(a) Conscience recognizes the existence of a moral law, which has supreme authority.
(b) Feelings of ill desert and fears of judgment follow known violations of this moral law.
(c) This moral law, since it is not self-imposed, and these threats of judgment, since they are not self-executing, respectively argues the existence of a holy will that has imposed the law, and of a punitive power that will execute the threats of the moral nature.
See Bishop Butler?s Sermons on Human Nature, in Works, Bohn?s ed., 385-414. Butler?s great discovery was that of the supremacy of conscience in the moral constitution of man: ?Had it strength as it has right, had it power as it has manifest authority, it would absolutely govern the world.? Conscience = the moral judiciary of the soul ? not law, nor sheriff, but judge; see under Anthropology. Diman, Theistic Argument, 251 ? ?Conscience does not lay down a law; it warns us of the existence of a law; and not only of a law, but of a purpose ? not our own, but the purpose of another, which it is our mission to realize.? See Murphy, Scientific Bases of Faith, 218 sq. It proves personality in the Lawgiver, because its utterances are not abstract, like those of reason, but are in the nature of command: they are not in the indicative, but in the imperative, mood; it says, ?thou shalt? and ?thou shalt not.? This argues will.
Hutton, Essays, 1:11 ? ?Conscience is an ideal Moses, and thunders from an invisible Sinai?; ?the Atheist regards conscience not as a skylight, opened to let in upon human nature an infinite dawn from above, but as a polished arch or dome, completing and reflecting the whole edifice beneath.? But conscience cannot be the mere reflection and expression of nature, for it represses and condemns nature. Tulloch, Theism: ?Conscience, like the magnetic needle, indicates the existence of an unknown Power which from afar controls its vibrations and at whose presence it trembles.? Nero spends nights of terror in wandering through the halls of his Golden House. Kant holds that faith in duty requires faith in a God who will defend and reward duty ? see Critique of Pure Reason, 359-387. See also Porter, Human Intellect, 524.
Kant, in his Metaphysic of Ethics, represents the action of conscience as like ?conducting a case before a court,? and he adds: ?Now that he who is accused before his conscience should lie figured to be just the same person as his judge, is an absurd representation of a tribunal; since, in such an event, the accuser would always lose his suit. Conscience must therefore
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