The Ethical Teaching of Christianity on Marriage

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  • Marriage
    • Scripture (old testament)
      • "Therefore and man leaves his father and his other and clings to his wife and they become one flesh" - Genesis 2:24
      • Before marriage a girl was considered to be the property of her father.
      • Contract between two families
      • A wife essentially worked at home and managed the children. The children confirmed the success of the marriage
    • Scripture (new testament)
      • Marriage is a unique aspect of God's creation
      • Mark 10: 1-9 Jesus begins by going back to Genesis arguing that marriage is the union of man and woman and is part of God's creation.
      • No human can uncreate marriage
        • Jesus emphasised marriage as a new creation and the state to which Christian's should aspire.
      • Marriage covenant- a bond of love
    • Tradition
      • The Roman Catholic View- the primary purpose of marriage is the generation and nurturing of offspring; the second purpose if mutual help of spouses, and the third is the remedy of concupi-scence.
        • generating and raising children
        • According to Catholics, marriage is: 1) indissoluble (till death do us part) 2) a conventional union between a man and a woman 3) for the purpose of procreation, mutual help and a remedy for concupiscence.
      • Untitled
    • The Holy Spirit & Conscience
      • What one person feels the Holy Spirit or their conscience might be calling them to do, might not be the same as what another claims.
      • In some situations, a conscience might tell someone its better for their family to seek divorce whereas another might be against it. Recta Ratio and so thus would take a natural law response (RC)
        • Use an example eg Paul & Claire's marriage is suffering and it's putting a lot of pressure on the children and their quality of life is poor as a result etc. Their consciences tell them that for the best welfare of the family they should split.
      • Conscience can affect moral principles
    • Reason
      • Right reason indicates that we derive secondary precepts from the primary precepts of self preservation and the preservation of the innocent; continuation of the species through reproduction; educate children; live in society and worship God.
      • Primary purpose of sex is reproduction and so the purpose of marriage is to provide and stable environment for raising children. It is also the basis for a relationship based on trust, mutual obligation and stability.
      • According to Joseph Fletcher, conscience is the process of reasoning about our actions before they are taken.


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