Science in Christian Perspective



John R. Howitt, M.D.
Supt., Ontario Hospital., Ft. William, Ontario

From: JASA 3 (March 1951): 10-20.                                             Comments

One of the most significant factors in human experience is the sense of guilt. Feelings of guilt are experienced very early in life at least as far back in childhood as one can remember. The small boy., for example, who has never been told that he must not steal the cookies, nevertheless feels an Immediate sense of guilt when he does so. This is at once apparent when the mother discovers the child in the act of stealing. When a child
first masturbates, he usually does so without breaking any command of his parents.,- nevertheless he Is very conscious of a sense of guilt. Feelings of guilt must., therefore, be present very early in life, perhaps even in Infancy.

A Universal Human Experience

The guilt reaction is also universal in human experience. Longfellow (1) has said "that in even savage bosoms there are longings,
yearnings, strivings for the good they comprehend not", These elementary aspirations reflect the sense of guilt in primitive man, a sense of failure and a realization of imperfection which cannot be understood or satisfied. Missionaries report that the primitive native is invariably conscious of a sense of sin.

No Sense of Guilt Among Other Animals

There is certainly no evidence of any such element in the whole realm of biology apart from man. There is no Indication whatever that animals experience any feelings of guilt in stealing foods 'or
in mating when and where they please, or in destroying, fteh other. It is true, of course, that animals can be trained to protect property and not to do certain things which their master forbids, but this is the result of training and may be regarded as a conditioned reflex.

The Sense of Guilt

The sense of guilt might be compared to a natural instincts like that of hunger or self-preservation$ and it is the inevitable outcome of man's
A priori moral sense of good and evil. This moral sense stems from the sin of our first parents who ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (Gen. 2:17 and 3:6) Because man can distinguish between good and evil, as no other species is able to dos he alone is morally responsible for his conduct and he alone experiences a sense of guilt when he commits sin, Adam and Eve were immediately conscious of their guilt (Gen. 317) after they had eaten of the forbidden fruit.

Gregory Zilboorg (2) seems to recognize the instinctual nature of the sense of guilt although., as an Analysts he naturally interprets the same from the psychoanalytical point of view. He states that "Freud showed the humble origin of man's mind, but he also showed that man possesses almost an instinct against many of his lowly, universal drives". No one can escape from this inner consciousness of guilt
and there is ever present in the heart of man a haunting sense of failure and of judgment to come. The guilt reaction is indeed intimately linked with the thought of judgment And the two concepts are inseparable. "It is appointed unto men once to dies but after this the judgment. (Heb. 9s27)

The Conscience

The word "conscience" comes from the Latin verb 'cognosco' to know, and implies nothing more. The word does not appear in the King James version of the Old Testament. In the New Testament., the Greek word so translated (according to Strong's concordance) implies the thought of co-perception, meaning to see completely or to understand or to becomes aware, The word occurs 32 times in the New Testament and in each instance the meaning appears to be the senses that of consciousness or awareness. Conscience might, therefore, be described as the sum total of all our awareness or knowledge in the moral sphere. The conscience might be regarded as the outgrowth or development of the
a priori or instinctual knowledge of good and-evil.

With the development of the intellectual faculties there occurs a corresponding development of the moral sense. The intellectual faculties have fully developed by the age of 14 to 16 which is the normal standard of intelligence and the moral senses or the ability to distinguish between good and evil, appears to have fully developed by this time also. It was for this reason that long ago the Church with a profound knowledge of practical psychology set the age of confirmation at 14. It was believed that at this age the child to moral sense was sufficiently developed to make him responsible for his own conduct and to enable him to make his own decisions. This truth was discovered by the Church long before the modern science of psychology came into being and long before the development of intelligence tests,

As our knowledge of good and evil develops from infancy to
maturity the con science must have some relation to a fixed standard or moral code and that standard we know is revealed to us in the Ten Commandments. These commandments were not given until nearly 2,500 years after the expulsion from Eden but during the intervening period of time between Eden and Mount Sinai man enjoyed a knowledge of good and evil as the record clearly shows, due to his instinctual knowledge and the revelations of God, Later, however, the standard of good and evil was defined in the Ten Commandments.

