Conscience in Greek

Spelled as syneidesis (in Greek) and conscientia (in Latin) in the New Testament. According to Stanford, it is the sharing of moral knowledge with oneself.

In Modern Hebrew (not in the Old Testament) Jews use the word "Compass" (mits-poon), that points North in the darkness to the place of hidden treasure.

According to Plato, Socrates referred to another term, daimonion, the small inner voice of a spirit.

Apparently "syneidesis" was first used by widely travelled philosopher and noble Democritus (460BC - 370BC) born in Abdera, Thrace

His father received Xerxes (Artaxerxes) on his march through Abdera. Democritus lived in Egypt for 5 years, wrote on Babylon, taught by Ostanes, a Chaldean magi who travelled with Xerxes, visited India and Ethiopia. On his return, occupied himself with natural philosophy, atomism (Leucippus), friends with the Greek physician Hippocrates, in Athens he knew of Socrates, though Socrates did not know him. Popularly known as the Laughing Philosopher (for laughing at human follies), and "The Mocker".

Aristotle calls him a natural philosopher.

Democritus alone gives the definition of moral conscience, syneidesis, translated below as the English word "aware":

"Some people, ignorant of the dissolution of man’s mortal nature, however aware of their evil actions in life, suffer fears and disturbances in their lives, while inventing false myths concerning their time after death."

DK 68 B 297: “ἔνιοι θνητῆς φύσεως διάλυσιν οὐκ εἰδότες ἄνθρωποι, συνειδήσει δὲ τῆς ἐν τῷ βίῳ κακοπραγμοσύνης, τὸν τῆς βιοτῆς χρόνον ἐν ταραχαῖς και φόβοις ταλαιπωρέουσι, ψεύδεα περὶ τοῦ μετά τὴν τελευτὴν μυθοπλαστέοντες χρόνου.”

DK short for Diels–Kranz numbering

No, he didn't believe in an afterlife, unlike Socrates and Plato.

According to Democritus, moral conscience is linked with the matter of knowledge and concerns the self-consciousness of a negative action or situation. Moral conscience is the cognitive perception of action and concerns the awareness that an action is good or evil. Distinguishing good from evil action requires self-awareness. However, the existence of the presupposition does not bring about the achievement of the desired outcome or vice-versa; for example, although obeying the laws of the city is presupposed for the individual and social welfare, nevertheless it is not accomplished. For Democritus, obeying the laws is imposed by the feeling of shame and the individual moral conscience, especially guilty conscience, which concerns both the individual and social morality. The inner being and leading a commensurate life ensure individual happiness and harmonic social coexistence.

Lastly, Aristotle and the afterlife an article by Kurt Pritzl

Aristotle never explicitly discusses the issue of an afterlife, although he does remark on athanasia (immortality) in several places. The active intellect which alone is "athanaton and aionion" (immortal and eternal i.e. partaking of the age to come) does not have an activity, it seems, which could constitute the personal consciousness of an individual human being.

Aristotle and Happiness after Death by Father Kurt Pritzl (1952 - 2011), Dean of the School of Philosophy at The Catholic University of America, and a specialist in ancient Greek philosophy.

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