What is Conscience?
Conscience is the inner voice in a man that moves him to do good under any circumstances and to avoid evil by all means. At the same time it is the ability to distinguish the one from the other. In the conscience God speaks to man.
Conscience is compared with an inner voice in which God manifests himself in a man. God is the one who becomes apparent in the conscience. When we say, “I cannot reconcile that with my conscience”, this means for a Christian, “I cannot do that in the sight of my Creator!” Many people have gone to jail or been executed because they were true to their conscience.
Can someone be compelled to do something that is against his conscience?
It is a moral tenet that no one may be compelled to act against his conscience, provided he acts within the limits of the common good.Anyone who overlooks the conscience of a person, ignores it and uses coercion, violates that person’s dignity. Practically nothing else makes man more human than the gift of being able personally to distinguish good from evil and to choose between them. This is so even if the decision, seen in an objective light, is wrong. Unless man’s conscience has been incorrectly formed, the inner voice speaks in agreement with what is generally reasonable, just, and good in God’s sight. (YOUCAT questions 295-296)