Doug Martin, member of the bahai universal house of justice, Boston Baha'i
Center -- Monday, September 23, 2001
"We have inherited a dangerous delusion from Christianity
that our individual conscience is supreme. This is not a Baha'i
belief. In the end, in the context of both our role in the community and our
role in the greater world, we must be prepared to sacrifice our
personal convictions or opinions. The belief that individual conscience is
supreme is equivalent to "taking partners with God" which is
abhorrent to the Teachings of the Faith."
https://www.bahai-library.org/talks/martin.watson.html Search for full text. (Edit > Find > "conscience")
Compare Horace Holley, 1925: "The individual conscience must be subordinated to the decisions of the elected Spiritual Assembly." Page 74, Ruth White, Abdul Baha's Questioned Will and Testament. Beverly Hills: Ruth
Compare: "This attitude of subservience and
servility among the believers has been studiously cultivated by Mr. Horace
Holley who, in an article . . . writes: *The individual conscience must
be subordinated to the decisions of a duly elected Spiritual Assembly*.
Now, it happens that Abdul Baha thought otherwise, as can be seen in *A
Traveller's Narrative*, written as far back as 1874" (91). Mirza Ahmad
Sohrab. The Will and Testament of Abdul Baha, An Analysis. New York:
Universal Publishing, 1944.
Compare Doug Martin and Horace Holley to Abdul-Baha's actual words regarding freedom of conscience
"the conscience of man is sacred and to be respected; and that liberty thereof produces widening of ideas, amendment of morals, improvement of conduct, disclosure of the secrets of creation, and manifestation of the hidden verities of the contingent world."
Re: Individual conscience... and Martin's
statement. 5/12/2002 Prof. Juan Cole, Ron House