The Doctrine of Rewards

The atheists state that Christianity is unethical because of
the doctrine of rewards. Theoretically there should perhaps be no incentive necessary to do what is right. It may be said that virtue is its own reward., but God., in His infinite wisdom, knew that "the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked". (Jer. 170) In his fallen state man must have some incentive to counteract the evil within. The doctrine of rewards implies a sense of responsibility and therein lies the ethical value of the incentive. The same concept carries with it also the negative aspect of condemnation where there has been failure. Here then is the basis of the guilt reaction, We can distinguish between good and evil and when we fail to do what is right we stand condemned as a consequence of which feelings of guilt Are engendered. "Therefore thou art inexcusable., 0 man." (Rom. 21l)

Orign of the Guilt Reaction

According to Freud the guilt reaction., or the guilt complex~ has emerged in the process of evolution by the development in
man of the super ego which is not in the realm of consciousness., But if the guilt reaction developed by a process of evolution, from what did it develop? We have already noted that there Is no evidence of any sense of guilt in the lower animals and the reason for this is that they have not the knowledge of good and evil which we enjoy. No special revelation has been given to them, as to man,9 nor are they capable of understanding the Ten Commandments. Therefore they will not be judged in eternity as we shall be. It would probably be futile to argue that the knowledge of good and evil with the consequent sense of guilt in man leaves An unbridgable gap between himself and the lower primates. Nevertheless to the Christiam this is obvious and needs no further elaboration or confirmation.

The guilt reaction could not have evolved from the brute creation. Ifty should a man feel guilty when he steals bread in order to satisfy his natural hunger for foodor to preaerve-Ke life? Why should a man experience Any feeling of guilt in indulging his natural desire towards A wqman who is not his wife? There can be Only one answer. It is because man alone of all the species can distinguish between good
and evil.

Consequence of Guilt

The sense of guilt to one of the most potent sources of fear and misery among men. It has been said that no man can be happy who has a feeling of guilt and this is probably true. In a Christian society even such relatively trivial matters as a slight act of discourtesy or rudeness will leave one with a sense of guilt and shame which may render a person unhappy and miserable for a tir4e,

There is no question of the part which the guilt reaction plays in
the role of mental hygiene, Thus Prof. Paul E. Johnson (3) of Boston University states quite rightly that "Guilt" is a problem that concerns religion first because religious people are responsible for fostering sense of sin - talking and teaching of God as a stern judge, a watchful eye who is continually looking on and seeing even what we do in secret and what our secret thoughts may be, And teaching that God is an avenging and punishing Deity. High moral Ideals, which are fostered by religion,increase tension And failure, Perfectionism is a painful stress that consistently brings on a sense of inferiority....

Religion has also taught a vivid eschatology of reward and punishment in the
future life to stimulate the urgency of attaining these ideals and the fear of falling Short of them. Religious codes also have repressed sex and the lusts of the flesh with forbidding commandments - 'Thou shalt not'. They have added increasing emotional anxiety by cosmic imperatives which bring more urgency behind this sense of guilt.

Religious organizations and people, therefore, have a special responsibility because of fostering the sense of sin. We also have responsibility to provide a -way of solving guilt problems. The burden becomes unbearable unless release is offered. Severe depressions and compulsions withdrawal or paranoiac tendencies may arise in this way."

Evasion of the Sense of Guilt

There can be no doubt that a sense of guilt and failure may lead to a morbid state of mind. In recent years however, a very simple solution to this problem from the point of view of mental hygiene has been evolved. Since the moral law is the basis of man's sense of guilt with its consequent fear and anxiety,
it has become more And more common to ignore entirely the law of God. This is well illustrated in the sexual field. The publication of the Kinsey report, for instances has revealed that perversions of one kind or another are perhaps more common than was formerly suspected. Now all this information is to be made the basis of a new moral code. What people do by nature is now regarded as normal and will constitute the moral code of the future based on biology apart from any ethical or Divine standard whatever. Prof. Kinsey (4) and his associates thus "conclude that normality and abnormality are primarily moral issues without biologic justification and that it is society's code which is responsible for the psychic trauma causing personality disturbance".

