verweisen zwar sämtlich auf die Spezifikation einer allgemeinen Anlage des Menschen, Sollensforderungen zu erleben und sich so zu verwirklichen, sich selbst darzustellen, aber sie tun dies jeweils unter einem wesenhaften und definierenden Aspekt.

Then, they ‘touch’, after which the positions of the balls at any further point in time are such that the balls are further apart than the previous moment. 28 Hume writes: “in no single instance the ultimate connection of any objects is discoverable, either by our senses or reason, and (…) we can never penetrate so far into the essence and construction of bodies, as to perceive the principle, on 26 The picture of Whitehead’s thought I am about to sketch draws on that in Schinkel (2004). 27 Undoubtedly his hope was that at least some people would read that in its entirety.

I distinguish between three core elements of the symbol of conscience, the first of which is the most important: the element of ultimate concern. The other two are in a sense subordinate to this one; they are the element of the witness, and the element of intimacy. I will elaborate on this in chapter 1. These elements are elements on the level of experience, as well as that of symbolization. The element of ultimate concern entails, among other things, that there is reference to a superior moral-religious standard, or that an awareness of such a standard is ingredient in the experience.

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