A study of religious faith and the ethical decision making process
Parsons, Kurt R.
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The purpose of this research is to determine if religious faith affects the moral decision making process of midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy. This is a quantitative analysis based on two surveys (N=319): the Ethical Decision Making Instrument (EDMI) and a Faith Survey. The author constructed a theoretical and statistical model to identify a dependent variable that showed intention in the moral decision making process. A thorough literature review was conducted to identify variables linked to the moral decision making process. A linear regression analysis using four faith components from the faith survey was then conducted. Results indicated that the faith component did not have an affect on the moral decision making process of midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy. Midshipmen viewed social consensus (or peer influence) as significant in every moral decision scenario. Self-interest and the consequence of actions also contributed to the moral decisions made. Finally, gender was significant in this process; men and women evaluated moral situations differently. This study summarizes these findings and makes recommendations to the United States Naval Academy.
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