The story Pinocchio is about a wooden puppet whose nose grows long when he tells a lie. His friend, Jiminy Cricket, chirps, "Let your conscience be your guide." Pinocchio follows his advice, changes his ways, and returns to Geppetto his creator, where he is given a heart of flesh and is freed from his strings. However, to this advice it must add: yes and no. Let me explain.
Firstly, What is a conscience? The conscience, Puritan Richard Sibbes wrote in the seventeenth century, is the soul reflecting upon itself. The word from the original Greek for conscience means "co-knowledge" - an internal "knowledge" that either gives approval or disapproval to our choices, or conduct. My car provides a physical illustration of this. It has an alarm system that issues a shrill warning if I forget to turn off the headlights before leaving the car. I don't like the alarm's jarring sound of the alarm, but it saves me from a dead battery. I don’t know how many times I would have been stuck with a dead battery if I had not heeded that alarm.