Terms in this set (21)
Divided moral thinking into 3 types:
Set of pre-defined rules which show how you should act
--> Fletcher rejected this as he said it would leave to a legalistic mind set
Each attempt is unique and focuses on no rules; opposite to legalistic
--> Fletcher criticised this by saying "it is literally unprincipled, purely ad hoc and casual... they are exactly anarchic"
How moral an action is depends on the situation
"The situationist follows a moral law or violates it according to love's need"
--> influenced by Bultman, Barth, and Bonhoeffer
Against the idea that Jesus sought to establish some new ethical ideology
Argued that 'God's commanding' can only be this individual, concrete and specific example of commanding
(sometimes okay to break a rule)
Determining the will of God in any concrete situation is based on 2 things:
Need of one's neighbour
The selfless and unconditional love
--> illustrated in the Bible ("love thy neighbour")
--> a self-sacrificing love that God has shown through Jesus
Should be considered in moral decision making
"only one thing is intrinsically good; name love: nothing else at all"
- actions aren't intrinsically good as they are part of a cause and effect
- humans may be loving/lovable, but ONLY GOD is loving
"the ruling decision of Christian decision is love: nothing else"
- Love > Law
"Love and Justice are the same, for Justice is love distributed"
- Love isn't partial
- Justice is love at work in the whole community and for the whole community
"[L]ove wills the neighbour's good, whether we like him or not"
- Love is Agape
"Only the end justifies the means; nothing else"
"[L]ove's decisions are make situationally, not prescriptively"
- No fixed rules as they become oppressive
- Love decides each situation
The Four Working Presuppositions
Four principles or assumptions that situation ethics makes
1st of the Presuppositions
Asks "what will work?" rather than "what is truth".
Situation ethics grounds itself on being a solution that works in practice.
2nd of the Presuppositions
Love is the absolute and everything else is contingent and relative to love.
Actions will depend on the absolute (love) so there is nothing fixed
e.g. when Jesus broke the fixed moral rule of the Pharisees
3rd of the Presuppositions
Unlike natural law which uses natural positivism, we cannot determine what is good from the world around us. Instead must use theological positivism - creating ideas of good through reasoning of God/Bible and looking at the situation
4th of the Presuppositions
People are the ultimate moral value.
Conscience is a word that describes our decision making process. It is not a word for a bag of rules or a mind/soul.
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