This blog post is not only for individual readers to ask themselves but also to think about whether society today has any sense of conscience.
- Tyre Nichols died after being battered and kicked, and pepper-sprayed by Memphis police officers.
- George Floyd died at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis. A thousand miles to the south, in the Texas city where he was raised
- Three women, all out-of-state tourists, were killed, and four people were injured in the second mass shooting to erupt in Los Angeles County in eight days, the sixth in California this month, according to police.
- The deadliest mass shooting in the United States in 2022 was the massacre in which 19 children and two teachers were killed at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24. It happened ten days after ten people were shot and killed in a supermarket in Buffalo.
- A six-year-old child shot one of his teachers at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News. The teacher has “life-threatening injuries, according to the authorities said.
Most people agree that the easy availability of guns causes these mass shootings. Whether you agree, another major issue that no one seems to discuss is the apparent lack of guilt and self-restraint concerning these disastrous events. Besides the lack of guilt, there seems to be no inner sense of right or wrong guiding the people who commit these horrible tragedies.
There are other crimes committed, as well as murder. Thieves steal packages delivered by UPS or other services off of porches of houses for the people who should receive them.
One of my all-time favorite sitcom TV programs from childhood was Jackie Gleason’s “The Honeymooners.” In one episode, Ralph Kramden(Jackie Gleason) was a bus driver who found a briefcase filled with a fortune of money. The money was counterfeit and belonged to a gang of criminals who found and then terrorized the two of them. Kramden’s best friend was Ed Norton (Art Carney), a sewer worker, both of whom try to figure out what to do with the money. Naturally, this hysterically funny program ends happily with a moral lesson about living a life of honesty.
In the same situation, what would you have done with the money?
Definition of Conscience:
Conscience: a partial list of synonyms
- Right and Wrong
Conscience is a sense of moral goodness that guides one’s conduct and a feeling of obligation to do right or be good.
Is there a sense of moral goodness today?
Is there a feeling of obligation to do the right thing?
According to Freud, the part of a person’s mind acts as a self-critical conscience, reflecting social standards learned from his parents and teachers.
Examples of the Superego:
- A woman feels the urge to steal office supplies from work. However, her superego counteracts this urge by focusing on the fact that such behaviors are wrong.
- A man realizes that the cashier at the store forgot to charge him for one item he had in his cart.
It’s essential to recognize that, by definition, having a conscience means a person does not steal because they firmly believe that stealing is wrong. Returning to Freud’s Superego, stealing would cause the individual to feel very guilty.
The bedrock of moral behavior in the Western World is the Ten Commandments.
The 10 Commandments
- Worship only the one God.
- Do not practice idolatry.
- Do not take up God’s name in vain.
- Keep the Sabbath.
- Honor your mother and father.
- Do not murder.
- Do not commit adultery.
- Do not steal.
- Do not testify falsely.
- Do not covet your neighbor’s wife.
Does society follow these commandments? Do we follow these commandments?
I encourage your comments and opinions.