It may be noted in passing that if we concede one aberration from the moral code as right or proper we would have to condone all aberrations. Thus if we approve of homosexuality on the ground that it is.. like left handedness., a personality trait beyond the scope of the individual to change, then we would have to approve of sadism also as a
component of the personality. And if we approve of these perversions as normal or right we must accept the consequent working out of the same in the lives of the individuals,, with all that that implies. It is amazing how far and how rapidly one can travel if one fails to recognize the true state of fallen man.

Moral Declension

It is interesting to follow the three stages which have led the world Into its present chaotic state of lawlessness and fear and hatred. First of all the great humanitarians or-humanists taught that religion should be abolished without destroying morality. It was contended that morality would be preserved for its own sake. It was even taught that there was no relationship between religion and morality. In practice, however this concept has led
to hopeless failure as we all know. The next stage in the downfall was to suggest that morality could be discarded without impairing the order of society. All too late it is being die, covered that without morality the enforcement of law is impossible and chaos inevitably follows. If the moral law be defied in the sexual fields for examples it is inevitable that there will be a rapid increase in lying and stealing as - well. And when the rights of property are not respected., neither mill the lives of men be respected. This inevitably leads to an increase in murder and brutality as-we see everywhere today. The third stage in the downfall is the idealization of the very lawlessness which is the outcome of the breakdown of morality. Lawlessness and sin and violence are being extoled as virtues in themselves and the and result is that "men's hearts are fai1ing them for fear and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth". (Luke 21:26)

Morality and Psychology

Psychiatrists and psychologists have largely followed the destructive teachings of Freud and the general idea has developed that the moral low with its., implication of the guilt reaction should be abolished on the ground of mental hygiene. This mould relax the inhibitions and eliminate an the discordant complexes which beset the human mind. By abolishing the sense of guilt we would be emancipated from its sordid influence and an men would be free. Such is the forlorn hope of the modern world.

Zilboorg (2) fully appreciates the quarrel between religion in the broad sense of the term and psychiatry over the guilt reaction and states that "psychiatry must get away from its new medievalism whichs by identifying the neurotic ~pd the moral sense of guilt, serves to ascribe moral values td health and disease". H6 has stated elsewhere
(5) "For of recent years we seem to have fallen into the general error that all sense of guilt is neurotics all conscience reactions are super-ego reactions, and that not to feel guilty is the ide&l of normalcy. It is this almost unconsious purely philosophical error into which we have drifted that has made us a prey in the hands of those who would attack psychiatry and psychoanalysis for their alleged godlessness and immorality",

The Concept of

The fact of guilt involves the question of punishment. In the Christian ethic there is no ambiguity or doubt of the reality of punishment for sin. "The wages of sin is death." (Rom. 6t23) Our Lord's description of the rich man in hell (Luke 16s23-24) and other passages of Scripture (Mark 943) are sufficient authority for the truth of punishment beyond the grave for the sin$ done in the flesh. It is interesting to note however the rapid decline in recent years of the concept of punishment as ethical and proper. Largely as a result of the philosophy and teaching of John Dewey, many authorities now consider it wrong to punish children. The muddled thinking of the modern world seems to confuse cruelty with Punishments but this is only an example of the superficial thinking of today. Punishment implies the concept of paying the penalty and must be just and tempered with mercy., but cruelty is the infliction of pain or suffering without cause. It is often a greater cruelty not to punish a child than to allow him to grow up with bad habits which will destroy his usefulness in society and his enjoyment of life in later years. Childhood is the Divinely appointed period of life for training. It is of primary importance,, therefore that children should be trained rather than amused. How are children to understand the great principles of the judgment to come if they do not learn in childhood that punishment follows wrong doing?

