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Morality Ch. 4

Antecedent Judgment of Conscience

Judgement that precedes an action.

Autonomous Morality

The belief that conscience is the only moral authority.

Certain Conscience

Conscience that issues a judgment in certainty that may or may not be correct.

Concomitant Judgment of Conscience

Judgement of the morality of an action as it is taking place.


A judgement of reason whereby the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act that he is going to perform, Is in the process of performing, or has already completed.

Consequent Judgement of Conscience

Moral judgement made after the act.

Doubtful Conscience

Judgment of conscience that occurs when there is doubt about the good or evil of an act done or omitted. Unless one is required to act immediately, man is required to determine the moral rectitude of an act before acting.

Erroneous Conscience

A judgment of conscience that does not correspond with what the law or norm requires. The ignorance may be vincible or invincible when the content of the law is unknown. He who acts with invincible ignorance does not sin if he has taken the necessary steps to learn what is permitted and prohibited.

Heteronomous Morality

Absolute dependence of conscience on laws.

Invincible Ignorance

Ignorance that cannot be overcome by ordinary diligence.

Lax Conscience

A conscience that formulates moral judgments on insufficient grounds. It judges mortal sins as venial and venial sins as no sins at all.

Moral Rectitude

Correctness of method of judgment.

Scrupulous Conscience

A conscience that judges an action to be morally evil when in fact it is not.

True Conscience

Objectively coincides with the application of the moral law.

Vincible Ignorance

Ignorance that can be overcome by ordinary diligence.

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