27 terms

Christian Ethics

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.