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Christianity, Virtue, and the Intelligence Profession - Endnotes
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Article Index
Christianity, Virtue, and the Intelligence Profession
Necessity and Rules
The Virtues of the Good Intelligence Professional
Applying the Virtues
Developing the Virtues of Good Character
The Role of Mentorship
Conclusion: The Potential to Do Good or Harm
All Pages


1.Kent Pekel, Integrity, Ethics, and the CIA in Studies in Intelligence (Spring 1998) p. 87-89. and Langan
2. Joshua 2: 1-22.
3. Romans 13: 1, NRSV. Of course, not all governments are just and there are times when Christians should oppose the government they are under. But Paul’s words do suggest that where the government is relatively just, the authorities should take actions to secure it.
4. It is worth noting that utility theory is best characterized as a way of making ethical decisions and as such does not compete with Christian ethics since it does not determine, by itself, how different outcomes are evaluated. In fact, some have argued for a Christian utilitarianism where what is valued is the Kingdom of God. See C. Stephen Layman, “The Kingdom of God,” in Readings in Christian Ethics, Vol I, David K Clark and Robert V. Rakestraw eds (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books: 1994) 32-40.
5. Scott Shane, "An Exotic Tool for Espionage: Moral Compass,” New York Times. 28 January 2006
6. R.V. Jones, Reflections on Intelligence, London: William Heinemann Ltd, 1989, p.42. Jones, an intelligence professional in WWII and noted scholar on the subject considers betraying an agent immoral under any but the most extreme examples. According to Jones, Allied intelligence professionals considered betraying a German double agent by letting another agent ‘sell him out.’ By betraying that agent the other agent would ingratiate himself to the Germans and be in a position to pass false information regarding the landings on D-Day. According to Jones, this did not happen and would have been viewed by the intelligence community at the time as unacceptable, whether the agent was a member of the organization or a foreign national working for it.
7. See Ethics of Spying ….
8. For a more complete discussion of why rule- and duty-based ethics do not form complete ethical approaches, see Charles A. Pfaff, “Virtue Ethics and Leadership,” unpublished presentation to the Joint Services Conference on Professional Ethics, available on-line at See also Julius Moravcsik, “On What We Aim At and How We Live,” in The Greeks and the Good Life, ed., David Depew (Fullerton, CA: California State University, 1980), 199. 9. Aristotle believed that a human being’s function is to reason. Human beings who reason well will also live well because they are the best human beings they can be.
10. Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, trans., Terence Irwin, (Cambridge, UK: Hackett Publishing Company), Book IV.
11. Plato, “Laws,” trans., A.E. Taylor, 1.631d, 12.965d, and “Republic,” trans., Paul Shorey, 4.427e, 433, in Plato: The Collected Dialogues, eds., Edith Hamilton and Huntington Cairns, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1961).
12. Summa Theologica, Q5a5.
13. Summa Theologica, Q62a1.
14. Not intended to be definitive formulation. Also doesn’t include covert operations
15. See Pfaff, Bungee Jumping Off the Moral Highground.
16. Distinguishing between what Plato and Aristotle referred to as practical wisdom (phronesis) and philosophical wisdom (sophia) is important. Practical wisdom expresses itself in the prudent conduct of one’s public and private business. This virtue, also often called prudence, is distinguished from the theoretical wisdom of the philosopher. In the context of the discussion of leadership, Plato, in the “Laws,” discussed what qualities a good legislator should possess and claims that a good legislator relies on prudence to determine what laws to enact. Since good laws achieve good ends, the good legislator must discern both the good end and the means to the good end. With regard to selflessness, my use of the term here is synonymous with the idea of public virtue. See Forrest McDonald, Novus Ordo Seclorum: The Intellectual Origins of the Constitution, (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1985), 71. See also James M. Stockdale, Thoughts of a Philosophical Fighter Pilot, (Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, 1995),75.
17. Louis Pojman, Ethics: Discovering Right and Wrong, (Albany, NY: Wadsworth Publishing Co., 1999) 163.
18. Jonathan Shay, “Ethical Standing for Commander Self-Care: The Need for Sleep,” Parameters, (Summer 1998): 93-105.
19. Richard "Freeman". (2004). Report from a Counterintelligence Officer on Two Devastated Veterans of Covert Operations. Interview conducted by J.M. Arrigo, Crozet, VA. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, CA.
20. James Wallace, Virtue and Vices, (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1978), 90.
21. Pekel in Goldman, p. 54
22. Nicomachean Ethics, Book II.
23. Nicomachean Ethics, Book II, 1103a27-1103b1.

Last Updated on Monday, 10 May 2010 11:22