MONDAY-SUNDAY
December 3-9, 2001
volume 12, no. 159

Conscience keeps us focused on the ultimate goal
        "What is conscience? Conscience is a judgment of our reason telling us that we ought to do good and avoid evil. That brings up the question: What makes anything 'good?' A thing is good it it attains the end and the highest purpose for which it is made. A pencil is good if it writes, for that is the purpose of the pencil. But the pencil is 'not' good ito open a can with, for it was not made to open cans. If we use a pencil to open a can, not only do we not open it, but we break the pencil. If we use our lives for other purposes than those given by God, not only do we miss happiness, but we actually hurt ourselves and beget in us queer little 'kinks...'

        Apply that to man. When is man 'good?' A man is good when he attains the highest purpose for which he was made. This supreme goal cannot be to get the maximum pleasure out of life, because those who concentrate on having a good time rarely have it. Pleasure is only a bonus or a by-product of a duty. One does not eat ice cream to have pleasure; one has pleasure because one eats ice cream. If we set our affections not, say, on the family but on the pleasure a man hopes to have from having a family, the pleasure vanishes. Furthermore, our experience proves that we are most happy when we do not seek our own pleasure at all; the glutted, the jaded, the satiated are more miserable than the man who lives to serve his neighbor.

        Fame, reputation, a full safety-deposit vault cannot be the supreme goal of life either, because all these things are extrinsic to man; it matters little how much one has on the outside if he is not happy on the inside."


December 3-9, 2001
volume 12, no. 159
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