I think we want to keep "conscience" distinguished from "soul",
I have met more than a few people in my lifetime who I've witnessed "change" from normal, rational people to completely demonic. I was petrified of them, yet God still protected me and they ultimately fled, or the Holy Spirit came down upon me and I was able to escape.
I've wondered since about the question of whether or not people can be born with no conscience. Judas Iscariot comes to mind. Barabbas the murderer, too and the lunatic in the mountains possessed by a legion of devils. And what of the seemingly soulless, barbaric men whose job it was to administer torturous scourging to the condemned?
Then I remember what God brought me out of. And the world in my flesh that He continues to steer me away from day by day, step by step.
All I know is what is impossible with men, is not with God. That is the honest to goodness truth. The Lord is faithful and sure. That’s all I need to know.
and while we're at it, we should look at the some other related distinctions.
1. Soul - common usage:
In common language we often use the word "soul" to mean something like "heartfelt" or "deeply feeling"... and thus "soulful" etc.
We might say a heartless or unfeeling person has no soul, and this is a fine use of the word for ordinary, common speech.
But this isn't what the word means when we use it theologically.
2. Soul - theological usage:
In theology, the soul really refers to the "self", that internal part of you, that part of you that is the real you, the spiritual you, which will continue on forever ... somewhere.
3. Keeping usage separated:
So if we look at the common usage of "soul" and the theological usage of "soul", it could all get confusing... but not if we just keep the two usages distinct.
The "conscience" is, biblically, our "moral perception", our ability to tell right from wrong. Sometimes we use it to mean our ability to CARE about right and wrong, or NOTICE right and wrong.
5. Conscience is not Soul:
Theologically, the conscience, our "moral perception", is NOT the soul, but it is a property OF the soul.
And as some have already stated, according to scripture this property, or ability, can become "seared"... it can become clouded, dull, and virtually cut off.
The conscience, our moral perception, can become so cold and dark, so buried under sin, that this "feeling" becomes "unfeeling", and so it becomes virtually useless.
6. Conscience and Consciousness:
Finally, we don't want to confuse the "conscience" with "consciousness"... since they sound similar, and they both have to do with the soul, they can be confused.
is the ability to both be aware, and to be self aware, it is to have a MIND.
Some think consciousness IS essentially the soul, and some feel it's just a PROPERTY of the soul... but it is generally what we call the "mind."
, on the other hand, is just the property of the soul that deals with moral perception.
Sometimes it's good to make distinctions when we're talking about confusing terms that have different usages.