Conscience Is a Weak Judge


Conscience is a just but weak judge. Weakness
leaves it powerless to execute its judgement.

source: Kahlil Gibran, A Sacred Treasury
image: Eddie Two Hawks, Image Collection, Sioux Boarding School


19 thoughts on “Conscience Is a Weak Judge

  1. I’ve been having long talks about the importance of NOT passing judgement the last couple of nights! Very important to exercise the passing of judgement very carefully on the occasions when we do so ­čÖé

    • A difficult lesson. We tend to misinterpret and misunderstand ‘judgement’ and its meaning.
      Your interest and concern is greatly appreciated. Thank you very much Wolfie

    • Yes, a hard one no doubt. There were people telling them how to live and what learn with no family around.
      In present times we think ISIS is the beast. Who was the beast back then?

      • There is always a Beast… And some have short memories when it comes to History lessons that get distorted within the History books of Genocide of the First Nations of Native American Indians .. So very true Eddie

      • Unfortunately so! We all lose when this happens.
        Truth will catch up with us someday. Kindness matters
        Many blessings to you dear one.

  2. Eddie, I respect Kahlil Gibran, but I think conscience is meant to be a guide, not a judge. A well developed conscience knows the difference between right and wrong – but conscience is not an executor. It can however influence our subsequent actions, which we still have to think through and decide on. A well developed conscience can be a very strong guide and is much more consistent and truthful than morals or morality, which are linked to culture and religion, whereas conscience is autonomous (when well-developed) – according to Viktor Frankl. Of course it all depends on how we understand conscience and the context in which we are commenting on it – I have not read A Sacred Treasury.

    • Understanding ‘conscience’ is the key factor in interpreting what is being said here. Conscience is a very large part of our ‘feeling’ nature and totally subjective and cannot be objective.
      This is why the ‘feeling’ nature of conscience makes it a ‘poor guide’ when it comes to the
      matter of making ‘judgement’.

      • Eddie, thank you for explaining the context better. I think conscience and emotions are separate. Therefore conscience is not (always) subjective. Emotions and feelings are totally subjective. Conscience can trigger feelings and emotions, (but it does not always do so) and when conscience and emotions (feelings) are mixed, it is totally subjective. Conscience can also be unemotional (and not cause feelings) in a philosophical context. For example conscience can guide me to “do the right thing” without any emotions (or feelings) involved. This is when conscience is mixed with intuition as a guide. This is my personal experience of conscience, but of course it could be different for other people.

        This is how Viktor Frankl describes it – which I tend to feel resonance with, which is quite different from the emotionally orientated conscience, it would seem, of Kahlil Gibran.

        “He refers to conscience as a “pre-reflective ontological self-understanding” or “the wisdom of the heart,” “more sensitive than reason can ever be sensible.” (1975, p. 39) It is conscience that “sniffs out” that which gives our lives meaning.” – Dr. C. George Boeree

        Thanks for letting me comment, Eddie. By the way generally speaking I really like Kahlil Gibran’s work – it’s just that in this particular case I’m not fully in agreement.

      • There are and have been many great teachers with many great lessons that have walked the Earth.
        “No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” The Buddha
        Kind words and thoughts are most appreciated. Thank you so much Jean-Jacques for your very interesting comment

    • Admirable interpretation. There is difficulty understanding our feelings at times.
      Thank you very much for a thoughtful and kind response. Enjoy a perfect day Cindy

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