Essay On Erroneous Conscience

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1. Thoroughly explain Aquinas’ view on whether acting in accord with an erring conscious ever excuses. Then explain his view on whether acting against an erring conscious is a good or evil action. Be sure to use examples. a. Aquinas was a moral realist and this meant that he believed humans could figure out what was right and wrong through reasoning. He also believed that humans should follow morals laws wholeheartedly without any exceptions. Though these were his beliefs, there are instances in which someone does not follow the moral laws and part of this is due to erroneous conscience. The err- in erroneous conscience means to make a mistake and this is part of what erroneous conscience means. Erroneous conscience is when a person knowingly, or unknowingly, makes a mistake in judgement by doing the wrong thing which they, consciously, believed was the right thing to do. b.…show more content…
An example of erroneous conscience would be a man who had sex with a woman who he thought was his wife, but actually was his wife’s twin. He made a mistake in judgement by sleeping with the wrong woman. A big part of erroneous conscience is ignorance, not knowing that the action performed was wrong. There are two kinds of ignorance that Aquinas uses to describe certain situations and they are invincible ignorance and vincible ignorance. Invincible ignorance is ignorance that is excused of moral responsibility due to certain circumstances. Usually, invincible ignorance is used in cases where a person has harmed someone else, however, they are affected by some sort of mental disorder. Aquinas would say that this case of erroneous consciousness would be excusable because the person was not aware that what they were doing was wrong. Vincible ignorance, however, is when a person is aware that what they are doing is wrong and they are given moral responsibility. Aquinas would say that this case of erroneous consciousness isn’t excusable because the person is aware of what they are
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