A sum-up of the moral determination doing theory of Situation Ethical motives:
Situation Ethical motives can be described as a ‘theory of love. ’ for it holds that. in a moral quandary. the class of action that is morally right is the one which is the most love-filled. The sort of love in this context is ‘agape’ love. Agape is a Grecian word meaning unconditioned. non-reciprocal love. It is non emotional or passionate. but is a agency of making good to others. driven by the will. Situation Ethics was born in the 1960’s—a clip of oppugning and uncertainty for many people—and was the consequence of Reverend Joseph Fletcher—an American Anglican theologian—and his thoughts. as presented in the book Situation Ethics. the New Morality ( 1966 ) . He was non the first. nevertheless to come up with the thought of a perfect Christian ethical system. and was greatly influenced by many others in the authorship of this work. Three old ages earlier. in 1963. the Bishop John A T Robinson wrote a book entitled Honest to God. In this he stated that “…there is no 1 ethical system that can claim to be Christian. ” Rudolf Bultmann—another adult male whom Joseph Fletcher negotiations about in the gap chapter of his book—declared that Jesus did non set frontward any moral theory except the rule that one should “…love thy neighbour as thyself. ”

In his book ( Situation Ethics. the New Morality ) . Reverend Joseph Fletcher professed that “…the morality of an action depends on the state of affairs. ” This quotation mark can be taken as the establishing rule of Situation Ethics. as it clearly states the chief thought of the theory. To Mr Fletcher. the action in itself is non right or incorrect. but it is the motivation behind that action that may be good or evil. Therefore. every bit long as one takes the class of action that is the most love-filled towards others. the actions that are employed in order to carry through it are allowable.

Fletcher explained that there are merely three possible ethical attacks to the devising of moral determinations. These are antinomianism. legalism. and of class. Situation Ethics. Antinomianism maintains that there should be no regulations. Torahs. or codifications of behavior whatsoever. The job with this attack is rather clear. One can make what one wants. and. as people in this universe are corrupt. much immorality would ensue from using this agency of finding morality. To Joseph Fletcher. this ethical approach—which literally means “anti-law”—is one extreme to be avoided. The other is legalism. A legalist is person who follows the jurisprudence. whatever happens and in every context. This absolutist position would non set the jurisprudence aside in a peculiar circumstance. as does the Situationist. and therefore it is excessively stiff to be matter-of-fact. Finally. we have Situation Ethics—the ‘middle way’—in which the jurisprudence of “love thy neighbor as thyself” is the steering influence in every state of affairs.

Situation Ethical motives as the ‘Happy Medium’ or ‘Middle Way’ : Antinomianism| Situation Ethics| Legalism|

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Key Books in relation to Situation Ethical motives:
Title: | Date: | Writer: |
Honest to God| 1963| Bishop John A T Robinson|
Situation Ethical motives. the New Morality| 1966| Reverend Joseph Fletcher ( 1905-1991 ) | Ethical motives in a Permissive Society| 1980| William Barclay|
Ethical motives in a Christian Context| 1963| Paul Lehmann ( 1906-1996 ) |

Key Quotes in relation to Situation Ethical motives:
1. “…the morality of an action depends on the state of affairs. ” ( Joseph Fletcher. Situation Ethics. the New Morality )

2. “…there is no 1 ethical system that can claim to be Christian. ” ( Bishop John A T Robinson. Honest to God )

3. Agape love is “…the steady directing of the homo will towards the ageless wellbeing of another. ” ( Bishop Stephen Neill )

4. “…love is excessively equivocal for work outing moral jobs. ” ( Edwin Williams )

5. Situation Ethics is “…an individualistic and subjective…” moral attack. ( Pope Pius 12. 1952 )

6. “There is merely one ultimate and invariable responsibility. and its expression is ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. ’ How to make this is another question…” ( William Temple. 1923 )

7. “The most important…is…Love the Lord your God with all your bosom and with all your psyche and with all your head and with all your strength. The 2nd is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. ” ( Mark 12:29-31 )

The Four Givens:
The four givens ( besides known as the four ‘working principles’ ) can be regarded as the four foundational blocks of the theory of Situation Ethics. Without these. the ethical theory would non be able to work. * Pragmatism

Any ethical theory must be practical. Fletcher claims that Situation Ethics is precisely this. for it is easy to use in a moral quandary. The Agapeistic Calculus is simple and straightforward to use. as opposed to the Hedonic Calculus of Utilitarianism as proposed by Jeremy Bentham. The determination as to the most loving thing to make in a peculiar context is considered by many as reasonably straightforward. * Relativism

Relativism points to the contextualism of the theory. It denies any absolutist or legalist influence in the signifier of set. prescribed codifications of behavior or regulations that determine what should be done in every state of affairs. whatever the fortunes. Therefore. Situation Ethics holds a relativisitic attack to the devising of moral determinations. and relies upon the opinion of ‘Christian’ love. * Positivism

This 3rd given provinces that the success of Situation Ethics relies on the incorporate cooperation of its disciples. Christians freely take follow the rule of love. accepting that ‘God is Love. and doing agape love their ultimate precedence. * Personalism

The facet of personalism in Situation Ethics suggests that it is concerned with the person. It searches for the most loving action towards that individual by advancing their best involvements. We should handle each and every human being and their demands as equal to ourselves. even if we do non acquire on with them at all.