Not only in regard to children., but in the case of lawbreakers., the same curious confusion of thought occurs. Hugh Christie (6), Director of Correction's acceptance of the fact that prisons., when using retributive methods make Little contribution to the genuine protection of society.
Canadian institutions remain almost completely punitive in nature. The article then goes on to describe some of the cruelties which exist in Canadian penal institutions today. Cruelty, of courses can never be justified, but punishment is necessary as a deterrent to the offender and it is corrective as many of us can testify from childhood experience. This truth is also confirmed by the testimony of many offenders against the law who have learned their lesson. It is well that men should learn here and now that 'wrong doing will be punished else how will they ever understand the truth of the Judgment to come?

In discussing the problem of juvenile delinquency and the increase in crime, the trouble is that those in authority do not realize that we have entered upon the period of time which the prophetic Word has foretold would be characterized by the spirit of lawlessness, and Which will prepare the way for the ant4christ who is the lawless one. (2 Thess. 2:7) Consequently all investigations which do not take this fact into consideration are quite useless and futile. So much is hidden from those who cannot discern the signs of the times. (Matt,,16:3) The truth of our Lord's second advent is the only key by means of which we may understand the days in which we live.

The Only Solution to the Problem

There is
only one solution to the problem of guilt. Prof. Read Bain (7) of Miami University refers to the doctrine of the blood atonement as one of the man - made myths., Nevertheless this so called myth is the basis of our present peace of mind and of all our hope for eternity. "Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin." (Heb. 9:22) It is this very fact which gives us the Scriptural and true answer to the problem of the guilt reaction, Instead of abolishing the-moral law# as has been suggested., with all its consequent ruination to the peace of the world let us rather abolish the sense of guilt in the individual with its attendant morbid results by finding a substitute to bear the penalty of sin and purge away the guilt. This is the Divine prescription.

The doctrine of the atonement is the only logical solution to the problem. If we accept the free gift of salvation by faith through the merit of Christ's atoning work on Calvary., then there will be not only judicial forgiveness but release of tension and peace of mind which Are not possible under any other circumstances. There will be no fear of the judgment to come for the believer's sins have been judged already on Calvary. The Gospel., therefore., presents the only satisfactory answer to this problem
And it is applicable to all who will accept the gracious invitation of the Saviour of the world Whom to know is life eternal. There is no greater therapeutic agent known to man in the field of mental hygiene than the application of the doctrine of the atonement.

The Applcation

When the guilt reaction is a symptom of a psychosis such as involation melancholia or manic depressive psychosis the patient should be referred to a psychiatrist for treatment, just as a patient with cancer would be referred to a surgeon. In such cases the sense of guilt has no basis in
reality. The depressed patient feels guilty in an exaggerated -way and may ascribe to himself a host of sins which he has never committed. Such patients are in need of active psychiatric treatment such as shock therapy psychotherapy., and occupational therapy et It may be noted in passing that there is no promise the Bible that believers will be exempt from mental or physical illness, The rain falls on the just and the unjust alike,

Where there are no evidences of organic change such as retardation of speech or thought or decreased psychomoter
Activity or Agitation, when the sensorium is clear and the reasoning power unaffected, and when, indeed, there is obviously no psychosis presents then the minister or the psychiatrist can point to the blood of Christ as the only means by which the guilt complex may be resolved. The writer knows of one psychiatrist who is not a believer. This man, however., frequently uses the doctrine of the atonement as a therapeutic measure in his clinic., simply because he has found that it works. For the Christian psychiatrist.. however, there is much more involved than the purely therapeutic aspects of the problem. The eternal salvation or a human soul is of far greater importance than any temporary relief of symptoms and it wou1d be a sacrilege to employ the Gospel for any leaser purpose than the glory of God.

