The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly

Volume 22, Issue 3, Autumn 2022

Timothy Hsiao
Pages 447-453

A Simple Argument for Respecting Conscience

Conscience is widely misunderstood. For many, conscientious objection, both religious and nonreligious, is regarded as nothing more than a convenient excuse to get around the rules. This essay provides an argument for respecting conscience. It shows how the conscience is an integral part of responsible decision-making and must be recognized and protected and ends with an application of the right of conscience to recent debates over mandatory COVID-19 vaccination. The goal of this essay is to show why there is a strong case for taking conscience seriously in ethics and public policy.

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