Situation ethics

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  • Situation Ethics
    • The right moral behaviour can be different for different people according to their circumstances.
      • Relative theory
    • 1960's- tension felt between trditional christian morality and the 'new freedon' of the 60's.
      • Attempts to move away from a blind following of moral rules and encourages people to think for themselvs using reason and common sense.
    • Joseph Fletcher-3 main elements
      • It is relative- nothing is intrinsically right or wrong, or universally good or bad.
      • Every judgement about right and worng depends on the individual situation.
      • The principle you use to decide in each case is 'what is the most loving action'
      • 3 possible appoaches to ethics: legalistic=based on unalterable laws, antinomian=lawless or unpricipled approach, situational approach.
    • Fletcher wrote from a christian perspective but rejected tradtional christian views.
      • Ten commandments are always right.
      • Morality was also about autonomy-taking responsibility for own actions.
      • Rejected legalism and antinomianism
        • Wanted to find the middle ground-agape.
        • It leads people to do the right thing regardless of the consequences.
      • Based his ideas on the thinking of st. Augustine- "love with care, and the what you will, do."
    • Presuppositons
      • Pragmatic- to be right, it is necessary that the propsed couse of action should work and gve good consequences.
      • Positivist- love is the most important criterion of all.
      • Personalist-people should be put first
      • Realative


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