Conscious Vs Conscience

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Clause

Member
British English
I get conscious about disturbing the other guests, perhaps too much so. (source is my own writing)

Is it conscious or conscience? I've looked in the dictionary and I'm still not sure...

Many thanks,
 
  • JustKate

    Senior Member
    Can you tell us what confuses you about these words, Clause? The reason I ask is that the meanings are really not very similar, and I am therefore uncertain what else you need from us that the dictionary definitions don't provide. Do you just need us to expand on the dictionary definitions or...? I think some more information on you on what the exact problem is would be helpful in answering your question.
     
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    Clause

    Member
    British English
    Conscious = Aware of one's existence.
    Conscience = A sense of what is right a wrong.

    In my sentence I am saying: I am aware that the music being too loud may affect the others. Therefore I am aware of how my existence might effect other people because I have a sense of what is right and wrong.

    Do you see why I am confused?
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    In that case you are concious of your noise level and the needs others.

    If you persist you might have a guilty conscience about your actions.
     

    JustKate

    Senior Member
    "Right or wrong" in the definition of conscience refers to moral or ethical questions - your conscience is supposed to tell you what is the right thing to do from the perspective of your moral code. Whether to play loud music isn't usually considered a moral question (although I guess it could become so if a person it really obnoxious about it ;)). If you play your music too loud, you may annoy people, you may interrupt their sleep, you may even make them angry, but you are not defying a moral code.

    But in the case of loud music a nice person will try to be conscious of the comfort of others. Conscious here means "aware." You're aware of how your actions affect others.
     

    Clause

    Member
    British English
    Ahh now I'm confused! Again! :s

    Let me give you the real sentences:

    I was also concerned he might be disturbing the guests in the next room because he would turn it up [music] loud. I get conscious about these things, perhaps too much so.

    So in this example what would you write?
     

    JustKate

    Senior Member
    It's conscious - you are aware of how your actions affect others. You became conscious that the action of turning up the music might disturb other people.

    All other considerations aside, as Pete pointed out, conscience is a noun, so you can't "get conscience."
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I don't think conscious expresses what you want to say. The sentence would then be saying "I become aware of these things, perhaps too much so". You might mean you become anxious or feel somewhat guilty (you develop a gulity conscience when you become aware/conscious that he might disturb - perhaps that is what is confusing you).
     

    Clause

    Member
    British English
    Basically: We are in a hotel room. My friend turns his music really loud. I feel anxious that he is disturbing the other guests. It's really terrible music! I am aware he is disturbing the other guests because... well in all likely hood he is disturbing the other guests. It makes me anxious because by association I am disturbing the other guests. It makes me uncomfortable that the other guests might be uncomfortable. And it annoys me he doesn't seem to see that his actions will effect others, or if he does, he just doesn't care. In fact it makes me so mad I just want to explode. Perhaps I care too much.
     
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    Clause

    Member
    British English
    In fact I think I'm going to elaborate and write something more similar to the above! Thanks for bringing out the creative side in me everyone. :)
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    You could say worried, but it is fine to use conscious to show you are aware of the other guests, what does not flow on from that in your original sentence is the "perhaps too much" tag.
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    A minor correction:

    Basically: We are in a hotel room. My friend turns his music really loud. I feel anxious that he is disturbing the other guests. It's really terrible music! I am aware he is disturbing the other guests because... well in all likely hood he is disturbing the other guests. It makes me anxious because by association I am disturbing the other guests. It makes me uncomfortable that the other guests might be uncomfortable. And it annoys me he doesn't seem to see that his actions will affect others, or if he does, he just doesn't care. In fact it makes me so mad I just want to explode. Perhaps I care too much.
     

    sparklark

    Member
    Chinese
    Basically: We are in a hotel room. My friend turns his music really loud. I feel anxious that he is disturbing the other guests. It's really terrible music! I am aware he is disturbing the other guests because... well in all likely hood he is disturbing the other guests. It makes me anxious because by association I am disturbing the other guests. It makes me uncomfortable that the other guests might be uncomfortable. And it annoys me he doesn't seem to see that his actions will effect others, or if he does, he just doesn't care. In fact it makes me so mad I just want to explode. Perhaps I care too much.

    I think it shows you are a conscientious person, readily conscious of what may cause others displeasure.
     

    wolfbm1

    Senior Member
    Polish
    I put :conscience about" in the 'in context feature and I received interesting examples:
    "Komarov has access to weapons-grade nuclear material and has grown a conscience about it."
    Source:
    Family Filmgoer reviews ‘Safe Haven,’ ‘Beautiful Creatures’ and ‘Identity Thief’ by Jane Horwitz

    "
    Massive Environmental ScandalThe decision to retrieve the drums was primarily motivated by politics. It was taken because politicians have a bad conscience about how they have treated their constituents."
    Source: Abyss of Uncertainty: Germany's Homemade Nuclear Waste Disaster, by Michael Fröhlingsdorf, Udo Ludwig and Alfred Weinzierl

    “He's more athletic than I ever was,” Kim said. “I had to compensate for some slowness and lack of athleticism. He also feels a little more responsible for losses than I ever did, not that I didn't feel responsible. And I didn't have a conscience. If I missed three shots in a row, I didn't care. I was going to make the next one. And if I missed that, I was going to make the next one. He has more of a conscience about it.”

    Source: Miss Basketball's son carves out his own stellar career, by Anthony Anderson

    So, maybe one can grow a conscience about a situation.
    or
    One can have a bad conscience about a situation. :rolleyes:
     

    JustKate

    Senior Member
    No, that's not how the concept known as "a conscience" works. Your conscience is something innate - from the moment each person becomes aware of right and wrong, it's the little voice inside that says "I should not do this. This is wrong." Or: "It is up to me to do this. This is the right thing to do." You don't "get a conscience" about a particular thing because the conscience existed before the issue, whatever it is, arose. I don't want to get into the question of whether a conscience is spiritual or cultural in origin, but however it develops, it exists independent of a specific issue.

    You become aware - or conscious - about an issue, and your conscience is the thing that gives you a moral judgement about it.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    It's pushing the question a little, but I might disagree with JustKate when she says You don't "get a conscience" about a particular thing. For two reasons:

    1. Conscience is often used to mean guilty conscience. And your sense of guilt can only come after doing something wrong, hardly before.
    2. An organisation may quite easily "get" or "grow" a conscience by a deliberate sequence of awareness-raising and decision-making.
     

    JustKate

    Senior Member
    It's pushing the question a little, but I might disagree with JustKate when she says You don't "get a conscience" about a particular thing. For two reasons:

    1. Conscience is often used to mean guilty conscience. And your sense of guilt can only come after doing something wrong, hardly before.
    2. An organisation may quite easily "get" or "grow" a conscience by a deliberate sequence of awareness-raising and decision-making.
    I think you are pushing the question a bit, Keith. You may indeed have a guilty conscious about a particular thing, but the conscience existed prior to that. (Keep in mind that I'm not advocating the validity of this theory but just how the words are used.) The feeling of guilt occurs as a result of a particular action or thought or whatever, but guilt isn't synonymous with conscience. And you don't grow a conscience - at least not as I've heard the word used. You grow conscious or you become aware. That's why they used to call those groups that were so popular in the '60s and '70s "consciousness raising groups" and not "conscience raising groups."
     
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