Only God can forgive sins and only He can heal the broken heart. Even Zilboorg (8) seems to realize this when he states, "The principle is a simple one: we, want to relieve our patients of the sense of guilt for things they have never really or wittingly done, and we leave them with the conscious sense of guilt for things they have really done. As a matter of fact we could not relieve them of this real sense of guilt even if we wanted to. Those who impute to us the possession of this magic power do so only to attack in us the figure of their own imagination of what a psychiatrist or a psychoanalyst is. The purely clinical manifestations of moral values have as a rule nothing to do with real moral values. They are guilts expressed in terms of moral values. Real moral values are non-neurotic; they are healthy. It may be added that Gregory Zilboorg's contributions to the psychiatric problem of the guilt reaction are perhaps the best that have appeared in recent years on this subject.

We see then that the Christian psychiatrist can make an important positive contribution in his chosen field by the application of the doctrine of the atonement in dealing with the problem of the guilt reaction. With the knowledge of sin forgiven and with the assurance of salvation there comes complete release of tension to the tortured
soul. Anxiety and fear are abolished and into the heart of man to born "that peace which passeth all understanding". (Phil. 40) Then and then only.. is it-possible to forget "those things which are behind" and to reach forth "unto those things which are before" (Phil. 3213) in the Christian life. This is true mental hygiene.


(1) Longfellows:
Song of Hiawatha. Introduction, lines 88-90.

(2) Zilboorg:: Digest of Neurology
and Psychiatry April 1950., p. 226.

(3) Johnson: Psychiatry and Religion, The Beaton Press, 1948, p. 126-128 (4) Kinsey: Psychiatric Quarterly 1949.9 p. 790. (5) Zilboorg: American Journal of Psychiatry, April 1950., P-7470

(6) Christie: Canadian Bar Review November,, 1949s P.

(7) Bains: Scientific Monthly, Julys 1947.. p. 68.

(8) Zilboorg; American Journal of Psychiatry April 1950s p. 747,



Mr. James Buswell III

Guilt in childhood is not necessarily felt in some cultures, where stealing is condoned, for instance, the stealing of horses among the Dakota Indians, and I would   submit that in many cultures where different systems of values hold., that the guilt reaction is not present in connection with the same behavior. We must differentiate between the moral law of God and culturally established systems of value which are purely relative. Therefore, the illustration of sexual indulgence of masturbations or stealing, although in some parts of the world cultures condoned do not necessarily give rise to feelings of guilt. The conscience is a function of the learned cultural system of values and the development of the conscience would not be universally the same, The paper is valid, but not universally so. It must be qualified by saying that it applies only to one cultural system of values.

Dr. Marquart

I wonder If a few passages from the scriptures might not sort of clear up some of those points. It is surprising how scripture answers questions in so many of these comparative psychological problems. For Instance, we refer to Freud and his super ego which is only acquired through experience, yet we as Christians must believe that conscience is innate. We are born with a4 conscience; it is inherent in us from birth., but  according to Romans 2.l5 we see that the conscience does not come into operation until after the reasoning -- that is the thought life -- comes into function, which is, we would say then, after the age of three; it is acquired by experience and environment, In accordance with what it says in Proverbs "Train up a child in the way that he should go and he will not depart therefrom." Dr. Howitt uses the term "conditioned" as though that was the only way we could acquire anything. That wouldn't be good for a Christian to follow. He mentions in some places here how the Freudians indicate that if you suppress these impulses that are within you it will develop a conflict and cause a maladjustment and neurosis. Very often it is just the other ways as Dr. Howitt knows too, and he suggests that he has seen cases-!.and I have seen them too-that actually developed a neurotic condition because they gave way to the impulses which they should have suppressed, They repressed their conscience, in other words and you can't do that and get away with it as a human being It will cause earthquakes In your personality every time. One of the best examples I know is a soldier overseas who did something that he bad been trained not to do and he ended up by stealing a jeep in order to get the punishment that he knew he so richly dezerved and he was really a mess until I finally brought him back by 1 John ls9 to the original belief that he had. He was a Christian soldier, by the way. Similar cases would illustrate how the guilt re, actions when the conscience is repressed, develop all kinds of maladjustments.

