Every body has a conscience because everybody is endowed with a spirit that enables people to think. Every person receives this spirit that enables them to think at birth. The spirit of the human being is not the soul. Animals have souls, but do not have a spirit. Without a spirit, they cannot think. This is because the spirit comes from God and, while not given to animals, a spirit is given to every child at birth.
The word “conscience” comes from two words that are combined to mean “with knowledge”.
From the Online Etymological Dictionary, which states:
conscience (n.) early 13c., from Old French conscience "conscience, innermost thoughts, desires, intentions; feelings" (12c.), from Latin conscientia "knowledge within oneself, sense of right, a moral sense," from conscientem (nominative consciens), present participle of conscire "be (mutually) aware," from com- "with," or "thoroughly" scire "to know".Without our conscience, we would not be able to think. However, what also happens is children develop warped consciences, because they are not nurtured correctly, and then they find reasoning rather difficult; especially, when placed within an environment where this is not encouraged.
Unfortunately, while there are some cases of children purportedly having been raised by animals, there are no verifiably documented cases that enable assessment regarding intellectual and behavioral development. If such cases existed, then we would be able to draw some conclusions regarding the development of the conscience, in respect to its rudimentary development, that are not possible from observations made of children raised within a human environment.
The Jewish Saul of Tarsus, after he had been converted to Christianity and became Paul, the Apostle of Lord Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, wrote:
When Gentiles who have not the law do by nature what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or perhaps excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus. (Romans 2:14–16)From what the Apostle wrote, within his thinking, there appears to be a difference between the heart and the conscience. The heart is where the law of God resides and the conscience appears to be an independent faculty that is even distinguishable from the locus wherein thinking takes place.
Yet it is quite possible that rather than describing three aspects of the human constitution located within different parts of the mind, the Apostle is making reference to the capacity of the spirit’s ability to possess knowledge of the law, distinguish between right and wrong, and provide a rationale for one’s stance in relation to circumstances at hand.
Freud’s concepts of id, ego, and superego, appear to be a similar attempt to describe what the Apostle is speaking about in the above-mentioned passage of Scripture. For what Freud describes does not fit the biblical constitutional trichotomy of spirit, soul and body. Although it maybe, the trichotomous division of heart, soul and mind (Matthew 22:37), which is found in the Bible is more in line with Freud’s attempt to understand the human psyche. The heart or spirit being the driving force where the unconscious resides; the soul being the subconscious ego that exalts itself and senses the stimuli within the environment; the mind correlating to what Freud calls the superego.
The mind is really the conscious element of our person where thinking is conducted by some individuals, while others operate from a subconscious level, where thinking is more an automatic process rather than consciously controlled deliberations.
The fact that humans have this ability to think, which is identified by all who have researched the phenomenon of what it means to be human, also signifies that the species has the ability to know right from wrong. Either thinking enables humans to know right from wrong or the ability to discern right from wrong results in a conscience. Myself, I would say the latter.
How this ability to think and know right from wrong is divided up into reducible parts is rather academic, because there is no cell that can be observed in a petri dish that demonstrates how we think. One thing is for sure, humans think and possess a conscience, even if they override it and suppress the pangs within to commit heinous crimes against their fellows—crimes that they would not want done to themselves.
As soon as a person realizes that he or she has been treated unfairly, that person has an active conscience. The question for each individual, after each one’s conscience has been realized, is whether any conflicting thoughts will continue to accuse him or her of wrongdoing when another person has been intentionally harmed.
Once a rationale has been developed to justify injustice, this rationale will become the basis of future decisions, even to the exclusion of truthfulness and the reality of life. Hence, people will not harm their own race or those with whom they identify, but will see nothing wrong with enslaving, raping and mutilating other humans with whom they do not identify.
The fact that individuals distinguish between other humans regarding favor and ill-treatment, and can provide a rationale for doing so, is not different from sociopathic or psychopathic behavior at the core. The behaviors are merely different manifestations of the same underlying urge to do evil; to exercise one’s death wish—in other words, comply with the desires of the prince of the power of the air that is at work in all who violate the law of righteousness.
Does everyone have a conscience? Yes. But not necessarily an enlightened one.
The Ten Commandments Were Designed For You To Enjoy And Possess Life