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  1. alpacinoutd

    alpacinoutd Senior Member

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    liken human conscience to water

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by alpacinoutd, May 2, 2021.

    I was wondering if it would okay to liken human conscience to water.

    Do you find these natural?

    1. The doctor told him Gina would've survived had he brought her sooner to the hospital. This rocked the waters of his conscience like a violent summer storm.

    2. He was a psychopath. Nothing could so much as ripple the murky waters of his conscience.

    3. Somewhere in the backwaters of her conscience, she blamed herself for her daughter's failure.
     
  2. Idiosyncratic

    Idiosyncratic Member

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    Currently Reading::
    Six of Crows
    Sure, I've seen similar metaphors plenty of times. As for your specific examples, I've given my thoughts below.

    1. The wording here felt clunky and unnatural. I think the comparison would work better in an extended metaphor, where you could first establish the connection between water and consciousness, then compare the information to a summer storm, instead of trying to do both at once.

    2. The metaphor itself is clear, though the transition between the first and second sentences felt abrupt.

    3. The third one felt natural
     
  3. SapereAude

    SapereAude Active Member

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    I probably wouldn't have chosen water as a metaphor for the human conscience, but reading your sample sentences I think they convey your thoughts very well.
     
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  4. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Active Member

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    I have issues with #1 and #3 but it's more semantics. To me, a conscience is usually a more active real time process for evaluating decisions that haven't been made yet. It's part of a human consciousness but mainly related to decision making.

    But this just may be me, I may have a narrow definition of 'conscience'.

    To me, when bearing the effects of decisions already made, the conscience isn't involved, unless you say 'guilty conscience'. And guilty conscience is often invoked when no repercussions occur. Like when someone has a guilty conscience after cheating on their spouse, regardless of whether the spouse will know. And the conscience is active, nagging them to atone somehow, perhaps to confess.

    I'm dating myself, but there used to be a tv show called 'Herman's Head' and whenever he was in a dilemma three people (a good, bad, and neutral angel I think) would debate inside his head what the right thing to do is. That's what I think of as 'conscience'
     
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  5. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 12/210 MP: 0/130 Contributor

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    1 and 3 are not examples of conscience. Your conscience is what tells you something you've done is morally right or wrong.

    And a psychopath would have no conscience.

    I suspect you mean "consciousness".
     
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  6. Catriona Grace

    Catriona Grace Member

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    Like water, his conscience found its own level.
     
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  7. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber Contributor Contributor

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    how does that work
     
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  8. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    Hello me, it's me again
    You can subdue, but never tame me
    It gives me a migraine headache
    Sinking down to your level

    ~Dave Mustaine lyrics, from Sweating Bullets​
     
  9. Catriona Grace

    Catriona Grace Member

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    Dredged up from childhood memories over half a century old:

    You love yourself, you think you're grand.
    You go to the movies, you hold your hand.
    You put your arm around your waist,
    And when you get fresh, you slap your face.
     

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