Conscience is a mother-in-law whose visit never ends
A good conscience is a continual feast.
Conscience is a blushing, shamefaced spirit than mutinies in a man's bosom; it fills one full of obstacles.
Our conscience is a fire within us, and our sins as the fuel; instead of warming, it will scorch us, unless the fuel be removed, or the heat of it allayed by penitential tears.
Only those with a conscience can find an action unconscionable.
For two years living in a neutral country I have been able to see through the haze of propaganda to reach something which my conscience tells me is the truth.
The missionary is no longer a man, a conscience. He is a corpse, in the hands of a confraternity, without family, without love, without any of the sentiments that are dear to us. Emasculated, in a sense, by his vow of chastity, he offers us the distressing spectacle of a man deformed and impotent or engaged in a stupid and useless struggle with the sacred needs of the flesh, a struggle which, seven times out of ten, leads him to sodomy, the gallows, or prison.
All religions, with their gods, their demigods, and their prophets, their messiahs and their saints, were created by the credulous fancy of men who had not attained the full development and full possession of their faculties. Consequently, the religious heaven is nothing but a mirage in which man, exalted by ignorance and faith, discovers his own image, but enlarged and reversed that is, divinized. The history of religion, of the birth, grandeur, and decline of the gods who have succeeded one another in human belief, is nothing, therefore, but the development of the collective intelligence and conscience of mankind.
Our Party supports and will continue to support peoples fighting for their freedom. In so doing, the Soviet Union does not look for advantages, does not hunt for concessions, does not seek political domination and is not after military bases. We act as we are bid by our revolutionary conscience, our communist convictions.
But what of the voice and judgment of conscience? The difficulty is that we have a conscience behind our conscience, an intellectual one behind the moral. We can see quite well that our opinions of what is noble and good, our moral valuations, are powerful levers where action is concerned; but we must begin by refining these opinions and independently creating for ourselves new tables of values.
I have shown you how Machiavelli supplied the immoral theory needful for the consummation of royal absolutism; the absolute oligarchy of Venice required the same assurance against the revolt of conscience. It was provided by a writer as able as Machiavelli, who analyzed the wants and resources of aristocracy, and made known that its best security is poison.
Physical evils are in nature inseparable from animal life, they commenced existence with it, and are its concomitants through life; so that the same nature which gives being to the one, gives birth to the other also; the one is not before or after the other, but they are coexistent together, and contemporaries; and as they began existence in a necessary dependance on each other, so they terminate together in death and dissolution. This is the original order to which animal nature is subjected, as applied to every species of it. The beasts of the field, the fowls of the air, the fishes of the sea, with reptiles, and all manner of beings, which are possessed with animal life; nor is pain, sickness, or mortality any part of God's Punishment for sin. On the other hand sensual happiness is no part of the reward of virtue: to reward moral actions with a glass of wine or a shoulder of mutton, would be as inadequate, as to measure a triangle with sound, for virtue and vice pertain to the mind, and their merits or demerits have their just effects on the conscience, as has been before evinced: but animal gratifications are common to the human race indiscriminately, and also, to the beasts of the field: and physical evils as promiscuously and universally extend to the whole, so "That there is no knowing good or evil by all that is before us, for all is vanity." It was not among the number of possibles, that animal life should be exempted from mortality: omnipotence itself could not have made it capable of externalization and indissolubility; for the self same nature which constitutes animal life, subjects it to decay and dissolution; so that the one cannot be without the other, any more than there could be a compact number of mountains without valleys, or that I could exist and not exist at the same time, or that God should effect any other contradiction in nature...
There may be some tenderness in the conscience and yet the will be a very stone; and as long as the will stands out, there is no broken heart.
Though sin may be in the Christian, yet it hath no more dominion over him; he hath an unfeigned respect to all God's commandments, making conscience even of little sins and little duties.
Clever men will recognize and tolerate nothing but cleverness; every authority rouses their ridicule, every superstition amuses them, every convention moves them to contradiction. Only force finds favor in their eyes, and they have no toleration for anything that is not purely natural and spontaneous. And yet ten clever men are not worth one man of talent, nor ten men of talent worth one man of genius. And in the individual, feeling is more than cleverness, reason is worth as much as feeling, and conscience has it over reason. If, then, the clever man is not mockable, he may at least be neither loved, nor considered, nor esteemed. He may make himself feared, it is true, and force others to respect his independence; but this negative advantage, which is the result of a negative superiority, brings no happiness with it. Cleverness is serviceable for everything, sufficient for nothing.
Whenever conscience speaks with a divided, uncertain, and disputed voice, it is not yet the voice of God. Descend still deeper into yourself, until you hear nothing but a clear and undivided voice, a voice which does away with doubt and brings with it persuasion, light and serenity.
The rights of conscience, of bearing arms, of changing the government, are declared to be inherent in the people. Freedom of the press, too.
The miserly one is never restful; the envious is never pleased; the grumbler is never loyal; the liar has no conscience.
There comes a time when a man finds himself in front of a dark uncrossable abyss, which he himself has spent years digging. He cannot go forward, and has no way back. Words have failed, tears won't help, and who would he call out to? He can't even remember his own name. Then the man sees that on this god's green earth there is but one true suffering: the torment of guilty conscience.
O conscience, upright and stainless, how bitter sting to thee is a little fault!
Where there is no freedom of speech, there is no conscience.
By mourning tongues
The death of the poet was kept from his poems.
But for him it was his last afternoon as himself,
An afternoon of nurses and rumours;
The provinces of his body revolted,
The squares of his mind were empty,
Silence invaded the suburbs.
The current of his feeling failed: he became his admirers.
Now he is scattered over a hundred cities
And wholly given over to unfamiliar affections;
To find his happiness in another kind of wood
And be punished under a foreign code of conscience.
The words of a dead man
are modified in the guts of the living.
The effort necessary to remain uncorrupted in an environment where fear is an integral part of everyday existence is not immediately apparent to those fortunate enough to live in states governed by the rule of law. Just laws do not merely prevent corruption by meting out impartial punishment to offenders. They also help to create a society in which people can fulfil the basic requirements necessary for the preservation of human dignity without recourse to corrupt practices. Where there are no such laws, the burden of upholding the principles of justice and common decency falls on the ordinary people. It is the cumulative effect on their sustained effort and steady endurance which will change a nation where reason and conscience are warped by fear into one where legal rules exist to promote man's desire for harmony and justice while restraining the less desirable destructive traits in his nature.
Conscience is our unerring judge until we finally stifle it.
I declare, on my soul and conscience, that the attainment of power, or of a great name in literature, seemed to me an easier victory than a success with some young, witty, and gracious lady of high degree.