Situation ethics concerning antinomianism and legalistic ethics

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  • S.E - Antinomianism + Legalism
    • Middle way?
      • Fletcher claims that SE escapes the restriction of legalism and the excessive freedom and aimlessness of antinomianism
      • Legalism is no good because of the complexities of community life
        • it involves endless difficulties which involve writing more and more rules eg euthanasia
      • Fletcher said ' the situationist follows a moral law or violates it according to love's need'
        • An insane murderer should be lied to
      • Antinomianism is no good because there is no guidance at all.
    • Situation
      • the situation itself becomes more important than any tradition or principle, other than love/agape
      • using reason the individual is to decide what is the most loving outcome
      • SE disagrees with natural law and says that reason cannot find the good merely from the nature of things as they are. love must be the guide.
    • Conscience
      • According to situationists conscience is not:
        • intuition, quidance from the holy spirit, internalised value system of a society, reason making moral judgements
      • Christians have argued that conscience was the voice of God inside you, for fletcher conscience is not a bag or rules and principles
        • it does not guide action. conscience describes the weighing up of the possible action before it is taken.
    • Emphasis on making moral decisions rather than following rules
      • Fletcher recognised that rules could be helpful in giving advice but that nothing should be considered as binding except for love
      • Tillich's morality and beyond also talks about rules being useful, but only when being informed by and, where necessary, open to the possibility of bing changed in the light of ultimate values.
        • Which for Tillich was whatever the person's 'ultimate concern', Tillich is similar to Fletcher although possibly more accepting of the use of rules than fletcher

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