Mr. Uuras Saarnivears,

The reason guilt reactions differ among different people is obviously caused by the fact that the knowledge of right and wrong is not innate in them, The conscience does not
contain knowledge of what is right and wrong, It is formal in the sense it does not say what is right or wrongs but when we learn *at is right and wrong then our conscience binds us to that, so that all the knowledge of right or wrong is learned from other people or from the Bible, For example., cannibals feel that it is their obligation to kill their enemies and eat them. In order that our conscience would be able to react In a proper way it must be enlightened and guided by the Bible, by the word of God--and If we remember this., that the conscience does not contain knowledge of, right and wrongs but it binds us to do what is right and forbids us to do what is wrong., If we, know what is right or wrong.

Mr. John Wiebe

We sometimes have to own up that our understanding of right and wrong is not always absolutely Biblical, but it is to some extent more or less the way it has been brought down to us from generation to generation. We have to get this under standing of right and wrongs.  Now there was a missionary who went to South Africa. When he came there he said he was terribly surprised be0ause the negroes would lie all the time--well., practically all the time-no matter if the truth would serve them better, and their byword was "mother you lie; father you lie; sister you lie, preacher you lie", and he said, "Now  lets get together. If you ever catch me telling a lie I will treat the whole crowd., and I will treat them right", and they watched him one week, two weeks, three weeks; It was the biggest shook they ever had in their lives to see a man that, always spoke the truth.. and he said that was the greatest move to bring them Into Christianity. He could leave for two or three weeks, leave all kinds of Jewelry on the table and they would walk back and forth and wouldn't take a thing. The German saying is,, "A young liar is an old thief." That always goes together,, but there never was anything missing so he traced back their traditions and he found out that there was a ruling that if anybody got caught stealing he-was beheaded,, and in many cases before they killed a man they killed both his wife and children to make him suffer as much as possible. Then the British Government came in and stopped it, For this case you get one year in the penitentiary; for that thing you get six months in Jail; for this thing six days, and they imported the Chinese and the Hndus and they stole.; went to jail for a week or two., and the first thing you knew they were just as well versed on stealing as anybody else.

Dr. Monama

I would like to make a few remarks in connection with the remarks that were made by Mr. Buswell a while ago about the difference in guilt reaction among different civilizations. Fundamentally,, It seem to me that in the human race there to definitely guilt reaction. If you go back to our parents, when they had committed sin we find a deep guilt reaction immediately after they had committed the sin, That seems to have been a normal condition originally of human nature. Now we find that that guilt reaction is missing among certain civilizations. What is the cause of that? It seems to me the cause is sin.. The further they get away from God the less the guilt reaction will be. Wherever they are acquainted with God, and where they have his special revelation, the guilt reaction is increased. So, It seems to me that our duty is simply thins the bringing of the gospel., always applied first to acquaint these people with his Jawn. When they see their sin
they will also be willing to accept the mercy of Jesus Christ.

Dr. Eckert

I wanted to ask., does this mean then that we believe the guilt reaction I* not an innate or native property, or whatever Instinct it Is now called,- do we accept that as being consistent with the scriptural teachings?

Dr. Monsma

I would like to reply to that. In reformed theology we distinguish between common and special grace and I think that in the human race there is this common grace left, with these various civilizations.
do not have the special grace there of God's special revelation.

Dr. Eckert

What I am referring to is the second chapter of Romans. Aren't we told there that all men become a law unto themselves and that they are judged - first., without the law; and aren1t we told subsequent to that that when they by their own conscience do the things that produce A law unto them., they have by instinct a
guilt complex,, or am I reading something into the scripture?

Dr. Monsma

In some of these areas they do not have
a guilt complex for the same reasons we do, In fact, it Is pointed out if they don't have a guilt, complex for going Out and stealing horses they do have a guilt complex for something else. There is that basic guilt complex. Why does anyone feel guilty about doing anything which for some reason or other in their civilization has been forbidden? The point is When you go back to the beginning, that there was a command of God that they were not to eat before there was any falling away, When they did it they recognized the fact that they had transgressed that command. It seems to me the guilt complex grows out of that. If there hadn't been any command there wouldn't have been any transgression so it seems to me the specifics to which they come to be attached, as pointed out as the proceed of learning, civilization, and covered by a great many things, and what they feel guilty about isn't the important thing.