Joseph Fletcher’s Six Propositions:
It is non until he is good into his book that Fletcher outlines his six propositions as listed below. These can be thought of as the back uping pillars of Situation Ethics. resting upon a foundation of the four givens indicated above. * 1. “Only one thing is per se good. viz. love: nil else at all. ”

* 2. “The governing norm of Christian determination is love. nil else. ”

* 3. “Love and justness are the same. for justness is love distributed. nil else. ”

* 4. “Love wills the neighbour’s good. whether we like him or non. ”

* 5. “Only the terminal justifies the agencies. nil else. ”

* 6. “Love’s determinations are made situationally. non prescriptively. ” A few key footings to cognize in relation to Situation Ethical motives:
1. The Slippery Slope Argument—The position that certain classs of action should non be taken because they might ensue in the action being regarded as allowable. and hence lead to more utmost patterns of the same. 2. Antinomianism—The manner of doing moral determinations in which any government regulations or Torahs are non-existent ; lawless. It is an wholly subjective moral attack. 3. Legalism—The manner of doing moral determinations in which regulations and Torahs take precedence. The antonym of Antinomianism. 4. Agape love—For Situationist Christians this is the unconditioned. non-reciprocal love that governs their moral determinations.

A Case Study for the application of Situation Ethics to a real-life state of affairs: Katie Thorpe:
* 15 old ages of age in 2008
* Was enduring from intellectual paralysis and terrible acquisition disablements
* Could non eat. speak. move. or do anything independently
* Under the changeless attention of her female parent
* Her female parent:
* Alison Thorpe
* 45 old ages of age in 2008
* Katie’s full-time carer
* Asked for a hysterectomy ( remotion of the uterus ) to be performed on her girl in order to forestall Katie from enduring the incommodiousnesss and hurting of menses * “For my girl this. I think. is the right determination and a determination that we have thought long and difficult about. ” * The operation would forestall her from holding any kids * David Congdon. Mencap’s caput of runs and policy: * “We impulse the tribunals and physicians to see the rights of the miss involved above anything else. ”

Examples of seting Situation Ethics into pattern:
* Mrs Burgmeyer ( can be found in Situation Ethics. the New Morality ) * The St Louis cabbie ( can be found in Situation Ethics. the New Morality ) * Jesus’ healings on the Sabbath ( can be found in the Gospels of the Bible )

The strengths and failings of Situation Ethical motives:
* Unconditional and non-reciprocal agape love seems a good rule upon which to establish one’s ethical attack * It focuses on the demands of the person. sing the individual and seting them before anything else ( personalism ) * It is easy to use ( pragmatism ) utilizing the Agapeistic Calculus * It is subjective in the manner that other people do non necessitate to be called upon in the instance of a moral quandary * It is non based on the logical thinking of the scruples ( which is bound to affected by the emotions in certain state of affairss ) * It follows the instruction of Jesus by sing the phrase “love thy neighbour every bit thyself” as the ultimate responsibility of world * It provides its disciples with a sense of freedom in their picks * It does non generalize * It encourages the ‘lesser of two evils’|

* The true significance of agape love is disputed and hence non to the full understood by all * Selfish motivations can botch the whole construct of true unconditioned love * The universe is corrupt due to man’s iniquitous nature * Peoples may ( and do ) do errors when finding the effects of their action in footings of how much love. who is affected. and whether or non ‘love’s intent is served’ * In utmost instances: lawlessness * The subjective nature of this type of decision-making theory holds all kinds of jobs in itself ( e. g. due to pressured fortunes. etc. ) * Some Christians and non-Christians do non accept that ‘God is Love’ * For Christians: Merely God has a perfect manner of finding what is right and wrong|

The opposing positions of Bishop John A T Robinson and William Barclay: Bishop John A T Robinson ( 1963 ) : | William Barclay ( 1980 ) : | * Jesus’ instructions as in the Bible are non adhering Torahs. they are merely histories of specific state of affairss ( a broad reading of the Bible ) * Love is more of import than a actual followers of Jesus’ ‘Sermon on the Mount’| * Situation Ethics is incorrect in stating that nil is ‘black and white’ in footings of morality * It is a extremely unsafe thought to take all set moral values. as this would take us down the really slippy incline of confusion over what is good and bad


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