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exam 2

Natural law

rules of morality are embedded in nature itself & rules are universally available

Covenant ethics

require more specific things of us and impose obligations that are not universal, locates moral rules in a relationship of faithfulness between people or between individuals and God

Divine command

God's authority distinguishes between right and wrong

Areteological ethics

virtue ethics
emphasizes the character of the person

Cardinal virtues

prudence, justice, fortitude, temperance


wisdom, insight, process of deliberation and execution


obstaining from evil toward others and doing good to others


doing good despite obstacles even at the risk of one's life, related to patience and perserverance


restriaining natural desires and appetites, allows experience of pleasure within reasonable limits, moderation but not necessarily abstinence

Theological virtues

beginner, advanced, perfect
faith, hope, love


Beginner: avoid anti-Christian ideas
Advanced: evaluate all things in life in light of Christian values and belief
Perfect: experience special gifts from Holy Spirit


Beginner: shift attention from earthly things to eternal things
Advanced: no longer preoccupied with anxiety about the future
Perfect: does not fear death, only the Lord


Beginner: one performs basic acts of worship
Advanced: loves others in God
Perfect: love of even enemies, perfect forgiveness

Cultural relativism

challenge and problem for the other 2 approaches, virtues themselves aren't relative to culture

The spirit

Paul declares that this gives life, rather than the law


Christian ethics is based primarily on this


in the early church, this is the basis of moral life


instead of searching for the good life and cultivating virtues, the Hebrews were concerned with this

God in covenant

basic theme of the ethical life in the Hebrew scriptures


Paul saw this as the goal of moral life

Cross and resurrection of Jesus

new moral dynamic that Christians enjoy

God's promise and love

Jesus replaced the ethic of his contemporaries with an ethic associated with this

Jewish religious leaders

context of Jesus' ethical teaching is his conflict with these people

1. foundation for ethical life
2. human merit and divine rewards
3. who actually are the people of God
4. the intent of the law

Four ethical issues over which Jesus disagreed with his contemporaries

Humanae Vitae ("human life")

Encyclical by Pope Paul VI (1968) addressing the regulation of birth.

Strengths of natural law

Not limited by competing religious texts as sources of divine commands.
Universal scope that applies to all human beings, regardless of religion
Affirms that moral standards are based in reality and are in some sense, "objective"

Problems with natural law

Just because something exists in a certain way doesn't necessarily mean that it is good. Does ought follow from is?
Though natural laws may be "objective" our subjective understandings of their implications may vary.

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