Mr. Buswell

The fact that these other cultures which have guilt reactions on different things is not so much they have less or more guilt reactions than our culture but that they are governed by different cultural values. It is true also that the guilt reaction of Adam and Eve would not seem to be so much instinctive as learned from the c=aand of God. Dr. Howittle examples were brought as bearing universally., and oW criticism was that those examples applied only to our awn culture, not that there-wasn't guilt reaction in all mankind,

Dr, Monsma

I think I would agree with Mr. Buswell2 on that. The example of the boy who feels a guilt reaction on stealing cookies, I think., all depends on whether he is allowed to take the cookies. When he comes in after school or any other time, he can take a cooky, and that is perfectly all right; when the cooky jar is empty he doesn't have any guilt reaction; he says., "Mother the cooky jar is empty." Of course., here is the thing we have to bear in mind: Psychologically, sometimes it is impossible to trace back and find out where the youngster ever got the idea that he should not do certain things. Sometimes you can't trace them. Your own youngsters come around and they have certain react4ons,, too., that you ~Ave never taught them. Maybe some neighbor child is not allowed to do a certain thing) so they get the idea that maybe they shouldn't do it, So I think the examples myself often were not very well chosen; didn't really illustrate the point he was trying to make.

Dr. Marquart

The guilt response is a better tem than guilt reaction. The Pygmies know what is right to do but they cannot do It. That is almost a Christian concept. On the other hand there are other people that have so far been distorted
away from the usual guilty reactions that we saw even in Adam, that they feel perfectly complacent as long as they have a necklace about their necks and nothing else on; they think they are perfectly dressed up and that, of course, is quite a distortion away from what one would ordinarily find among human beings. The guilt response is susceptible to a great deal of change acquired through the environment.

Mr. Wiebe

The Lord God said, to Adam and Eve you shall know right from wrong. They knew from then on right from wrong., and what did they do the first thing? They tried to cover it up, bide away, flee away from God. Nobody had told them anything of salvation yet. God came after and told them there would be a Savior coming. They had fallen very deep from God but they still had a certain amount of the image of God in them and had to be saved., and the difference between right and wrong and their conscience started bearing right, then and there. Take a small child that never has been with anybody else but probably father and mother., never seen any deceived;  the first time he tries to do something he is going to try to keep it secret., and there his conscience is going to beat whether he has been forbidden or not. Satan is already working before anybody else has had
a chance to have an influence on him.

Mr. Uuras Saarnivaara

We all
know that guilt reactions or general activity of conscience depend on several factors. The ability to have the guilt reaction on the activity of our conscience is inborn, The second factor is the knowledge of right and wrong, it is known from various sources, like the social customs and training and Christians and the Bible, but the is the fact that if man acts against his conscience first his guilt reaction is strong., but when he acts against his conscience again, it weakens and weakens and as the Bible says, the conscience is hardened, It becomes dull, and this of course, due to the fact that the spirit of God has left and leaves man when he continued to be disobedient, and activity of the conscience is aroused again by two factors, namely, the knowledge of right and wrong, and
it is because of that the law of repentance must be preached and the second factor is the presence and working of the Holy Spirit.      ,    

The knowledge of the law of God does not cause much guilt reaction unless the Holy Spirit makes the law effective in the conscience, but the law works only guilt reaction on fleeing away from God,, as it did in Paradise, and the gospel is needed in order that the conscience would be released from guilt and that we would be able to trust in God and not flee away from him because of our guilt. So this Innate Ability to feel or have this guilt reaction -the knowledge of right and wrong and habitual sinning, and the preach g of the law and the work of the Holy Spirit, all of them belong to the activity of the conscience., as we all know.