Ernest HemingwayErnest Hemingway, (1899-1961) American novelist, short story writer, and journalist

Ernest Hemingway Quote

“Everyone has his own conscience, and there should be no rules about how a conscience should function.”

Ernest HemingwayErnest Hemingway
~ Ernest Hemingway

Ratings and Comments

Logan, Memphis, TN

Absolutely -- The freedom of conscience is paramount to a free society.

Me Again, Your Town,USA.

There Are no rules about how a conscience should function (that I know of) BUT I do believe that the conscience of mankind,as a whole,can be more enlightened and made more pure as we focus our concience on beauty,goodness,love, forgiveness,compassion and the higher values in life.

David L Rosenthal

Ernest Hemingway obviously was never locked in a cage with Hannibal Lecter. If everyone had a healthy conscience, the world would be astonishingly and pleasantly unrecognizable.

Mike, Norwalk

Its not the conscience that should be ruled but rather the actions. Intent to do wrong can morally only be judged by a higher source; the act against another goes beyond "own" and can be corporeally ruled upon.

MIchael, Houston,T X

Sorry--I can't give Earnest a thumbs up on this one... History shows that, just as David said...the consicience is really a very poor guide for morals and its a down hill slope. Morals must be based on objective verities, not inner "every man doing what is right in his own eyes"--the very definition of anarchy--and pretty close to where we are now morally.

E Archer, NYC

It is the Conscience that weighs the words and actions of those called saints and sinners and judges them on their merits. In the end, it is the conscience that decides what is 'moral' or 'immoral', good or bad, right or wrong. What, we cannot trust our consciences? I can trust yours more than mine? No? I must trust the words in a dusty book because all of us living and breathing are vile and depraved? Snap out of it -- I suppose the Mind cannot be trusted either -- just follow the rules in this book -- oh, wait there are no actual rules, but there are 'morals' hidden in there somewhere -- just read it and shut up. Yes, that is what the nuns used to say even though I held God in much higher esteem. As far as I can tell, the message is that God is perfect but his creation is imperfect and getting more imperfect by the day so we have to rely on words spoken 5000 years ago and written down by one of only 10 people ever in the history of the world who could speak for God. I, however, will take my chances and ponder the existence of all things with an awesome respect for this gift we call Life and the infinite mystery that surrounds it.

Joe, Rochester, MI

Great, now Rosenthal wants there to be thought police. You can't control thought, and are wrong to restrict law-abiding citizens with laws simply because 1% of the population are irrational and "might" do something bad. Criminals, terrorists, even Hannibal Lecter, don't care about and are unaffected by laws, and will break them whenever they choose. Gun control is the perfect example. We would be better off if every law-abiding adult were required to carry a handgun for self-defense. This would make criminals afraid of the people, and free up police to fight crime.

David L Rosenthal

I merely meant to imply that not everyone has a healthy conscience. And when we were created, God established the inescapable rules about how the conscience functions, and how it ceases to function.

Jack, Green, OH

The so-called conscience is usually the fear of being caught or losing face, not a mystical inner spirit independent of consequences.There are truly altruistic people who perform acts of heroism or self-denial, but for the most part, people behave either out of fear or greed.

E Archer, NYC

Give it a rest, David. I am weary of your pablum -- God said this, God said that. If God indeed ever did speak such nonsense, you weren't there to hear it - which means he wasn't talking to you. Express an original thought, if you can. If man has a conscience and God created man, then God created man's conscience as well. Your arrogant philosophy is suitable only for robots and Nazis.

Mike, Norwalk

Conscience is a complex of ethical and moral principles that controls or inhibits the actions or thoughts of an individual; or it is an inhibiting sense of what is prudent. If there is a lack of conscience, for what ever reason (born lacking a conscience, raised by wolfs or other liberals :-), or attended and American college hmmm, etc.) the Lex Luthers, Hannibal Lecters, etc. would form a set of individuals outside the scope of the quote. No need to read something in to it that doesn't exist.

Michael, Houston, TX

The problem is of course, is that the conscience is pretty much a tabla rasa (that's blank slate for you folks from NYC)..and will be trained by what the child learns....pablum is the thinking that we can not train our children in morals and that they will make good decision when they are older with an untrained conscience.... The problem is sir, you do not, and will not, instinctively know what is right or wrong without outside assistance.... Sorry...and I don't mean a Villiage Idiot. God bless

  • Reply
anonymous    4/3/14

The conscience of most mass murderers seems to be nonexistent - as it is with most sociopaths.

Mike, Norwalk

David, where can I find the god made list where these "inescapable rules about how the conscience functions, and how it ceases to function" are categorized. Hmm, maybe your hard core socialist comrade Jack, with his mandatory thought police would know where that list is (nah, Jack, along with the rest of the flat worlders don't have a clue where freedom or liberty can be found - too busy forcing their morals, ethics, religion and consciences on us non-slaves). anonymous above, let us assume your hypothesis is correct. Should those murderers and sociopaths be brought to justice because of their mental prowess or their actions ? Even though the act is most likely based on the thought, what is the criminal action against the innocent third party ?

bruski, naples FL

Go Ernie.


jim k, austin tx

It's hard to find fault with this quote.

Ron w13, Or

Much is being said about ( conscience ). The rules of conscience. On the surface, it seems simple in its application, but perhaps a closer look is what is needed. Con-science, Co knowledge of ones self. This is by Gods design of natural law. Man has and does live with out carnal law. You could say, a mirror that reflects the thoughts and intents of the heart. Ether approving or disapproving an action or thought. If those with out the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, they are a law unto themselves, their conscience bearing witness. The word is used 31 times in a KJB. The first mention is John 8:9 where lawyers attempt to trap the Lord with his judgment concerning a woman of unsuitable behavior. Seeming not to pay them any attention, writing on the ground. Then he spoke, let him that is with out sin cast the first stone. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience. Left the room. I do like Mikes technical meaning of the word. The witness borne to one's conduct by conscience , that faculty by which we apprehend the will of God, as that which is designed to govern our lives. The word is stressing that we receive input from our surroundings [ temptations, decision making events, etc. ] and we are driven to make a decision. We compare what we know with our conscience [ con- "with", science- "knowledge"] , our knowledge base about this input. If we follow our conscience we act according to what we know to be true about the situation and the consequences/blessings of our decision. We can violate our conscience by overriding that knowledge. Suneidesis. The sense of guiltiness before God. Some do turn away, as with a burnt conscience, to act freely with out moral constraint.

  • Reply
    anonymous    4/3/14

    Hemingway was often swept away with over the top assertions in his quest for heroism.

    Ron w13, Or

    Hemingway did like the bull ring. The Keys and Sun Valley. Little country stores, and a place to swap stories. Maybe catch a fish from time to time.


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