Life is filled with complex problems, not just within one's own frame of reference, but the world at large. There is definately no easy solution in the political realm. We all will approach problems with different ways of viewing the problem and the way we think best to solve the problem. The challenge is to those that have such conviction of thinking and being in the world, that there is little room for considering or viewing another's way of thinking, understanding or seeing how the problems can be solved. For these, the principled conscience is the ultimate determinor of their values. And these people believe that without such a principle, then "life" is doomed, and solutions will not be forthcoming.
Such a principled conscience is what causes conflict in the world, because of differences of principle and how that is understood within one's conscience or value system.
How is one to be humane to those whose principle leaves little room for diversity of conscience, or value? The only option it to agree to disagree and go one's way. But, when those with such opinions hold the reigns of power, these become dangerous to peace, because they become ideologically driven, whether by a material or spiritual motivation.
Our country is divided these days by such a division of "principle". The political realm is filled till it sickens the average citizen away from participating or caring about their country and protecting and promoting liberty and justice. Such "principled conscience" becomes a war that is not open to dialogue, but demands surrender of the other side. The Founders would have been aghast.
Although our Founders understood that orthodoxy was not the absolute in terms of expressing reality, neither did they think that scientific explaination would do, either, when it came to liberty and justice for all. The Founders were open to formulate a government that deemed equality before the law for its citizens. The law was "KING", no longer a "Divine Ruler, King".
The law protects its citizens by representing their interests, not in spite of their interests. "Self interest" and "Self government" was an investment in this experiential form of government. As citizens sought to better their life through their various pursuits, the world was "wide open". These pursuits only furthered the prosperity of the country in a free market and a free society. The only inhibition was in protection of another's same right to their interests.
Today, the public square is filled with various voices and opinions about how our government should run, what it should promote, and how it should all be accomplished. Our culture wars are intense debates about these principles of conscience.
How do we describe the world, and its reality? What is to be the focus of government, or should government have a focus, apart from a passive submission to "the people"? What interests should our government have abroad? And on what basis are those interests based and should it matter? Some may even believe that our government should have no interests abroad, but this seems improbable since the world has already stepped into that domain. American must play some part if she wants to continue to be a player in the game of trade, commerce, finance, and investments.
So, what is the value of a principled conscience? The value of a principled conscience is a value of identity, a value of commitment, purpose and life orientation. If we want to remain free and open to uphold justice for all, then we cannot let our principled consciences run the whole show. We must remain humane and civil in our differences.