For many, personal morality is something left unexamined except in difficult situations which runs contrary to Socrates great admonition. The prophet Isaiah wrote, “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD.” This examination is healthy but a worthy discipline for every human being. My moral philosophy is derived from a creator God revealed through the person of Jesus Christ as revealed in the Bible.
This moral philosophy must begin with the nature of myself and all mankind. Humans are created with the imago dei, or image of God, which will have profound impact as I will demonstrate soon. Unfortunately this imago dei is corrupted and leaves mankind dead and incapable of action that leads to God or actions that yield eternal benefit. This is not to say that man is incapable of actions recognized as “good.” It is due to this image that even fallen man is capable of amazing and good acts. This problem is solved through the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus. To use an analogy, I am not sick and in need of a doctor, or lacking skill and in need of a coach, but rather I was dead and in need of a savior. This transaction, initiated and provided by God, transformed me from the inside out. Simply put I am now free to live for God in the world being transformed day by day to become more like Christ.
This has profound implications for applying this ethic in the organizational realm of the Army. Behaviors spring first and foremost from my identity and ongoing transformation. First among these is the view that all mankind also possess the imago dei. If soldiers, civilians on the battlefield, and enemy combatants all are made in the image of God then my treatment of each with reflect this fact and will necessarily be better than if I viewed them from any other lens. Second, because everyone is made in the image of God I can demonstrate authentic love without ulterior motives. Third, striving for excellence is important because what I do in this material world is important both for the short term and for eternity. Fourth, any gifts and talents I possess are to be used for the benefit of not just myself but of others.
I believe this moral philosophy for two very distinct reasons. First, God did transform my life in a very real and tangible way. This process has been ongoing for 20+ years. Secondly, I have taken the words of the prophet Isaiah, “let us reason together” and found that Christianity, even when solely looking from a philosophical perspective, withstands all logical rigor.
My moral philosophy is important because it shapes how I view myself, others, and the greater world. This has implications not just personally but also my role in the Army organization. I am an ordained minister in a Christian denomination as well as a chaplain entrusted to provide for the free exercise of religion within the organization. Additionally, I am tasked to advise commanders on the ethical condition of the command and the ethical...