I am not going to reply after this unless I can do so quickly. I am replying because I respect you as a human and have no intention to "insult" you, but will not go out of my way to try NOT to insult you.
It is there, where you say empathy is the basis of conscience, instead of social anxiety, or any of the previous claims. Specifically, when you say "it is empathy not fear." Also, as mentioned before, your claim is contrary to any popular definitions of conscience.
Don't see how it is anymore so than you're own extrapolation from "social anxiety". I am just saying that empathy (being a known biological function not simply a theory of the human mind) allows us to know other minds (or at least plays a major role in this process if you wish to be pedantic) and we do things "in good conscience" because we have an understanding of the pain and dismay it can cause to others. You see someone punched in the face and you'll wince, AND by doing so you act as if you've been hit and relate to the pain. Fear on the other hand can be expressed empathically, by way of understanding that other people feel fear (which you know by way if empathy not fear itself). I can fear falling off a cliff and this has little to nothing to do with empathy (it could if I worry about how my friend and family will feel about me dying or getting injured and the distress it will cause them).
Why you choose to criticize citing sources
Basically because I believe philosophy has a lot more to it than looking up words in a dictionary. For me it is an exploration of the limitations of this verbal language in its symbolic form. It is constantly trying to expand to other realms of "real" and "physical" but is in its essence a descriptive function posed as its own sense of "reality" - which is funny in its circularity and surprising useful if you're only inclined to see it as the be all and end all of the human condition and if you're definition of "language" is confined to the "popular" dictionary definition. I guess we cannot help being narrow minded for to us in our world view we're always the broadest thinker because there is nothing we know outside of our appreciation, and the more satisfied we are in settling into this thought the less likely we are to ever expand beyond its necessary limits.
No, I am obviously not challenging a definition, only observing the feelings of conscience are indistinguishable from social anxiety. If you read other posts, you would know this.
And I have made it very clear that they are distinguishable. I can see where you're coming from though I believe? You are saying that the feeling of anxiety, in a social context, is the same as a feeling of conscience. They share in common what I have already described when I talked about uncertainty I believe? If not I'll go again at least for the sake of better clarity. Our conscience guides us toward clarity and an action taken in "good conscience" (meaning acting in such a way so as to avoid future regret - it may be a "bad act" in the moment, but one that has "good intentions") whereas anxiety is fear driven, and I can see how you could argue that "fear of regret" can be called anxiety, but it is here that I would say we're talking about a very specific part of conscience and that is why it is the "same feeling". The point being is that conscience has a narrower context ruled over by empathy (see above), but social anxiety is only concerned with the isolated individual with the social context framed as if it is a "wild animal" rather than something we interact with. I can certainly understand that lack of conscience (meaning acting without conscience) would lead to acting in fear. This would be comparable to purposeful action in the stead of fear ruled reaction.
I cannot say the feeling of "conscience" and "social anxiety" are the same. I can see perfectly well they are related though. I also find it strange that we're talking about descriptions of feelings and you're saying you're not redefining what they mean only saying the feelings of each are "indistinguishable". That is contrary in my book and why I have repeatedly asked what your motivation is. Of course you don't have to answer and maybe you don't have a motivation other than simple curiosity about how people perceive different terms and chose to deconstruct them.
I dare you to make the argument social anxiety, or conscience is about not knowing what we want, if you can that is (you can't, although please try).
Of course I can and so could anyone, even you (and you have but only by way of hiding behind other vague terminology - as we all must have to to some degree). It is simply a question of framing the meaning within a context where the terms have more obvious borders. I can simply say the opposite and pose that in fact it is about knowing what we want not not knowing what we want. It is the same thing I know, the question is did you realise this? I thought that was pretty clear given that you've just done the very same thing to me in order to avoid establishing what context you were using "morality", "fairness", etc., in.
I also dare to you to make a distinction between what your conscience does and societal rules, i'm referencing your claim to why you wouldn't commit murder. You are the one making incredible claims here, as if you could find a reason for any feeling of conscience divorced from societal rules.
To deal with the first part of the sentence, that is a question I cannot answer and one I find very interesting. The whole nature/nurture intrigue and a necessary distinction made for investigation which is after the matter of fact likely impossible to fully shed as it was part of the process.
