I remember an event in history about a potential assassination. Strangely enough, the assassin could not kill his target, for he respected him greatly. Is conscience a greater motivator than worldly gains? In this event in history, I would say yes. But alas, it is only history.
First, what is conscience? I like to define it as “the ability to discern between right and wrong.” It’s that little voice in the back of your head telling you you’re about to do something wrong the moment you think about stealing or lying and such.
If you look at the state of humanity back during the days of that assassin and even further, rights and wrongs were still predominant entities that were definable by even the lowest members of society. To steal someone’s spouse was punishable by death. To be homosexual was a shame. To take a man’s life meant that yours would be taken as well.
What about now???
To steal some one’s wife, to be homosexual, to commit mass murder…all are a norm.
Before, when individuals got into disputes, they settled it with integrity and respect. Now, shootings, bombings, and causing mass destruction is about as common as smartphones.
Once, to be a promiscuous individual was a felony, punishable by being stoned to death. Today, being a Don Juan or sex symbol is the new “hot” thing.
Homosexuality used to be a shame, so much so that those caught in such a state would hide, afraid of the persecution that could come of it. But now, it is celebrated. Parades are held in honor of the gays. They are praised for their coming out of their shell.
If you travel the history books all the way to present day, you will see how much the state of humanity has diminished. The line that once divided rights and wrongs has been completely shattered, and now…pretty much anything goes.
So where is conscience in all this? Well…
If there is no clear definition of right and wrong, conscience cannot exist.
Of course, there are the few, like my family and close friends, that still value virtue and morals. There are those of the small number that still listen to that small voice in the back of their head. But to the vast majority of society, conscience is nonexistent.
So back to the original question: is conscience a more powerful motivator than terrestrial gain?
It once was.
But nowadays to majority of the world, conscience is just a whimsical idea of the past. It is a myth only to be told to the next generations as a part of history, along with the story of the assassin.
Thanks for reading!
– Joshua B.