Ever since the beginning, God has left us clues that point towards the existence of a divine being. The biggest clue is the existence of a conscience. This tells us that there is not only a divine being, but there is also a personal God. John Cardinal Newman suggests that that conscience is the divine moral legislator.
Where Does Our Conscience Come From?
Through catechism, we learn that conscience is judgment or reason that has moral sovereignty over us. The conscience tells us to what is right regardless of the consequences. It demands unconditional obedience and loyalty. Failure to do so comes at a painful price, at least at an emotional level. Newman believes that the best explanation behind the origin of conscience is a personal and supreme authority. Humans have no power of it. We can neither create it nor destroy it.
Are Feelings The Same As Conscience?
Feelings are often irrational and impulsive. On the other hand, conscience is authoritative and reasonable. Our conscience may be accompanied by feelings, but they are not synonymous. The feelings that we experience when we obey our conscience indicate that there is a supreme personal being who is holding us responsible.
It might seem that we are adding God to the picture superfluously. However, the unique authority of the conscience must stem from somewhere. This can only be from a personal and divine lawgiver who wrote it in our hearts who can only be God.