Dear Brian: Thanks for outlining
your position vis a vis Dr Pell's comments on Conscience. I would
like to comment on his statement of the Primacy of Truth.
It is accepted that all
humankind has a conscience, that biologically homo sapiens
comes equipped with a conscience it is hard-wired in
the brain. All human kind is called on to exercise their conscience.
Every culture on earth reflects that conscience and has developed
"Rules" or generalisations and examples about moral behaviour.
If we examine the ancient myths of aboriginal culture, we
will see stories that exemplify right conduct, analogous to
our own culture's stories such as the Good samaritan. A pagan
such as Aesop developed his fables to guide young people,
and all of these stories have common elements, so much so
that such codes as the Decalogue have pretty well universal
applicability, and these principles are at the base of all
legitimate law systems and rules for right conduct.
Now, when we come to the
Truth, here we have huge disagreements that we attempt to deal
with in our ecumenical movements. There is no way we can reach
agreement on "The Truth" Christians proclaim that jesus is the
way, the Truth and the Light, and we Christians live our lives
by His light. This is the Truth expounded by Dr Pell, and I would
maintain that that is a particular cultural expression of The
Truth. Therefore, it is axiomatic that the truth is not universal,
wheas the rules of Conscience are, whether one is a Muslim, atheist
or Jew or Christian. Therefore, it seems to me that Conscience
must come first, for it is Conscience that unites all humanity,
whereas the Truth is cultural.
Sure, we might believe that
we have the Truth, but so do the Muslims and the Jews and the
Buddhists. In looking for that which unites us we must call on
Conscience, not Truth as the basis for "Truth" only brings
division and conflict. Our Truth is our faith, which we hope to
share with all humanity: the story of Jesus gives Truth Concreteness,
Reality, and links God the Loving Creator through his son Jesus
-- we can share our understanding but at the same must respect
the "Truth" of our fellow non-believers. We must not be trapped
into the fallacy that we are superior in matters of Conscience
to any other human being from whatever culture. That is what gets
up the noses of so many people when Christians act as if they
have a higher morality than other cultures who in all the essential
are ruled as much by the Ten Commandments as us Judeo Christians.
So that leads me to contend that humanity gets to Heaven by obeying
their Conscience, which is the Law of Love, not the "Truth", whatever
that may be.
: Continued from Primacy of Conscience C
[Edited by Coadministrator to remove typos and increase paragraph