conscience and moral intuition
Up until today, I have thought that conscience and moral intuition were roughly the same thing. But as I was sitting here thinking about it, I noticed a difference. Of course this difference depends on how the words are actually used and what people actually mean by them. After all, words are defined by their use, and maybe people do use them interchangeably. But I don't, which I just noticed as I was reflecting on it. Lemme explain the difference.
Your conscience is what makes you feel incumbency. It makes you feel the weight of your moral obligations. It accuses you and acquits you. It makes you feel guilty when you've done wrong and it makes you feel justified when you've done right.
But your moral intuitions tell you more than that. Your moral intuitions tells you what's right and wrong, not just for you, but for everybody else.
While your conscience can make you feel like you shouldn't do something, your moral intuitions tells you that nobody else should do it either.
I think your conscience is informed by your moral intuition. The reason your conscience makes you feel guilty after an action is because your moral intuition tells you that it was wrong. The reason your conscience makes you feel like you should do something is because your moral intuitions tells you that you should.
This may be why there's this fuzzy connection between feelings and morals. Our conscience is our feeling about morals and our relationship to them, but our moral intuitions are not feelings. That's why it's possible to think something is wrong and not care. It's also why it's possible to feel guilty even when you know you're not guilty.
What do you think?
Related subject: Emotivist objection to arguments for morality