In a discussion this morning on TV, it was suggested that :
“Having a conscience is knowing that someone may be watching you”.
That surely, is having a guilty conscience.
Conscience is, in my opinion, being able to distinguish between whether your own actions are right or wrong and it is then your own choice to decide what further actions you take. This is an individual ‘s decision and based on that individual’s own judgement of their own moral code. It might be that this code is based on religious views, culture, society’s persuasion or a personal philosophy, but conscience is something that is there or not, regardless of outside opinion. It is the outside opinion versus our conscience that informs our attitude.
If we feel that “someone is watching us” (in this context) then it shows that our conscience is in conflict with our morals, but is does not define it. My conscience often gets me into situations that could have been avoided, but then I would have been going against my own morals – and my conscience will not allow me to do that.