As for the latter part I have no idea what you are referring to exactly? I honestly cannot see what "claim" you are referring to. I am damn sure I've made it clear I don't regard the distinction between nature and nurture as anything but a means to make purposeful investigation not as two distinct things. I am born with certain set limitations, and even during my prenatal development I am under the influence of the physical environment. When I come into the larger world beyond the womb I map and orientate about it. I may "feel" divorced form the environment, and have a certain degree of control over my environment, but I am not omnipotent. Regardless I still act with purpose and force rather than following blindly every rule society dictates. If you are suggesting I said I am not shaped by societal rules then you're forcing in that interpretation. The principle point being that societal rules are put in place by people through the nature of what they are, it is a self-perpetuating force and one that keeps humans alive enough to continue to propagate and, hopefully, "improve".
Also, what do you mean we do not think about morality in social situations, that is complete nonsense, as if you go around saying and doing whatever you want, in ignorance of what's deemed moral. Another incredible claim. We always think about the morality of the situation.
My bad! I should've explained this more. In a none social context I don't tend to think about the morality of eating meat, yet I eat meat. This can be applied to the social context too (after all whilst eating meat I am acting within a "social sphere", not hunkering away in a corner gnawing on the bones of a human I've just killed - not lately anyway!
). So I don't walk into a room full of people and consciously think about the morality of my every action and my every word, we are already doing this automatically, meaning we behave like humans do in a social context because that is how we behave, nothing that is deemed "social normal" is considered in a moral context (unless we're actively discussing morality!), yet if I see people fighting or in heated argument which veers outside the current social context then I will act with fear, or my conscience will supply me with the "good" behavior (in regards to what I personally think is right regardless of the laws of the land - although under the duress of them, as explained above.) In this regard "morality", which you've not defined relative to conscience or social anxiety, would likely straddle the line between them. The conscience is influenced by the society rules yet driven by the personal perspective, personal beilefs and the individuals make-up and experiential history within the given context. We all know rules are useful, but most of us are well aware that sometimes rules must be broken to adhere to our take on the situation. This is where Nietzsche goes into "will".
I guess I am saying here that "conscience", in the grander scheme of language, is "personal morality". Morality is what we frame to be the social acceptable, or normal, behavior. These are usually enforced by societal rules, yet there are no rules in law that say "being bad is illegal" because we have no means of measuring this well so we set the laws around items that we mostly agree with. The law is a living thing we steer and we are a law unto ourselves that collectively steer it (this should be pretty obvious and vastly intriguing.)
The only notable idea mentioned inyour post, are your comments on nature vs nurture. It took me longer than I care to admit, to realize most of this is garbled rambling (much like Nietzsche). Also, just because I quoted one line from Nietzsche, does not mean anything. I've only read one of his books, and the easiest one at that. Also, i've found that any reading of a philosophical book is going to be very tedious, and hard (written purposely this way), and there is no proper place to start (though many would say the Greeks).
Fair enough. You said you're new to philosophy so thought it worth mentioning. Yeah, tedious and hard. But you'll likely find that something you grapple with more than others, for me Nietzsche would seem more to my personal disposition (at least in my head), but I find him quite obtuse - probably because I jumped in head first too quickly. Beyond Good and Evil is much more accessible than Thus Spake for sure.
As I mentioned before we are all socially anxious, but we are not all handicapped by it.
Yeah, but we could just as well say we're all capable of murder, we're all sad, we're all happy, or we're all stupid. If we are all like this or like that in a social context then we're all just "social". Meaning, if being "social anxious" is the norm, then why call it "social anxiety" when we can just say we're all social? I am being a little pedantic here of course! It is a very interesting thing and I guess what has been revealed here, if anything, is how we cannot escape the "social" aspect of our nature/nurture, yet constantly seem to move about and try and make such a distinction (if you get my gist?)
Anyway, like I said, I'd rather not spend so much time going over and over this. I hope we have at least said things here to each other that will help further discussions in other topics.
Thanks for your time
note: If I reply here again it will be MUCH more brief.
-- Updated November 21st, 2017, 5:20 am to add the following --
I would just like to add food for thought in regard to conscience, morality and such ...
We could compare these things to what we can do, what we want to do, what we're allowed to do, and such.
The law, as dictated by society, doesn't tell me what I am allowed to do. It is a standard by which I readily guide my actions. That said we must be able to see that the law is in place due to a common human agreement (albeit one subject to degrees of personal ideologies and tyranny.) The "personal morality" I referred to as being synonymous with "conscience", would be the confliction between the non-written laws of society, accepted behaviours of culture/setting, the actual written laws, and my personal thoughts and positions (If I wanted to murder someone nothing would stop me if my will was strong - at least not stop me from putting my full force of effort to the task! What is allowed means something quite peculiar if you look closely.)