Culture · Science Says So

the science of conscience

Fast Company recently published a remarkable article called Why Your Gut is More Ethical Than Your Brain. It’s remarkable, in my opinion, because it’s coming from a professional, secular, forward-thinking magazine, and concludes that how you feel about an ethical decision – your gut instinct – is more reliable than reason.

In fact, researchers concluded that “deliberative processes can license morally questionable behaviors by focusing on tangible monetary outcomes and reducing emotional influence.” Which I translate as: the more we think about it, the more excuses we come up with to justify something we already know is wrong. Especially if it’ll make us money.

The article gives good, rational reasons why your “gut” can and should guide you in making ethical decisions. Now. Is it just me, or does this faintly sound like something we used to call “conscience”?

I love that Fast Company highlights this. In doing so, they unwittingly affirm a moral standard – a sense of right and wrong. A sense which we recognize as “God’s law written in our hearts – our own conscience and thoughts accuse us or tell us we’re doing right” (Romans 2:15).

3 thoughts on “the science of conscience

  1. Did they point out the difference between your gut and your heart though? We once fell in love with a house and then discovered it had rising damp virtually everywhere. Our hearts said yes, our guts said no, and our brains said “RUN AWAY!” We didn’t buy it.


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